There was a time when only emperors and royals could consume bird’s nest. But in this day and age, bird’s nest benefits can be reaped by anyone.
The story goes that bird’s nest was first gifted to the court by the legendary Admiral Zheng He. This tradition continues until this day, as bird’s nest has become one of the much-preferred presents for elderly parents, pregnant ladies, future in-laws, important clients and many more.
Believed to possess various advantages for human health, bird’s nest is perhaps most recognised for its anti-ageing properties. Thanks to its components, it can rejuvenate a person from the inside out. Read on to find out the three ways this delicacy can help to defy the effects of ageing.
Bird’s Nest Benefits for Healthy Ageing
More than just a delicacy, bird’s nest is also a healing food It’s been known to promote immunity, combat fatigue and act as an anti-inflammatory and antiviral agent. Moreover, it can also provide essential nutrients for pregnant women and boost libido in men.
In addition, bird’s nest is also well-known for its anti-ageing perks:
One of the benefits of bird’s nest is that it has anti-ageing properties, boosts cell regeneration and enhances skin appearance. In ancient times, it was used by the court and upper-class ladies to maintain their beauty and youth. Today, it is one of the popular ingredients in skincare products.
Some studies have found that bird’s nest contains the Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), also known as the gene of beauty – that makes this possible. EGF is responsible for reproducing keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Keratinocytes improve the skin barrier, while fibroblasts play a huge role in wound healing and influencing skin elasticity. Therefore, EGF’s role in stimulating keratinocytes and fibroblasts helps promote skin cell metabolism, with skin lightening and moisturising effects.
Increased respiratory health
Anti-ageing isn’t just about maintaining a youthful appearance anymore. It’s also about caring for our internal health to gain a longer life. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), bird’s nest is thought to help achieve it by elevating respiratory health.
It provides cooling effects on the Lungs and stomach when they lack yin while relieving thirst, sore throat and chronic dry coughs at the same time. For these reasons, bird’s nest has long been used by patients with respiratory problems, such as cold, influenza and asthma. Its prowess has been documented in the ancient Chinese literature texts, Bencao Gangmu Shiyi (本草纲目拾遗) and Bencao Qiu Zhen (本草求真), which hailed its effectiveness in curing tuberculosis, chronic diarrhoea and lung infections.
Improved overall health
More than mere folk medicine, science has proven that bird’s nest has anti-virus potential. Studies discovered that it owes this benefit to its two compounds, sialic acid and thymol derivative.
Found in several tissues and fluids in humans, sialic acid is the major carbohydrate in bird’s nest. Besides having antiviral effects, sialic acid has also been discovered effective in brain development and maintaining immunity.
Likewise, TCM also considers bird’s nest a great booster for the immune system. It believes this ingredient achieves this through its ability to improve qi in the body. It can also stimulate appetite, digestion and bowel movements.
Bird’s nest has been dubbed by many as a “beauty food” because of its capacity to better skin conditions. More than skin-deep, it can help care for our respiratory system and immunity. A true age-defying food, it can help us live longer and give us a better quality of life.
This is an adaptation of an article, “The Gift Of Youth”, which first appeared on Eu Yan Sang website.
- Frontiers. 2022. Anti-Wrinkle Efficacy of Edible Bird’s Nest Extract: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Comparative Study. [online] Available at: <https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2022.843469/full> [Accessed on 23 July 2022]
- Pharmacognosy Magazine, 2020. Anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing activities of edible bird’s nest in human skin keratinocytes and fibroblasts, [online] [Accessed on 11 Aug 2022]
- National LIbrary of Medicine, 2022. Anti-Wrinkle Efficacy of Edible Bird’s Nest Extract: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Comparative Study, [online] [Accessed on 11 August 2022]
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