Herbs have been used for thousands of years to remedy many ailments to the body. They’ve been used to fight colds and to ease their symptoms, as salves for cuts and scrapes to the skin, as a valuable source of antioxidants and to soothe muscle aches and pains. As scientific knowledge has rapidly expanded in recent decades, the growing resourcefulness of peptides is being recognised.
Peptides are chains of between 2 and 50 amino acids which form proteins when they are bonded together. They occur naturally throughout the body and can be acquired through various forms of plant and animal protein. These include soybeans, lentils, oats, wheat, flaxseeds meat, fish, milk and eggs. Due to their smaller size, peptides are more readily absorbed by the body, facilitating their entry to the bloodstream.
One of the key comparisons that can be made between herbal remedies and peptides are their promotion of skin health. Herbs such as ginseng, astragalus root, aloe leaf, reishi mushroom, tea-tree seed oil and safflower are all known for their skin rejuvenation properties. Peptides also have strong links to skin health and an anti aging association through the protein collagen. Collagen is a protein that plays an important role in skin vitality, giving it firmness and tone. Collagen peptides promote the production of collagen in the body as well as help prevent the amount of collagen breakdown from increasing. They can also help the skin retain moisture, increase blood flow, prevent wrinkling and may even stimulate the production of melanin, which helps protect the skin from sun damage.
Other advantageous peptides to skin health are antimicrobial peptides. These assist the skin by fighting the bacteria that leads to skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Another primary similarity between peptides and herbs is their role in fighting inflammation. There are numerous herbs and roots which have strong anti-inflammatory effects. Garlic, turmeric, ginger, rosemary, oregano and basil have all been identified for their strength in reducing inflammation. Bioactive peptides can help the body reduce inflammation as well as act as antioxidants, assisting the body’s ability to heal. This augmentation of wound healing shows that peptides can assist the body to function more optimally.
Immunity boosting is another commonality between herbs and peptides. Herbs such as garlic, turmeric, lemongrass and ginger all exhibit immune system boosting function whether it be through fighting cold symptoms or having antioxidant, antifungal or antimicrobial properties. Some peptides provide stimulation to T cell production which actively participates in the immune response. Whilst others have antimicrobial properties, killing bacteria and helping to control infection.
Peptides are not a replacement for herbal remedies by any means. By identifying their similarities, it is safe to say that they can work in conjunction with one another to improve the health of the body. This extends to the fighting of inflammation and infection, boosting the immune system and regulating the health of the skin.