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Give Your Memory a Boost with these 10 Herbs

How many times have you forgotten somebody's name, where you've put your keys, or if you've locked the front door? Occasional forgetfulness or loss of short-term memory may indicate specific factors and causes, which may be attributed to alcohol, tobacco use, certain medications, sleeplessness, stress and depression, nutritional deficiency, head injury or even a stroke. But while it is normal to forget things every once in a while, forgetting how to use the telephone or how to find your way home may indicate a more serious memory problem.

 

So, whether it's to prevent or treat memory loss, these natural herbs have served as timeless aids. Let's take a look:  

 

1. Gingko Biloba

Herbs for memory

This popular herbal supplement is well-known for its many therapeutic benefits, particularly, its power to enhance memory. Studies conducted on this herbal supplement have found gingko's potency in aiding memory and thinking among individuals with Alzheimer's or vascular dementia. Gingko is said to work by protecting the nerve cells damaged by these disorders to improve learning, daily activities, social behavior, as well as reduce feelings of depression. Further tests conducted on gingko have also found that it can improve blood circulation along the central nervous system, promoting brain development and functioning. But what makes gingko so potent? Gingko leaves contain flavonoids and terpenoids, both of which have antioxidants to combat free radicals that contribute to health disorders like Alzheimer's and dementia.

 

2. Ginseng

Herbs for memory

Studies have found ginseng to yield promising results when used as a form of treatment for memory impairment. In the studies conducted, mice given dosages of ginseng extracts showed remarkable improvements in water maze tasks. Ginseng was shown to activate neurotransmitter activities that promote memory enhancement.

 

3. Rosemary

Herbs for memory

Traditionally, this aromatic herb has long been used to improve memory. Like gingko, rosemary has been shown to contain antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. When used in aromatherapy, rosemary has also been found to reduce cortisol levels in the brain, thereby reducing anxiety. Furthermore, when combined with other essential oils, rosemary has been shown to alleviate stress and increase concentration and memory of graduate nursing students.

 

4. Sage

Herbs for memory

Studies have found that sage contains active ingredients that boost the chemicals that trigger transmission of messages within the brain. Scientists from the Universities of Newcastle and Northumbria also tested the herb on 44 people. Half the group were given sage, while the other half were given a placebo. Results showed that those who were given sage performed better in a word recall test.

 

5. Green Tea

Herbs for memory

Green tea is best known for its antioxidant properties. Scientific research conducted in March 2013, confirmed that green tea extracts help shield proteins and lipids (fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K) from age associated activities caused by oxidation. In the study, animals treated with green tea extracts showed better spatial learning abilities. Furthermore, studies suggest that the plant can protect the hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for emotion, memory and the autonomic nervous system) from age-related decline.

 

6. Rhodiola Rosea

Herbs for memory

Rhodiola Rosea has long been used to treat various kinds of illnesses. But, rhodiola is best known for enhancing memory. In fact, it is considered to be one of the best herbs to do so. Studies have also discovered that rhodiola not only has the ability to improve one's focus and memory, it can also relieve depression. Furthermore, researchers believe that this herb contains adaptogenic qualities which stimulate the central nervous system of the body, resulting in enhanced memory and concentration. Another study also found that taking rhodiola regularly increases memorization abilities.

 

7. Bacopa

Herbs for memory

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Bacopa has a long history. It was used in ayurveda (a 5000-year-old ancient system of natural healing) to enhance learning, concentration and memory. Numerous studies conducted on bacopa found it to be an effective herb in improving one's memory and mental function. In one study, conducted in Australia, 46 volunteers aging from 18 to 60 were divided into two groups. In one group, each volunteer was given 300mg of bacopa everyday. After 12 weeks, the subjects' verbal learning abilities, speed of information processing, and memory significantly improved.

 

8. Gotu Kola

Herbs for memory

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Gotu Kola shows promising results in enhancing memory and improving brain function. In traditional Chinese and ayurvedic medicine, gotu kola has also been used in rejuvenating the mind and the body. In fact, it is considered to be an anti-aging herb. Studies have found that gotu kola contains certain substances that increase brain power and improves blood circulation to the brain, resulting in better memory, concentration, intelligence and attention span.

9. Periwinkle

Herbs for memory

This herb is best known for its antispasmodic, antibacterial, anti-cancer and sedative effects. It is also a great herb to use to enhance memory. The seeds and leaves in periwinkle contain a blood thinner that improves circulation of the blood to the brain, promoting better oxygen use. It also prevents any damages to the blood vessels, preventing dementia and senility. Furthermore, it encourages the brain to absorb more nutrients, significantly improving its functions. By increasing oxygen supply to the brain, cognitive and memory abilities are significantly enhanced.  

 

10. Blueberries

Herbs for memory

Modern science has discovered that blueberries contain powerful compounds like flavanoids, believed to be effective in enhancing learning ability, cognitive functions, verbal comprehension, numerical ability, decision making, reasoning ability, and more importantly, memory. Eating foods rich in flavanoids regularly, helps in slowing down the decline in cognitive ability, offering protection against diseases like dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Moreover, a study conducted at Harvard University found that eating blueberries helps in boosting brain power. It has also been found to stave off cognitive decline and prevent memory loss, that is normally associated with aging.

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