Do you need a little extra help in staying disciplined with all those good intentions regarding your wellness? For many, including me, that final convincing to stay true to your resolutions just may be called epigenetics!
This newly emerging science confirms the ancient traditional knowledge that herbs, diet and lifestyle can be used not just for fighting disease and promoting wellness, but also to daily optimize the expression of your genes in a way that positively supports growth and evolution, individually and collectively.
Epigenetics, literally meaning “above and beyond genetics,” a discipline investigated only for a mere 2 decades, describes the ability of a cell to quickly evolve as a function of direct experienced circumstance, for instance, being in the presence of certain anti-stress phytomolecules. And the real shocker is that these cellular changes are inheritable, hence allowing accelerated evolution of a given blood line or species!
People can even use certain herbs to evolve within their life time, minimizing deleterious facets of inherited genetics by optimizing their DNA’s expression in a way that supports who they really are and want to be. Exciting stuff, and all foretold within ancient Himalayan literature.
Until recently, we believed that our evolution is controlled by how our DNA is transcribed and inherited by our children, and that this process is in turn controlled by the DNA itself and has very little to do with our lifestyle choices. However, in 1986, The Lancet published a seminal paper showing that a parent’s experiences early in their lives can change the way their DNA is expressed, and can thus change the traits they pass to their offspring.
Yes, our cells, and those in our children, can “remember” all that late night partying and early morning yoga we have enjoyed along with all the superfoods and supersized slushies we have consumed. This explains why you see some people totally change, as in being a totally different person, for better or for worse, in the course of a mere decade.
What herbs have been known to positively support epigenetic changes, to support this quickening of individual and collective evolution? Vedic science shows that potent adaptogenic herbs like Tulsi (Holy Basil), Ginger, Turmeric, Amalaki, Brahmi, Atis, Cinnamon and Ashwagandha are amongst the positive epigenetic herbs. Interestingly, recently western science has confirmed that Tulsi, Ginger, and Turmeric indeed do have this deeply salubrious activity via their direct action on the molecules that control DNA expression, the histones.
“Expression” is the operative word in all of this epigenetic possibility. Again, the change is not in the genes themselves, but rather in how they are expressed. Your genes do not prescribe a fixed destiny, but more an envelope or spectrum of possibility. Then depending on the quality of your diet and other life circumstances, different options within that vast library of genetic possibilities are turned on or off, and that determines the probability of your nature, cell by cell, thought by thought, day by day!
This of course begs the question, “How much of our evolution has been based on the botanicals in our diet, and how derailed has that evolution been in the last century of our dependence on the allopathic molecules and fast food diets so alien to our nature?”
And so, once again, here in the words of “Invictus,” is the great possibility predicted by both epigenetics and Vedic pharmacology:
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
I know my list of New Year’s resolutions is around here somewhere… If indeed we are “masters of our fate” then every little bit of mastery helps to optimize our bodymind, our lives. So hopefully this time the list will resemble less my wishful thinking and more a lifestyle that is empowered and empowering. Who I will be tomorrow depends on it!
About the Author:
Prashanti de Jager has a degree in Aerospace Engineering, and is a scholar and scientist in both western biosciences/physics and the Vedic sciences.
He serves on the board of some of the world’s most prestigious sources of Herbal Medicine, such as the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. He is the author of well-acclaimed books on Vedic and ethnopharmacological topics, and teaches Ayurveda, Yoga, Sustainability and Ethnopharmacology worldwide. He co-founded Vedic science ventures, including Organic India, Pacific Center of Ayurveda (SF), Kailash Vedic Guild (Prague), Urban Wellness Guild (NYC) and the DunaGiri Foundation Trust (Uttarakhand).
For more information see: www.prashantidejager.com