Natural Health and Healing Therapy

Environment And Hygiene For Longevity And Better Health

How Environment Provides Good Health And Longevity

Cities are densely populated with heavy traffic and factory concentrations, causing comparatively severe
environmental pollution. These are damaging to good health and longevity. Many older residents tend flowers and plants to beautify the environment, purify the air and help them with physical exercise.

Most Chengdu centenarians make a hobby of growing and cherishing flowers. They have flowers and plants throughout their homes. With cotton rose hibiscus flowers dominant in streets and lanes, Chengdu used to be known as "City of the Cotton Rose Hibiscus." They have been replaced by exotic flowers and plants introduced in recent years. Flowers not only adorn the city and purify the air but can also brighten up the mind of the growers.

Veteran Red Army man Ding Shixiong, 103 years old, has been spending all his time in his small garden
since his retirement. There he has planted a rich variety of flowers: primrose and magnolia in spring; garden balsam and cannas in summer; marigold and orange osmanthus in autumn and camellia and red plum in winter. He also has such precious plants as kafir lily, peony, orchid cactus and aglais. Especially eye-catching is his kumquat plant laden with fruit. His flowers, indeed, can rival those in the city's Qingyanggong Temple.

Ding has beautified the environment with his hands and has reduced air and noise pollution. He remains radiant with vitality and his face glows with health at the age of 103.


Natural Cures With Flowers For Longevity And Better Health

Flowers are known as "natural physicians." :

  • The aroma of geraniums (Pelargonium hortorum) has a tranquilizing effect, dissipating fatigue and inducing sleep. Two pots of geraniums in the bedroom will help one fall asleep quickly.

  • The fragrance of jasmine can regulate the circulation of qi, making people relaxed and cheerful.

  • The delicate aroma of lotus flower and rugosa rose can prevent attacks of coronary heart disease.

  • The scent of Cape jasmine benefits liver and gall and helps prevent and cure hepatitis and cholecystitis.

  • The fragrance of lilac can purify the air and kill bacteria. Experiments show that its bacteria killing capacity is six times as powerful as carbolic acid.

  • A perfume bag of dried lilac blossoms hung in a room or on one's body can help prevent pulmonary tuberculosis and chronic gastro-enteritis.

  • The rich scent of cordate telosma repels mosquitoes so people can enjoy summer life without being harassed. That scent can also help prevent malaria.

Many flowers can also be used as medicine. For instance, honeysuckle is antipyretic and alleviates inflammation, the self-heal blossom (Prunella vulgaris) can improve vision and lower blood pressure and the
aroma of the hyacinth bean flower whets the appetite. In ancient times a folk saying held that if one eats
chrysanthemums over a long time, he can attain longevity.

It is interesting that flowers can announce the hours: Morning glory blossoms at four a.m, the break of day. Mei Lanfang, a great master of Beijing opera, loved morning glory mostly because the flower could
prompt him to get up early to practice singing and acrobatic skills. Herbaceous peony blooms in a broad
smile at seven a.m, lotus flowers spread their petals at nine and magnolia is in full bloom at ten.

Sweet-scented flowers and plants broaden people's vision and ease their mind. Therefore, as somebody
once said, "'Whoever loves flowers lives long."

Grandma Pei nee Fu of Taiyuan, 103 years old, loves flowers as much as life. North China is covered with ice and snow in winter and hardly a green leaf can be found, but Grandma Pei's courtyard brims with the charms of spring. She began growing flowers in her thirties after her husband's death, even when she did laundry for others to earn a living and support her three children. It is flowers that have given her consolation, happiness, and courage to survive hardships.

She has been tending flowers for the past seven decades. As soon as she hears of a beautiful flower somewhere, she will go great distances to see or acquire it. When she was 103 years old, she carried a pot of flowers home from about three kilometers away. With her diligent hands she has preserved spring in her
courtyard and her youth as well. Now she is still nimble, dexterous and quick in her movements just as
a young woman.


Good Hygienic Habits For Better Health

All Chinese city centenarians have good hygienic habits. They consistently rinse mouths; brush teeth and frequently cut their fingernails; change their linen, quilts and bed sheers, and wash their feet before
bed-time each day. Most sweep their courtyards and keep their rooms clean and tidy. Grandma Tang
Shengyun of Chengdu, 101 years old, sweeps her courtyard three times a day and keeps her room bright and clean without a speck of dust. Grandma Li Ying of Guangzhou, 107 years old, is known as "Clean Grandma" in the neighborhood. She takes a sponge bath with warm water three times a day, lasting 40 minutes each time, the good habit established through perseverance. Centenarians mostly have good hygienic habits and therefore seldom fall ill.

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