It is since the first recorded instances of our history that, amongst so many other things and dreams and values that have changed profoundly, we can recognize one constant, longing desire in both men and women – that of never losing the pristine health and fresh beauty so typical of youth. Youth is a synonym, in every culture, of joy, beauty, and strength – and thus, every recorder culture in human history has somehow tried to mantain, if not actual youth, at least its appearance, for as long as possible, in a fight against perceived decay that led to the creation and first conception of anti age treatments.
The end result of all this is a multi-million-dollar business, which exists in all modern Countries – a deluge of lotions, creams, pills, and all sorts of product which make a single promise to men and women sharing that ancient dream: that of mantaining their youthful looks for a longer time, or of regaining their younger appearance if it has been lost due to the advance of age. But as we said, this desire is nothing new – and neither is the idea of anti-age treatments to fulfill it, which has been a constant in all of the historical cultures that have come before ours.
We can recognize two amongst the most ancient cultures in which scholars and archaeologists have found significant traces of the attempts to slow down the effects of age, or stop them, with anti-age treatments, in the Chinese and the Egyptians. We know that in both societies active efforts were made to mantain health and youth, both with the application of mineral-based remedies and with the adoption of physical and dieting regimens. All effects of such practices were noted and studied as the basis for future experimentation, although unfortunately, lacking deep scientific understanding of the body and the processes going on inside it, many of such treatments were never destined to have any effect at all.
Meanwhile, in ancient India, attention was turned more heavily to the effects of specific mixtures of herbs, used to prepare anti-aging treatments such as potions meant to regenerate the body and its health, and great care was given to the supposed power of the mind over the body and its workings, leading to the many practices of Yoga and Ayurveda, which were earnestly thought to have the power to slow down the aging process and the degeneration it brings. And if we want to examine a time period closer to ours, and a place geographically more familiar for many of us, we need look no further than our very own Middle Ages and Renaissance periods to study the intense activity of the Alchemists to develop a method for distillation of the Elixir of Life, the quintessential solution to all problems of age.
We nowadays make use of far more refined methods, and science has allowed us to produce far more effective anti-age treatments than those applied in the past; however, there is a whole history, as we've seen, behind those same problems we feel today and the same efforts we make to solve them – a history which goes back to the very roots of our cultures.