memory and mental focus boost with herbs



> Bacopa * Basil * Blueberries * Club Moss * Eleuthero Root * Ginkgo biloba * Ginseng root * Gotu Kola * Holy Basil * Periwinkle * Rhodiola * Rosemary * Sage *

The ability to focus, and channel our concentration into the task at hand, whether its work, reading, or play is more important than ever today. The near constant distractions of the digital age, manifest as ADD, memory lapses, low test scores, mood swings, or senior moments when we cannot find our car keys.


The German Commison E has approved ginseng as a tonic for declining capacity for work and concentration. Although the exact mechanisms of activity are not known, it is likely that ginseng protects a portion of the brain known as the hippocampus from the effects of stress hormones. (Duke,James, Ph.D.) Rhodiola is also an adaptogen and it acts in a similar fashion as ginseng. I Modern research suggests rhodiola may support memory and focus as well as relieve depression. 2 A vast body of research supports numerous health benefits of many herbs from the Ayurvedic tradition including ginkgo, bacopa 4, and Gotu kola, particularly for treating various symptoms and conditions associated with declining cognitive performance and poor circulation. 3

The Arabs, along with everyone from the Chinese to the Gypsies all believed that sage was the key to a long life. This ordinary herb has such a longstanding and familiar use that it leads us to greatly underestimate it. Sage (Salvia officinalis) or Spanish sage (S. lavandulifolia) are two sage species that have been traditionally used for memory problems. Sage oil and sage extracts enhanced memory in studies with young and elderly normal volunteers, and have been shown to have positive cognitive and behavioral effects in clinical studies of patients with AD. 1 Another common culinary herb, Rosemary improves concentration and memory. Greek students would braid Rosemary into their hair to help them with their exams. Modern science attributes much of rosemary's action on the central nervous system to it's potent antioxidant, rosmarinic acid. 9 The uplifting aroma of a fresh sprig of rosemary in the summer air will confirm both the science and history with your own senses.

The informative studies in a lab setting are confirmation of the long history of using herbs in traditional healing to support mental clarity. While many of these herbal treatments may seem new if may be more accurate to view them as things we have forgotten, and are now organically rising in our conscious thoughts again.

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is a group of symptoms that can also cause mood swings, impulsiveness, behavioral and other social problems in both children and adults. Herbs can help with some of the associated symptoms. For example, valerian and chamomile teas can help youngsters with sleeping problems. Ulifting herbs like lemon balm and St. Johns Wort can help relieve depression. For children under 12, use half the adult dosage. Glycerite extracts are easy to give and well tolerated in children.

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References:
books citedWorks Cited
  1. . Evidence of Benefits from Herbal Preparations for Improving Cognition and Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia in the Elderly , American Botanical Council, (4-30-2012): Sage (Salvia officinalis) or Spanish sage (S. lavandulifolia), traditionally used for memory problems, has in vitro and in vivo anti-AChE activity. Sage oil and extracts enhance memory in studies with young and elderly normal volunteers, and have been shown to have positive cognitive and behavioral effects in clinical studies of patients with AD.,
  2. . Special Swedish Rhodiola Extract Shows Benefit in Mild to Moderate Depression in Clinical Trial , HerbClip ABC, (December 14, 2007): In addition to mood elevation, evidence indicates that R. rosea has numerous other benefits, including enhancement of cognitive function, sexual function, and both mental and physical performance under stress. ,
  3. . A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardized extract SHR-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment , Planta Med./ABC, ( November 18, 200): According to the authors, this study is the first to show that rhodiola benefits patients with chronic stress-induced fatigue. Additionally, this study is the first to demonstrate clinically that rhodiola benefits stress-induced disorders by modulating cortisol,
  4. . Centella asiatica , American Journal of Natural Medicine, (1997): Gotu kola has also been shown in a clinical trial to significantly increase mental function, demonstrating a mild tranquilizing and anti-anxiety action.,
  5. Pase MP, Kean J, Sarris J, Neale C, Scholey AB, Stough C. . The cognitive-enhancing effects of Bacopa monnieri: , J Altern Complement Med. , (2012;18(7):647-652): A systematic review of randomized, controlled human clinical trials. Bacopa demonstrates antidementic, antioxidant, and cognitive-enhancing effects in several in vivo and in vitro studies. ,
  6. Krikorian R, Shidler MD, Nash TA, et al. . Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. , J Agric Food Chem. 2010;58(7):3996-4000, (2010): American Botanical Council,
  7. . Vincamine article at NIH.gov , , (): The health benefits of vincamine and related compounds, which are sold as drugs in Europe, relate to the treatment of primary degenerative and vascular dementia. As a dietary supplement, vincamine is promoted as a nootropic.,
  8. HerbalGram . Evidence of Benefits from Herbal Preparations for Improving Cognition and Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia in the Elderly , , (04-30-2012): Lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor) aerial plant and its synthetic alkaloid vinpocetine have been shown to improve blood flow to the brain. Vinpocetine may be able to enhance cognition in patients with dementia, and enhanced memory and learning in patients with vascular dementia.,
  9. Craig, WJ. . Phytochemicals in Herbs Reduce Disease Risks , Phytochemicals: Guardians of our health Journal of the American Dietetic Association., (September 09, 1998): Rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme and other flavoring herbs that belong to the Labiatae (Mint) family are known to possess strong antioxidative activity.,