By Rachael Anderson
You've probably heard of the Fountain of Youth, a legendary spring that makes you young again when you drink from its waters. Unfortunately, no one's found it yet-but Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham has found something almost as good: the garden of youth. Kilham recently teamed up with Mehmet Oz, MD, to share the plants you can eat to add years to your life.
Most of us think of dandelion as a pesky weed, but to Kilham it's much more. In fact, he says dandelion is one of the most beneficial plants. It helps detoxify the liver, fights inflammation, promotes weight loss and aids in digestion. There are a few ways you can incorporate dandelion into your diet. One is to use the greens in a salad. (Don't eat chemically treated dandelion found in your backyard, which is not safe, says Kilham.) Another is to drink dandelion tea, which you can find in most health stores.
Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is a powerful antioxidant with demonstrated antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. In the past it was used for a variety of conditions ranging from the common cold to ulcers. But more recently, says Kilham, it's being used to help fight stress. Because it has a peppery taste, Kilham recommends cooking it in stir-fry or using it to spice up soups. You can also find tulsi in the form of tea or buy tulsi supplements. Kilham suggests taking 500 milligrams of tulsi oil a day.
These mushrooms are one of the most revered longevity herbs in Chinese medicine, and for good reason. Studies show they fight tumors, increase infection-fighting T cells and inhibit plaque formation in the arteries. Dr. Oz says they may also boost insulin levels, allowing the body to use blood sugar more efficiently, and may neutralize chemical that drain your energy. The best way to eat reishi, says Kilham, is to turn it into a broth to use in soups, stews and even mushroom risottos. You can also drink reishi as a tea or buy the extract. If you take the extract, Oz recommends a dose of 1,000 milligrams three times per day.
Rachael Anderson is an associate editor/web producer at Sharecare.
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