The Quest for Eternal Youth

For centuries, writers, artists, and explorers have spoken about the myth surrounding an eternal, magical fountain that provides youthful restoration to anyone who bathes or drinks from it.

In the late 1800’s, the prestigious Elms Hotel, located in what is now known as Excelsior Springs, Missouri, began sending out brochures describing something quite close to this fountain. The springs around the hotel produced healing mineral waters that helped to treat and cure some complex ailments like tuberculosis, syphilis and even severe wounds from battle. A paleontologist visiting the area claimed that “Nature itself set a plan for the town of Excelsior Springs…a cataclysmic disturbance of some type that dropped the hills down to form the perfect valleys that unearthed all the different types of healing mineral waters.”

People have sought eternal or prolonged youth throughout history, and have taken steps to beautify themselves. As far back as ancient times, the Egyptians used eye and face cosmetics. These were made from natural ingredients like honey, sweet almond, and frankincense oil, as well as aloe and other plants. These ancient remedies mirror the therapeutic properties of many products used today. Skin products that are sitting in the average American’s bathroom contain many of these same ingredients. Aloe is one of the best remedies for sunburn. It is also known to possess various other healing properties, including those needed to treat wounds, and to serve as a digestive aid.

Tea tree oil is one of the better-known therapeutic oils. Native to Australia, its anti-microbial properties became public knowledge in the 1920’s when researcher Arthur Penfold published a series of papers about it.

Records show that was not only the exceptionally wealthy who had such luxuries, but also the lower classes, too, were given desirable anti-wrinkle and moisturizing products in place of a portion of their wages. This replacement was a “moisturizing tax,” if you will. Beauty has been a priority to the human race for millennia. Queen Cleopatra used lactic acid to sear off layers of her dead skin, thereby creating a more youthful appearance. This method is not any more extreme then some of the cosmetic surgeries performed today. Now people are willing to shove needles in their faces, band their stomachs, and insert bags of silicone in their breasts for the sake of outward, physical beauty. Some methods go to extremes.  A “vampire” or blood facial is a popular procedure that uses the healing properties of the patient’s platelets (platelet rich plasma) to support new cellular activity in the face.  To ensure the blood is properly absorbed, doctors poke little holes in a patient’s face either by smearing or injecting the healing factors directly into the tissue.  It is my opinion that this procedure does have merit and can help rejuvenate the epidermal tissue matrix, enhancing the overall tissue and creating a more youthful appearance. But it is not for everybody.

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