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Article: WHAT IS “VEGAN COLLAGEN”? And how can I stimulate collagen naturally?

WHAT IS “VEGAN COLLAGEN”? And how can I stimulate collagen naturally?

WHAT IS “VEGAN COLLAGEN”? And how can I stimulate collagen naturally?

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body, making up 90% of the organic bone matrix and 90% of connective tissue. Collagen is present in your tendons, fat, ligaments, joints, connective tissue, bones and intestinal barrier. Its presence ensures that it is all strong and healthy. Think of collagen as the glue that holds your body together, the more we nourish our own collagen receptors, the more collagen we will naturally produce.

Studies show that there are at least 28 different types of collagen, but types I, II and III in particular make up the bulk in our bodies - between 80-90%. Types I and III are said to provide structure to the skin, muscles and ligaments, while type II is found in cartilage and the eyes.


First, your body primarily uses vitamin C and protein from your diet to produce small molecules called procollagen. As more procollagen molecules are produced, they begin to bond together. These clumps of glued procollagen molecules are called fibrils. When you look under a microscope, fibrils look like small strings. As the fibrils connect and anchor, they begin to resemble a net. We call this fully formed network collagen. Three fundamental aspects for producing collagen are: vitamin C, minerals and amino acids.

Most people eat more protein in an effort to increase their collagen levels. More often than not, there is enough protein in your diet, much of which comes from the fruits and vegetables that many of us consume. Studies show that vitamin C and antioxidants are absolutely essential for collagen synthesis. Based on several studies, such as ( this English link) , it appears that without the centralized aspect of vitamin C within collagen production, the body is unable to produce or metabolize collagen efficiently.


Without vitamin C (English link) disrupts collagen production and this can lead to a wide range of problems throughout the body. Vitamin C deficiency, although uncommon in the Western world, results in your connective tissues and bones being unable to produce collagen properly. The body literally falls apart when collagen is broken down and not replaced. This results in joints that begin to wear out as your tendons weaken.
Unfortunately, humans are unable to produce vitamin C themselves and must rely on food and supplements as a source. The best food sources of vitamin C have one thing in common: they are all plant-based.


There is no such thing as “vegan collagen” per se. What does exist are plants that stimulate and protect our own body's collagen production. Within nature's pharmacopoeia, there are a plethora of herbs, foods, flowers, roots and algae that have been studied and can greatly aid in the synthesis and production of collagen. Many of the medicinal herbs that naturally fall into this category have been used for centuries for many functions other than 'collagen'. They have a long historical use as "anti-aging" plants that have strengthening, mineralizing, immune protective properties across the board. With added beautifying elements such as skin cleansing, hair strengthening and more.

For example, Horsetail ( Equisetum arvense ) and Stinging Nettle ( Urtica dioica), with their powerful mineralizing abilities, are known to strengthen hair follicles and tendons and support bone health. Mineralizing herbs such as Horsetail and Nettle have been used for bone strengthening. Other well-known herbs that also stimulate collagen production are the powerful rejuvenators such as He Shou Wu ( Fallopia multiflora ), Shisandra ( Schisandra chinensis ), Gynostemma (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) . Well-known skin regenerants such as Calendula (Calendula officinalis ), Comfrey ( Symphytum officinale) and Nettle ( Urtica dioica ) also stimulate the production of collagen.

As mentioned above, vitamin C is a crucial part of the proper assimilation of both animal collagen and vegan collagen boosters. Vitamin C plays a central role in the production and activation of collagen receptors. Particularly potent vitamin C and high antioxidant sources include Acerola cherry ( Malpighia emarginata ), Amla fruit ( Phyllanthus emblica ), Camu Camu ( Myrciaria dubia ), Mangosteen peel ( Garcinia mangostana ), Hibiscus ( Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ) and more.

He Shou Wu: An adaptogenic root that has been used for over 3,000 years. He Shou Wu has the remarkable ability to prevent hair loss and restore your own rich hair color to white or graying hair. Known for its high zinc content, which is one of the most important components of your hair growth, and the restoration of the color of your hair.

Nettles (Stinging Nettle): The leaves of the nettle are rich in silica, sulfur, vitamins A, B and K. Potassium and protein. This makes it an excellent way to strengthen your hair follicles and your hair itself. It also helps prevent easy breakage and damage.

Mangosteen: A highly respected skin healer, it is classically used in beauty rituals throughout Latin America. Contains a wide range of polysaccharide and xantone compounds.

Gynostemma: It is not without reason that it is called the immortality herb. Gynostemma is a natural antioxidant and a rich source of healthy vitamins and minerals. It has proven stress and immune protective abilities.

Comfrey (Comfrey): Comfrey has a long history of use in treating wounds, skin ulcers, bruises, sprains and strains. Used since ancient times by herbalists to strengthen bones and aid in the repair of broken bones.

Chia seeds: “Chia” means strength. It contains omega-3 fatty acids and possesses an abundance of nutrients known to stimulate your hair growth, prevent hair loss, increase your skin's elasticity, stimulate collagen production and reduce inflammation.

Calendula: One of the oldest of all cultivated flowers, used for centuries as food and medicine. It helps heal wounds, burns and rashes. Calendula has gentle and powerful antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Moringa: Moringa is abundant in antioxidants including vitamin A (builds collagen) vitamin C and vitamin E. It prevents acne and blackheads.

Horsetail (Horsetail): Horsetail is the most common source of silica in the plant world. Horsetail supports the health of bones, hair growth, joints and nails.


According to scientific studies, we start producing less collagen at the age of 25. Yet this is all variable and depends on the lifestyle of each individual. Maintaining a diet naturally rich in vitamin C sources, antioxidants, clean proteins and mineralizers will lead to normal aging as it provides the essential building blocks to stay healthy, both inside and out. Another important factor for the decrease in collagen levels is stress. One of the major components of oxidative and cellular damage is exposure to emotional, mental and biological stressors that contribute to aging. Other factors that can contribute to collagen deficiency include exposure to heavy metals, toxic chemicals, chronic diseases, hormonal imbalances, smoking, drinking, drugs, not getting enough sleep, leading a stressful life, lack of exercise, etc.

Below are just some of the highest Vit-C fruits, herbs and vegetables known to naturally support and stimulate our collagen receptors:

  • Acerola cherries
  • Rose hips
  • Guavas, Melon
  • Berries (especially wild berries)
  • Black berries
  • Thyme*
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Camu Camu (60x more Vit C per serving than an orange)
  • Moringa
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bell pepper
  • Citrus (particularly the peel)

*Thyme: Fresh thyme has three times more vitamin C than oranges and has one of the highest vitamin C concentrations of any culinary herb!


Another fascinating element that many of these herbs have in common is their energetic and chemical properties. These bone-strengthening types of herbs are naturally rich in silica, calcium and minerals, which helps with bone strength and healing of bone fractures. Some of these herbs are astringent (absorb each other, work together), but contain what I like to call the "sacred glue", it is an essential glue (a demulcent, soothing quality) within the plant that once metabolized produces an incredibly powerful becomes food for our bones, connective tissue, skin and more. Just like the "glue" that animal collagen is known for! Some of the herbs that contain this mucilage and which also greatly aid our digestion and stimulate collagen production include Marshmallow, Horsetail, Cornsilk, Comfrey, Chlorella, Spirulina, Slippery Elm and more.

Not many herbs contain these two oppositional natures - astringent and demulcent. Therefore, it is important that this food is consumed to experience its incredible health benefits. Many of these herbs have been widely studied scientifically, supporting ancient folkloric uses among many cultures around the world.

1. ANTI-AGING ADAPTOGEN: HE SHOU WU | Polygonum multiflorum , also known as Fo-Ti

The root of the fo-ti plant can restore your fertility, help maintain your hair color, boost energy, rejuvenate your nerves and brain cells, strengthen your kidneys and liver, strengthen your bones and purify your blood. Athletes use it to improve performance and shorten recovery time.

This adaptogenic root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 3,000 years. Legend has it that the man who first discovered fo-ti was delighted that with regular use his natural dark hair color and sexual virility were revived. It is said that he lived to be around 160 years old. Since then, fo-ti has been regarded as a kind of fountain of youth, as the elixir of life within Eastern traditions.

There are literally thousands of reports and a handful of clinical studies of fo-ti (or preparations including the herb) demonstrating a remarkable ability to reverse hair loss and restore the rich color of white or graying hair. Modern use makes He Shou Wu a remarkable adaptogen for its harmonizing effect on the endocrine system (hormone-producing glands) and for its high zinc content, which is one of the most important effects on hair growth and its repair. It is also well known for its jing-preserving properties - our primal energy that nourishes life, sexuality and vital essence, according to traditional Chinese medicine.

Due to its longevity (including superoxide dismutase, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants for the human body), it is precisely this antioxidant that has been linked to reversing disease, increasing immune protection and life expectancy. Some of the more notable studies show its ability to protect bones from oxidative stress, it has chemo-protective properties, increasing natural killer cells providing anti-cancerous support to various cancers and being neuro-protective.

He Shou Wu (Fo-Ti):

2. ANCIENT "BONE HEALER": HEERMOES | Equisteum arvense, spp.

Horsetail is one of the oldest plants in the world. The hollow stems and shoots of horsetail are a rich source of naturally occurring calcium, magnesium, potassium and other valuable nutrients (including silica crystals). Many of horsetail's medicinal properties can be attributed to its high silica content, which is easily absorbed by the human body.

Silica is an essential trace mineral that plays an important role in the development, strengthening and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Silica also repairs weak connective tissues in blood vessels, cartilage, tendons and in collagen, the body glue that helps hold our skin and muscle tissues together. Silica accelerates the healing of bone fractures, is said to help rheumatism and arthritis by improving joint elasticity and is recommended to athletes for sprains, pulled hamstrings and torn ligaments.

Horsetail (Horsetail):

3. THE IMMORTAL: GYNOSTEMMA | Gynostemma pentaphyllum, also known as Jiaogulan

Gynostemma is not called the immortality herb for nothing. It was originally brought to scientific attention because population studies showed that those who consumed it regularly lived longer and significantly healthier lives.

Gynostemma contains more than 80 different saponins (gypenosides) compared to the 28 found in ginseng. In addition to these saponins, gynostemma is a natural antioxidant and a rich source of healthy vitamins and minerals. Many people suggest that gynostemma is one of the best adaptogens found in nature, also called biological response modifiers.

Researchers believe the main reason for this overall benefit is that it contains two very important antioxidants, glutathione and superoxide dismutase. A clinical study showed that taking gynostemma, every day, for a period of two months reduced many of the signs of aging, including fatigue, insomnia, memory loss, diarrhea and poor balance. The anti-aging benefits of gynostemma come from its many rejuvenating properties, all of which serve to protect the body from the damaging effects of stress.

Gynostemma has been used for thousands of years for its broad healing abilities. It is often used for its stimulating effects, digestive aid, cardiovascular health and hormone balancing properties. Its demulcent (soothing) properties give an extraordinary nourishing power to the intestine, which is why it is often used for weight loss, as it helps to flush the intestinal walls and at the same time has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Gynostemma (Jiaogulan):


Nettles contain a high amount of calcium, silica and sulfur, making it an excellent source for stimulating collagen receptors. Nettles are often used in beauty products such as shampoo and soap, as it restores, repairs and is known for its antiseptic properties. Nettle is a valuable tonic that can support the immune, spleen, circulatory, urinary, nervous, respiratory, digestive and endocrine systems including the adrenal glands, thyroid and pancreas. In-vivo and in-vitro studies have also shown that it has the ability to protect you against neurodamage, protect your immune system, strengthen your bones and even support the health of your prostate. A plant of many remedies.

Nettle is a multivitamin. Other nutrients in nettles include calcium, carotene, magnesium, vitamins A, B + K, potassium and protein. Nettle leaves are rich in silica and sulphur, making it an excellent way to strengthen your hair and prevent easy breakage and damage to your hair. Increasing nutrient-rich bloodstream circulation in the scalp helps to nourish each hair follicle, thereby maintaining healthy, long and shiny hair.

Nettle has been used for hair care for centuries. Nettle leaf not only helps control hair loss, but it can also help with hair growth. Nettle leaves are rich in the aforementioned vitamins A, B1, B5, C, D and E. But it also contains flavonoids, essential aids and proteins, nourish the scalp and help promote healthy and shiny hair.

DHT, an androgen hormone and sex steroid, is made as a byproduct of testosterone. Androgens such as DHT bind to receptors on the sebaceous glands, which has an important stimulating effect and, as a result, causes increased production of oil on the skin. Nettle inhibits and reduces DHT and supports the reduction of sebum production and even shrinks the sebaceous glands. This is related to its ability to help prevent hair loss by using it internally, for example as a tea, and externally, for example in shampoo and/or soap.

The astringent properties of nettles can help tighten your skin, possibly prevent eczema and heal minor cuts and bruises. Due to its high antioxidant composition, it helps combat the effects of multiple stressors, protecting our collagen receptors to our endocrine system.


5. THE RADIANT: CALENDULA (Marigold) Calendula officinalis

Calendula has been used since ancient times for its phenomenal ability to repair skin, aid in wound healing and activate collagen receptors. Calendula flowers have long been used in folk therapy and more than 35 properties have been attributed to decoctions and tinctures of the flowers. Its main uses are as remedies for burns (including sunburn), bruises and skin and internal inflammatory diseases of various origins. Folk medicine in various parts of the world have used it for its beautifying properties such as preventing wrinkles. Calendula also provides oxygen compounds in your blood, and it increases your circulation. Modern research has proven many of its healing abilities, along with its extraordinary ability to protect the skin from cellular and oxidative damage.

The antibacterial and immunostimulating properties of the plant make it extremely useful in the treatment of slow-healing cuts, especially in people with a suppressed immune system due to immunosuppressants, for example. The University of Maryland Medical Center has reported research indicating that topical application of calendula cream helps heal wounds and that it acts as a local and internal antiseptic.

Calendula (Marigold):

6. THE QUEEN: MANGOSTEEN ( Garcinia mangostana )

Collagen keeps our skin firm and resilient and protects your skin against wrinkles. Vitamin C's role in collagen production is to interact with amino acids in collagen cells. It adds hydrogen and oxygen to those amino acids so they can do their job in producing your collagen. Mangosteen peel has been touted because not only is it one of nature's highest sources of vitamin C, but it also contains a mega-load of antioxidants.

Mangosteens contain a large amount of polyphenols known as xanthones, which are known for the numerous healing powers it contains. According to scientific studies, xanthones from the pericarp, whole fruit, heartwood and leaf of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) are known to possess a broad spectrum of pharmacological properties (including antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral activities). It also contains promising chemo-preventive and anti-cancer properties.

As far as cosmetics go, its high amount of antioxidants has proven to be an excellent skin tonic. Several studies have shown that the pericarp was particularly successful in curbing inflammation caused by acne, along with other skin diseases (such as cirrhosis, eczema and inflammation-based rashes). In addition to using xanthones to “defend” your skin, the fruit also promotes microcirculation and improves the appearance, vitality and radiance of your skin. Another study showed that mangosteen pericarp extract, due to its phenolic makeup, was able to protect the skin against free radicals, with great potential as an anti-skin cancer agent.


7. VITAMIN C: HIBICUS (Hibiscus sabdariffa)

This beautiful flower is beautiful for many reasons. It has been used for centuries as a blood purifier, but it is best known for its beautifying properties such as nourishing and moisturizing your skin and hair, healing wounds and also helping to stop bleeding. Hibiscus is known to promote a fresher, younger, and smoother-looking complexion.

Because hibiscus is rich in vitamin C, it supports the natural production of collagen and supports collagen synthesis, strengthens bones, prevents elastin breakdown, can protect against wrinkles, helps reduce oxidative stress (with its high levels of antioxidants and beta-carotene). It is also a high source of AHAs that remove dead skin cells and stimulate skin cell turnover. The natural acids in Hibiscus help purify your skin by breaking down dead skin and increasing cell turnover, they can even help control acne breakouts. A small study (English link) showed that hibiscus tea lowered 'HDL' (good) cholesterol, 'LDL' (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. Hibiscus supports your immune system, helps with your digestion and makes you feel full faster, so it can help with weight loss.


8. NATURE'S BIOTIN: AVOCADO (Persea americana)

Like many millennials these days, we are crazy about avocados. Who doesn't love a good avo toast or guac!? However, this trending food is nothing new. It has been a staple food among many indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found evidence of avocado consumption dating back nearly 10,000 years in central Mexico! And it's not just the creamy green goodness of this plant that can be used. The leaves are used, for example, against bruises, sore muscles and skin outbreaks. Even the kernels can be used as an exfoliant for skin repair and rejuvenation. (Tip: try the kernels, grind them finely and put them in a homemade face mask as an exfoliant).

Avocados are a great source of biotin, which is part of the B complex vitamins. Biotin is known to help prevent dry skin when applied to the skin. It can also help prevent brittle hair and nails by eating it or using it as a face and hair mask for an extra hydration boost. Avocado is also very good for your heart and blood vessels, unlike other vegetables, it contains a lot of fat. The fat in the avocado is mainly oleic acid. Oleic acid is an unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fat lowers LDL cholesterol in the blood.


9. POWERFUL SEED: CHIA (Salvia hispanica)

According to the Mayan language, the word 'chia' means strength. Aztec warriors consumed these seeds for their endurance, as just one spoonful of them could sustain them all day. The staple food was even used as currency by the Aztecs, showing how beneficial they are for strength, endurance and energy.

Chia seeds are a perfect superfood. They possess enormous amounts of nutrients with very few calories. If you've ever put chia seeds in water, plant-based milk, or any other liquid, you know what we're talking about. Such a small seed absorbs so much liquid that when you eat it you feel full faster, without extra added calories. But it is by no means “empty” food. It is packed with essential fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids) that stimulate hair follicles to strengthen hair growth and can help control hair loss. Skin oils were created to increase your skin's glow, elasticity, and vitality and reduce inflammation. So this seed is super beneficial, both for external and internal use. Chia seeds themselves have little flavor, so you can easily combine them with anything in the kitchen.

Chia seeds:

THE BONE STRENGTHEN: COMBIN | ( Symphytum officinale)

Comfrey has been used since 400 BC. grown for healing. All medical writings from the Middle Ages have descriptions of the use of comfrey. Comfrey is widely known as "one of nature's greatest medicinal herbs" as described in the United States Pharmacopoeia, as well as in herbal textbooks around the world. Comfrey is a bone-strengthening herb, which is very rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin C. In folk medicines it is called "knitting bone" because there are numerous reports showing its strong anti-inflammatory effects and rapid wound healing. The natural concentration of allantoin is what makes it effective in internal and external healing of broken bones and/or damaged tissue.

In the 1980s, reports showed that comfrey could be potentially poisonous, due to its pyrrolizidine alkaloids. PAs in extremely large doses can cause potentially fatal damage to the liver. However, this study was based on laboratory rats that were fed an extraordinary amount of comfrey isolates over a long period of time. If you study the report, you will learn that an adult human would have to eat more than 19,000 comfrey leaves to ingest an amount of comfrey comparable to the amount given to baby rats in an experiment that resulted in liver damage.

It is sad when government agencies ignore hundreds of years of traditional healing through inadequate research, unfairly creating doubt and fear, and deeming a natural remedy unsuitable for widespread use. Since we will probably never eat 19,000 comfrey leaves in our lifetime, let alone in a short period of time, we like to eat comfrey as food. It is one of the most important foods we use for strengthening bones.

A note about comfrey: Comfrey has been a master plant for years, but we no longer integrate it into our products. Although this plant can be an excellent remedy for those who need help for their bones, ligaments and tissues, it must be taken consciously. When taken in the right dosage and combined with the right herbs, it is an incredible medicine. Read the comfrey thoroughly before using it.


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Adriana Ayales

Anima Mundi

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