Memory loss and the menopause

A well known impact of the menopause, is often problems with memory and there has been some indication that the onset of Alzheimers Disease is affected by the loss of oestrogen following natural or surgical menopause.

However, three herbs are thought to help some of the symptoms associated with Alzheimers; Sage, Rosemary and Wormwood are all undergoing trials for their “nicotinic activity” at present. It is known that in Alzheimers patients, the loss of nicotinic ability, that is the synthesis of acetylcholine, affects memory and understanding.

Whilst synthetic nicotine style drugs are currently being tested in America, the long term effects of them are un-known, and it is thought that a variety of herbs contain such nicotine binding compounds and will provide a more stable and reliable source in the future.

Please remember though, do not try swallowing any of the herbs mentioned in the raw state or drink Absinthe (from Wormwood). Other herbal remedies for memory loss include:

  • Arctium lappa (Burdock)
  • Centella asiatica (Gota kola)
  • Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng)
  • Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo)
  • Mentha piperita (Peppermint)
  • Oplopanax horridum (Devils club)
  • Panax ginseng (Chinese ginseng, Korean ginseng)
  • Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)
  • Zanthoxylum clava-herculis (Southern prickly ash)
  • Zingiber officinale (Ginger)
  • Ayurvedic herbal formulation

These are used to improve memory, concentration and personality. They are described in ancient Ayurvedic medical texts and have been used in India for centuries. Smriti Rasayans (memory rejuvenators), as they are called, include indigenous Indian herbs like Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri), which is taken by millions of people in India to promote good memory and circulation.

ecent extensive clinical and experimental trials in postgraduate medical and drug research institutes in Lucknow, Benares and Madras show that Brahmi “not only arrests further loss but also slows down the process of subsequent reduction in senile dementia”. The herb has been shown to arrest memory loss due to normal aging.  It is important, however, to consult an appropriately qualified practitioner for advice before you start taking an of these herbs.  Other methods of improving memory are related to:

Diet and Nutrition:

  • Avoid foods with preservatives
  • Avoid foods with added dyes
  • Avoid foods that are not organically grown
  • Absolutely no NutraSweet® (Aspartame)
  • Eliminate foods that cause an allergic response or to which there is a sensitivity (fast, use an elimination diet, or allergy test to isolate such foods)
  • Avoid sugar and alcohol

Vitamins and Minerals:

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 15-30 mg.
  • Vitamin B6: 20 – 50 mg.
  • Vitamin B12: 1000 mcg. once a week
  • Vitamin E: 400 – 800
  • Choline: 250 mg.

Supplements:

  • Amino Acids: 1 tablet
  • Phosphatidylserine: 100 mg.
  • L-Acetyl-Carnitine: 500 mg.
  • Some homoeopathic remedies may also improve memory and concentration

Other activities:

  • Read intellectually stimulating articles
  • Do word puzzles, such as crosswords
  • Take a class in a subject that interests you
  • Physical exercise such as Tai Chi coordinates movements between different extremities
  • Cranial manipulation
  • Replace mercury amalgam dental fillings with porcelain or other materials
  • Avoid sources of aluminium (ie deodorants, aluminium cookware, polluted water) and lead toxicity (ie lead paint, lead water pipes)
  • Avoid toxic hydrocarbons (ie gasoline, pesticides/insecticides, formaldehyde, carpet glue)

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