By Dr MS Krishnamurthy.
Dementia is a technical term for loss of memory.This may be found as a feature in so many diseases. But two of the leading causes of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and Stroke. One can help to reduce the risk of dementia by making necessary changes in the diet, regular body cleansing and paying attention to few of the natural herbs for dementia.Here is a quick view of this –
Common features of Dementia:
Recent memory loss
Difficulty to undertake even simple and routine tasks
Inability to find articles
Often mood elevations/fluctuations
Sudden changes in the personality or behavior
Lack of motivation
Poor judgement etc
Areas of immediate attention to be taken so as to reverse the process of dementia:
The correctable causes of memory loss are as follows and keen observation and immediate attention will help to reverse the process of dementia. The prime factors that can be considered under this heading are-
- Low thyroid function
- Pre-diabetes or metabolic syndromes
- Deficiencies in B vitamins, especially vitamin B 12
- Vitamin D deficiency
- High cholesterol
- Omega-3 fat deficiencies
- Mercury or other heavy metal toxicity etc
Easier and most essential ways to decrease the chances of Dementia including Alzheimer’s disease:
- Maintainance of minimum Sugar and Fructose level in the body
- Improving the magnesium levels
- Optimizing the Vitamin D levels by safe sun exposure
- Consumption of nutritious diet rich in folate
- High-quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil
- Avoidance of aluminum and its derivatives
- Avoidance of flu vaccinations as most of the products contain mercury and aluminum as common ingredients
Common diseases that are grouped under Dementia:
- Vascular dementia
- Parkinson’s disease
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease or Motor neuron disease)
- Lewy Body dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)
- Huntington’s disease etc
Herbs for Dementia
Hopeful herbal resources useful in Dementia:
The key componenet of turmeric is curcumin; it is helping to ward off dementia and even help current dementia patients. Several published studies have shown that curcumin as an good antioxidant with its significant benefit in dementia.
According to an article published by Duke University, turmeric extracts block the formation of beta-amyloid, which is responsible for the plaques that hinder brain function in the diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Read more: Turmeric – Curcuma longa – Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects
This is known to be a drug of choice to stimulate the nerve endings and to facilitate the oxygen supply to the cells. Its roots have demonstrated its usefulness in cerebro vascular insufficiency, including symptoms like short term memory loss. So its use in early stages of Alzheimer’s will surely benefit to the patients community. Thereby even helping prevent the onset of dementia.
Ashwagandha- Withania somnifera Benefits, Dose, Side Effects, Medicines, Research
Tejapatra (Cinnamon zeylanicum)
Cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin are the two compounds richly found in cinnamon. These have an inhibitory effect on the aggregation of tau, a protein which plays a large role in the structure and function of neurons.As the oxidative damage is the paricular mechanism behind Alzheimer’s disease (and similar diseases of dementia) that can lead to dysfunction,cinnamon stands as a hope in herbal medicine for dementia.
4.Coconut Oil-Due to the richness of ketones which are considered to be the brain foods for the sufferes of Alzheimer’s it is another promising herbal resource for dementia.
5.Vacha (Acorus calamus) It is a stimulant of the brain cells and is an adaptogenic ingredient.
Read: Vacha uses, qualities, side effects
6.Brahmi (Centella asiatica):
It is a mind soothing, memory enhancing herbal drug of proven efficacy.
Read: Brahmi benefits, side effects
7.Dhanyaka (Coriander sativum)
It is rich in anti oxidants and helps in preventing cell degeneration.
8.Maricha (Black Pepper-Piper nigrum)
It is an adaptogenic herbal drug with proven efficacy in modifying the associated ingredient.
9.Lashuna(Garlic-Allium sativum)-This helps to reduce the fat and sugar in the body and hence contributes significantly in promoting the rejuvinatory benefits.
Even though much controversies are found regarding the use of ethnonanoparticles of Rajata(silver)-Rajata bhasma ,Swarna (gold)-Swarna bhasma as per conventional system of medicines like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani etc quite evident results are reported by the clinicians.
Confident formulations of Ayurvedic science for Dementia:
- Brahmi ghrita
- Panchagavya ghrita – Used for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric conditions, epilepsy, insanity, fever, liver diseases such as jaundice.
- Shankhapushpi ghrita
- Medhya ghrita
- Manasamitra vati
- Brahmi vati
- Yashti ghrita
- Vachadi choorna
- Vachadya ghrita
- Swarna vacha – Home Remedy For Immunity, Memory, Intelligence
- Saraswatarishtha etc
Acknowledgement for the authors of below cited references:
- Mishra S et al, The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008 Jan;11(1):13-9. doi: 10.4103/0972-2327.40220.
- Park HJ et al, The Protective Effect of Black Ginseng Against Transient Focal Ischemia-induced Neuronal Damage in Rats. Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2011 Dec;15(6):333-8. doi: 10.4196/kjpp.2011.15.6.333. Epub 2011 Dec 27.
- Mutter, J et al. (2007). Mercury and Alzheimer’s disease. Fortschritte der Neurologie-Psychiatrie 75 (9):528-538.
- Identifying and Characterizing the Effects of Nutrition on Hippocampal MemoryAdv Nutr2014 5 (3) 337S-343S
- Exercise is beneficial for patients with Alzheimer’s disease: a call for action British Journal of Sports Medicine,1 May 2011, 45(6):468-469
- Involvement of Oxidative Stress in Alzheimer Disease: Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology,1 July 2006, 65(7):631-641