Golden agers are often bothered by minor problems such as insomnia, aches and pains from osteoarthritis and rheumatisms, fatigue, pins and needles and/or cold extremities.
Although these ailments may not be indicative of a disease process, they are annoying if not out right painful and interfere with quality of life. There are many over-the-counter natural remedies that might be of interest to help make life a little more pleasant.
Sleep and Stress
If you are very anxious, always worried and have trouble sleeping, Oat extract can help you cope. It is useful for nervous exhaustion or chronic anxiety, which causes insomnia. Oats act on the nervous system to stabilize it. It can be thought of as a tonic for the nervous system, both energizing and relaxing. Remember that alcohol, caffeine and smoking can wreak havoc on the sleep cycle, so if you have trouble sleeping, you should start by trying to change those habits.
Cold Hands and Feet
One plant can easily be classified as best natural product for the golden age and it is Ginkgo biloba. That’s because Ginkgo has the ability to improve microcirculation. That means opening up little capillaries – those are the tiniest blood vessels – that have not been in use for a long time. By doing this, it improves the exchange of oxygen and nutrient from the blood to the cells in every corner of the body. It enhances circulation in the limbs and in the brain. The result is improvement for conditions such as chronic osteoarthritis, heavy limbs due to impaired circulation or cold hands and feet. By improving microcirculation in the brain, it curbs forgetfulness and improves memory and lucidity. In addition, Ginkgo is a powerful antioxidant.
If energy is failing, Ginseng can be considered. It is a general tonic and energizer. It helps the body perform its tasks: boosting most body functions. Ginseng’s thermogenic (increasing body temperature) property may be particularly attractive to seniors who are often cold or who have difficulty stabilizing their body temperature during seasonal changes.
Before age 50, our eyes start to change. As we age, our eyes become less able to produce tears, the retinas thin, and the lenses gradually turn yellow and become less clear. As aging progresses, the iris (the colored portion of the eye) stiffens, turns less responsive and it is more difficult to adapt to different light levels. The three most common ailments related to aging eyes are cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens that affects vision. Most cataracts are related to aging and are removed by laser surgery. Glaucoma causes the normal fluid pressure inside the eyes to slowly rise, which can lead to vision loss or blindness if not treated. Age-related macular degeneration causes no pain but gradually robs you of your clear, central vision. It is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 60. It can be prevented with antioxidant rich supplement Sharp Vision, wearing sunglasses outdoors and avoiding cigarettes, one of the major factors in macular degeneration.
Constipation is another ailment that affects many, especially over the age of 65. Indeed, aging can affect bowel regularity because a slower metabolism results in less intestinal activity and muscle tone. Also, some medications such as painkillers, blood pressure drugs, iron or calcium supplements can cause constipation. Exercise will help by stimulating intestinal function. It is important not to ignore the urge to have a bowel movement – delaying results in drier and harder stool, making matter worse. Diet of course, plays a big role not only for regularity but also for overall digestive wellbeing.
- Have a high-fibre diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole-grain cereals and breads
- Drink plenty of liquids along with the fibre and limit caffeine intake
- Limit low-fibre foods, such as ice cream, cheese and processed foods, and foods that are high in fat and sugar
- Include probiotics to your daily diet keep your intestinal flora healthy.
- Fermented whey such as Molkosan can help soothe digestive complaints and feed the good bacteria for better health and regularity, without interfering with medication.
With age, joint pain becomes one of the most common ailments. Be it from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout or an old injury, the pain involves inflammation, which creates heat, swelling and more pain. Getting the inflammation under control will reduce pain levels and lessen the damage being done to the joint and surrounding tissues.
Externally applied Arnica extracts have been used traditionally to help with inflammatory pain. For best results with pain relief apply the Arnica preparation onto the painful joint. Absolüt Arnica gel is very effective as it contains 50% fresh Arnica flower extract.
Although a topical treatment such as Arnica is great when you need to focus on a particular area such as a joint, internal treatments that work throughout the body are helpful when pain is widespread or reaches several areas. Devil’s claw extracts in the form of tablets and tinctures relieve inflammatory pain and so help improve mobility of those with arthritic or rheumatic conditions. To relieve chronic inflammatory pain, Devil’s Claw will take from 4 to 12 weeks for full effect, depending on the severity of the inflammation.
Cartilage is the layer of buffering material that should be found between the ends of the joints but can be damaged or worn away, causing an immense amount of pain. If you are using Arnica to relieve the inflammation, you have a double benefit since it also protects cartilage from further damage. Glucosamine sulphate is another supplement to help maintain and renew cartilage. One simple and tasty way of helping your cartilage is to eat homemade, long simmered bone broth. Your cartilage can benefits from the collagen (gelatin), glycosaminoglycan (lubricant for the cartilage), and minerals released by the bones.
Sometimes, the good old days weren’t so good. The Romans used to beat themselves with fresh nettles to alleviate arthritic pains. Ouch! Much gentler Stinging Nettle tincture taken internally can reduce the amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. Gout is a sign of too much uric acid in the body and can therefore benefit from this remedy.
Some diet adjustment can help since certain foods may increase pain and stiffness. Avoid saturated animal fats, keeping your intake of red meat, dairy products and eggs to a minimum. Oily fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines and salmon have a positive effect on inflammation. You can take Omega 3 supplement if you don’t eat fish regularly. A diet rich in non-acid forming fruits and vegetable is recommended: that mean non-citrus fruit are better in this case. Vegetables from the solanaceae family such potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants should be avoided as they aggravate joint pain and discomfort.
Most importantly, don’t stop moving! Some movements hurt but if you avoid moving altogether, it gets worst. Gentle exercise will stop you from seizing up, but avoid anything that puts too much pressure on joints. Swimming, aqua fitness, gentle walking, beginner’s yoga or Tai Chi are good options.
Lastly, one of the key ingredients of making old age less of a pain is to keep your brain active and be positive! Join a book club, play cards or chess with friends, enjoy crosswords and Sudoku, take courses and socialize.