Herbal Supplements
Memory Problems and Herbal Remedies
Memory is defined in psychology as an organism's ability to store, retain, and subsequently recall information. Unfortunately, these brain functions may decline within time due to the definite causes and factors. Typically, memory problems are connected with the aging, but damage and the action of certain chemical can also be the reason of memory disorders.
Loss of the memory, also known as amnesia, may be the reason of organic (damage to the brain, through trauma or disease, or use of certain, generally sedative, drugs) and functional factors (psychological defense mechanisms). Memory and cognition can also be affected by other neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. A special type of memory disorder (though temporary) is called the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon, when a person has difficulties retrieving words.
Symptoms of the memory disorders vary from person to person. Some patients experience mild problems with word finding and remembering names; others have more serious problems with inability to remember conversations or difficulty functioning in unfamiliar circumstances. Older adults usually experience general worsening of memory performance.
The most common causes of the memory problems are depression, which slows mental processes, stress, which affects the ability to store and recall memory, and ageing. Some memory loss may also occur after the stroke, but within 3-6 months the memory functions usually improve. Sometimes people confuse the cases when they forget this or that word with the memory disorders. The words or names that are seldom used may just “fall out” of the active memory storage, so there's no need to worry if this happens.
Medical Approaches
The treatment of memory disorders mostly depends on the causes of the condition. Memory and cognitive problems can be treated with certain medications and supplements. Cholinesterase inhibitors are usually prescribed to the patients with mild memory problems. Statins, a group of drugs that lower cholesterol levels, reduce amyloid plaque formation helping to treat some kinds of memory disorders. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, etc) may have some effects in preventing Alzheimer's disease. Also, a new class of drugs, B-secretase inhibitors, shows good results in treating memory problems.
Alternative Approaches
Alternative herbal medicine suggests number of herbs and herb combinations to treat memory disorders.
Clinical studies have proved that ginkgo biloba is effective in restoring the functioning of the circulatory system and improving blood flow to the brain. Flavone glycosides (including ginkgolide), bioflavins, sitosterol, lactones and anthocyanin are the active components of the herb that produce beneficial effect.
Ashwaganda modifies the way in which the brain uses acetylcholine, the chemical that transmits signals from the nerve cell to another nerve cell, in this way enhancing memory functions.
The herb that treats a wide range of brain conditions is acorus. The active components of the plant protect brain tissues from toxic free radicals released when there’s an excess of oxygen which causes memory loss or seizures.
Rosmarinus officinalis (or rosemary) is known in folklore as a symbol of remembrance. And there’s a reason for that. It produces healing actions on the circulatory system and improves blood flow to the brain. Moreover, the herb is used as a powerful tonic and overall energizer.
Salvia officinalis possesses anti-oxidant properties and is known to restore memory in the elderly and reduce aging symptoms.
2008-09-08 09:06:52
Excellent website. Thank you.
2007-07-11 21:02:25
Upon discovering herbal supplements I truely feel better. After reading this article I can agree with the types of memory disorders. Unfortunately I suffer from a serious case but am looking forward to experimenting with herbs. Thank you
2007-05-08 04:34:22
I have an under active Thyrioid, it was discovered after I was constantly complaining about my memory problem, I have difficulty with remembering words and numbers. I do believe there is a direct link between the thyroid gland and the brain, that causes the memory loss.
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