Memory loss is common, and pretty much expected as we age. But there are many things we can do to keep our memory sharp like meditating, playing mental games to keep our wits sharp, and eating healthy food like fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and getting exercise on a regular basis. There are two types - short term where more immediate information is forgotten, and long term where long term past events cannot be recalled.
Symptoms of short term loss may be as minor as forgetting your keys or an item at the grocery store which is annoying, but fairly harmless. Other situations like forgetting the stove is on can have more serious consequences. More serious symptoms may include confusion and an inability to concentrate. Long term loss includes no sense of time or place, inability or difficulty in recognizing others or past events. Depression is one of the more serious side effects.
Memory loss can be caused by poor nutrition, aging, medication side effects, thyroid disease, vitamin deficiency, poor cardiac health, exposure to heavy metals and free radical damage. Poor concentration and depression can also factor in loss of memory function. Short-term loss may be caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Severe memory loss and dementia can be caused by Alzheimer's disease, successive strokes, cardiac arrest or a brain injury.
Memory loss could be associated with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. If you are concerned about your memory loss, see your care provider.
- Ginkgo biloba this herb is well-known for its ability to help the memory. It increases circulation to the brain, allowing brain cells to get better nutrition. Take 120 mg three times a day.
- Rosemary this herb is symbolic of remembrance. It is also an energizing tonic for the circulatory system to improve blood flow to the brain. The essential oil of this herb can also help improve the memory.
- Sage this herb is traditionally associated with longevity and for restoring memory in the elderly. Sage is a potent anti-oxidant that helps reduce symptoms of aging. Use an extract daily to treat senile dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
- Ginseng this herb can improve memory, attention span and boost your mood. It can also ease anxiety, increase physical and mental endurance and improve test scores. Siberian ginseng boosts concentration and focus.
- Gotu kola studies have proven this herb to be beneficial for memory, concentration and mental ability.
- Yerba mate this stimulating herb can help increase concentration and ease depression.
- Green tea the anti-oxidant qualities of this herb can help prevent free radical damage and damage due to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) to the brain. Drink this tea daily for the best results.
- Club moss this herb contains a compound known as huperzine A which is used more and more frequently to treat dementia. Studies have shown that this herb makes improvements in memory, cognition and behavior. The recommended dose is 1 to 4 tablets per day.
- Turmeric this herb contains curcumin, which can help improve the memory. You can find turmeric in curry or take supplements.
- Guarana - can stimulate mental alertness Take according to manufacturers instructions and heed cautions.
- Cinnamon this herb boosts brain activity. Just smelling this herb can lift the mood and improve cognitive functioning.
- Brahmi - used traditionally as a memory tonic, take as tablet or liquid extract form three times a day or as directed. - long history of being used as a memory tonic by Chinese Herbalist.
- Basil the essential oil of this herb can also help improve brain function just by using it as aromatherapy.
- Sage and Lemon Balm - Sage and lemon balm essential oil has been reported as reducing memory loss - use these oils in a carrier oil in a massage.
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