In the latest Remedies magazine, Maria Noel Groves discusses how to Break Through Brain Fog..
"Brain drain happens to many of us. It puts you at greater risk of cognitive impairment and conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's - with one in seven older Americans affected - but memory glitches, brain fog and attention issues affect all ages.'
She mentions that culprits may vary, but may include:
- insufficient sleep
- too much stress
- insufficient exercise and social time
- chronic disease
- drug side effects
- junky diet
However, in one study, 9 out of 10 people with memory loss associated with Alzheimer's saw a reversal of symptoms following an holistic, multi-faceted plan geared to them. This covered things like:
- herbs and dietary supplements
- clean diet
- If you are deficient, then Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and omega 3s may play a role in cognitive wellbeing
- Gotu Kola (centella asiatica), used in Ayurvedic medicine: preliminary animal and human studies support the herb's ability to improve cognitive performance, working memory, and mood, while reducing age-related decline. It also helps stress reduction
- Ashwagandha (withania somnifera) - helps improve vitality and decreases anxiety and inflammation. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of healthy adults, ashwagandha capsules (500mg: 2 x day) for 2 weeks, significantly improved reaction time, and test scores in healthy young adults, including alertness, attention, speed, and sensory-motor performance
- Rhodiola (rhodiola rosea) In one clinical study, students performed better during stressful exams. In another, hospital night shift workers experienced less fatigue and improved mental function.
- Tulsi (ocimum sanctum) or holy basil. Tests suggest it inhibits enzymes that interfere with neurotransmitter function and also improves cognition while offering neuroprotective antioxidant benefits
- Many mint-family herbs, like spearmint, peppermint, lemon balm, sage, rosemary offer benefits for the brain. Their invigorating scents, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, circulation-enhancing properties play a role, but research has focussed on their ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AChE). ‘this work improves th activity of neurotransmitters that aid brain function and tent to diminish with cognitive issues and again.Highlights of some of these studies include:
- 1600mg lemon balm improved memory performance in as little as one hour
- 750mg rosemary improved memory speed in older adults, but megadoses worsened it.
- spearmint extract improved attention, concentration, memory and planning older adults.
- Lion’s mane (hericium erinaceus) helps nerve cells regenerate - once considered impossible - looks like it contains nerve growth factors that help stimulate nerve growth, heal nerve damage, improve cognition, and fight dementia. In a small study, 30 older Japanese men and women who took 3 grams of powdered lion’s mane (in capsules, divided up throughout the day) performed significantly better on cognitive tests at 2, 3, and 4 months compared to the placebo group. It’s important to continue taking the herb for these results.
- Green tea (camelia saneness) may reduce the risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment in the elderly. For healthy adults, green tea increases brain activity and working memory, as scores on cognitive tasks. Japanese researchers testing elderly patients with mild to severe dementia found that 3 months of green tea (2-4 cups daily) improved dementia assessment scores and short-term memory.
Maria Noel Groves RH (AHG) www.wintergreenbotanicals.com
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