Over the years, experts have identified several herbs for dementia that people with the illness can take to improve brain health. Scientists have studied some of these herbs for their effect on dementia and others have been tested for the effect they have on cognition which is the mental process involved in understanding, thinking, remembering, and learning.
Here are some herbs that may be beneficial for natural dementia treatment.
Many people recognize this herb for its pungent smell. Studies reveal that sage might also help treat dementia and enhancing cognition. One of the research reviews that was published back in 2017 stated that sage is rich in compounds that are beneficial for both neurological and cognitive function.
Rosemary is indeed a great herb for cooking different cuisines. What you may not know is that this herb with a lovely smell also contains some anti-inflammatory properties that can assist with memory issues.
It produces similar results to those of numerous Alzheimer’s drugs. A controlled study with seniors showed that rosemary promotes memory and performance.
Another way persons with dementia can use rosemary is through aromatherapy where they get to utilize the potential of the herb’s potent essential oil.
It is not possible to mention herbs for dementia without talking about ginseng. The herb has numerous benefits that include reducing inflammation, improving brain function, and reducing stress levels.
A high percentage of people with dementia will benefit from ginseng treatment as it is known to clinically improve cognition.
Turmeric is rich in a compound known as curcumin which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These are two major factors that not only benefit brain health but your overall health as well.
A review that was published in 2010 research suggests that turmeric may stave off dementia and boost brain health by getting rid of a protein fragment known as beta-amyloid.
Note that the build-up of these protein fragments is what leads to the formation of Alzheimer’s related brain plaques.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. Additionally, turmeric may help to inhibit the breakdown of brain nerve cells which, in turn, protects brain health.
Also known as red sage root or dan shen, this is an essential herb in Chinese medicine. Traditionally, it was mostly administered for its calming effect.
Modern scientific experiments disclose that salvia is helpful when it comes to enhancing microcirculation by dilating blood vessels which then improves blood circulation. In addition to this, it can also help to slow blood clotting.
This is another plant that makes it on the list of herbs for dementia. It belongs to the tomato family and is native to the dry regions of Northern Africa, India, and the Middle East, For years, it has been a staple for ayurvedic medicine because it promotes healthy sleep, fights disease, and restores energy.
Recently, studies have shown that it also has the potential to improve memory and learning. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend the herb as an agent for fighting forgetfulness and as a brain booster.
Researchers at Newcastle University reported that ashwagandha inhibits the formation of beta-amyloid plaques. These are the plaques that accumulate in the brains of persons with neurodegenerative illnesses like dementia and are known to be toxic to cells in the human brain.
Scientists at the National Brain Research Centre also tested the herb on mice with Alzheimer’s. The mice recorded improved cognitive performance after 20 days of undergoing treatment. After 30 days, the study reveals that the brain function of the sick mice returned to normal and the amyloid plaques that were in the mice’s brain reduced significantly.
It is not possible to talk about herbs for dementia without mentioning Ginkgo Biloba. Commonly taken in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the herb has been used for a long time to treat dementia.
The experts who advocate for Ginkgo Biloba claim that it helps to promote blood flow by stimulating circulation something that enhances cognitive function. Conclusive research still needs to be done on the herb because studies generate mixed results.
In popular alternative medicine systems like TCM and Ayurveda, Gotu kola has been used to improve mental clarity for a long time. Animal-based research also confirms that the herb can help fight oxidative stress which is beneficial for brain health.
A preliminary study that was published in 2003 in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology & Physiology states that tests of rats concluded that Gotu kola has the potential to stop oxidative stress associated with Alzheimer’s, and it may also boost cognitive function.
Most people will consume lemon balm in tea form to ease insomnia and anxiety. These are two symptoms that are common with dementia. Studies show that this herb can also heighten cognitive function reason it is listed among herbs for dementia.
A study published in 2003 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry explained that 42 patients with Alzheimer’s took lemon balm extract or a placebo for 4 months. When the study came to an end, it was recorded that those who were taking lemon balm showed improvements in cognitive function when compared to the ones who were on the placebo.
In China, it is estimated that more than 100,000 individuals with dementia have been treated using Huperzine A which is used to treat AD and other types of dementia in the region. It is extracted or manufactured from club moss extract.
Traditionally, it was mainly used to treat inflammation and fever. The herb has also been known to reduce cell injury from epilepsy, strokes, and other disorders.
The use of herbs and natural remedies is quite promising when it comes to early treatment of dementia and other conditions that involve poor memory.
While taking herbs for dementia may be considered beneficial for the brain, it is important to seek medical advice before you start taking the herbs so that you can get the green light on whether to continue or not.
Keep in mind that it is best to add small amounts of herbs and spices to your food or beverage and more is not better as it can lead to adverse side effects.