Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other cognitive functions. With Alzheimer’s disease, the cells in the brain actually degenerate and die, resulting in memory loss, dementia, confusion, disorientation, and a decrease in overall mental function.
Natural Remedies for Alzheimer’s Disease
Those suffering from Alzheimer’s may find tasks such as speaking, writing, or remembering what they had for breakfast to be difficult. Unfortunately, there is yet no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are some treatments that help prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Even just smelling the aroma of rosemary can be enough to improve memory health, especially prospective memory. Prospective memory is the ability to perform some action in the future, such as remembering to return a phone call.
To reap the benefits of rosemary, steep one teaspoon of dried rosemary (or one sprig of fresh rosemary) in a cup of boiling water for about five minutes, strain, then drink. For extra benefits, keep your own rosemary plant in your window sill and sniff the herb occasionally.
2. American and Asian Ginseng
Asian ginseng has long been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine to help improve memory. Studies have also shown that American ginseng extracts reduce Alzheimer’s-related cell death in animals. While ginseng should not be taken for long periods of time, you can take it in cycles, or simply just add it into your diet occasionally. Consult a holistic practitioner first for appropriate dosage.
3. Ginkgo Biloba
Because it helps improve blood and oxygen flow, gingko biloba is often used to improve brain health and brain functioning. Studies have shown that this herb can improve memory and recognition in those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is also believed that ginkgo can neutralize free radicals in the brain, thereby preventing further harm to the brain cells.
Studies have also shown that this herb can delay the progression of Alzheimer’s by six months. Scientists are not sure what it is about ginkgo that makes it effective for treating Alzheimer’s disease, but few are doubting its ability to do so.
The general dosage is 40 mg, three times per day. Again, consult your practitioner before adding gingko biloba to your memory-strengthening regimen as it may interact with some medications.
4. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm has been used for centuries to help treat and prevent dementia. Studies have suggested that the balm can stimulate receptors in the brain that help acetylcholine transmit nerve signals. Studies have also suggested that lemon balm is extremely effective in fighting off the destructive enzyme that wreaks so much havoc on the memory part of the brain. Do not confuse it with lemongrass, which has not been tested for any brain benefits.
Sage is another herb that helps block the destructive enzyme that attacks the memory. In addition to blocking this enzyme, studies have also suggested that sage can inhibit acetylcholinesterase in a similar fashion to the popular Alzheimer’s drug Aricept.
6. Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
Studies of this herb have shown that it has the ability to dilate blood vessels, which makes it especially appealing to those suffering from brain dysfunction. Cat’s claw helps increase blood flow to the brain, therefore lessening the effects of Alzheimer’s for patients.
7. Black Seed (Nigella Sativa)
Black seeds are full of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties. Studies have proven that individuals that take black seed supplement (two 500 mg capsules every day) showed dramatic improvement in cognition, memory, and attention. If you take the supplement, make sure you run it by your doctor first. You can also take ½ teaspoon of ground black seeds twice daily.
8. Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri)
This is another herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine used to improve cognitive health, thanks to its antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. Brahmi has been shown to help with word recall and reduces depression. You can find this herb in a supplement form or as powder. If you opt for the powder, mix in ¼ teaspoon of it to a glass of warm milk and drink twice daily.
9. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has long been believed to help improve memory and prevent dementia. Coconut oil can be used to cook or bake with, or you can eat straight from the container one teaspoon of organic, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil two times per day.
Alzheimer’s can be an extremely frustrating and disheartening disease, both for the patients and their loved ones. It is a disease that is difficult to understand and researchers still don’t know exactly what causes it. Therefore, to reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer’s and to slow the progression of the disease, it is important to maintain a nutrient-rich diet and to exercise regularly.
By incorporating one or some of the above herbal remedies in addition to a healthy lifestyle, you give yourself much better odds for fighting this awful disease.