Improving Memory, Part 2: Making your mental filing cabinet work better for you

Herbs, diet, essential oils, exercise, supplements, sleep – all can have a part in helping us improve memory.

by Judith G. Cobb, MH, CI, NCP

This article is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. It is meant for educational purposes only. Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health, and Nature’s Sunshine Products accept no responsibility for results you get, whether good or bad, from using this information. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

Note: More information about the products mentioned can be found at the end of the article.  

improve memoryIn Improving Memory, Part 1: Is Your Mental Filing Cabinet Full? we discussed habits, nutrients, and lifestyle changes that can improve memory. In Part 2, we will discuss other natural options.

Herbs

There are several herbs which have been found helpful in improving memory. Blessed thistle, which has been known as a circulatory stimulant, is often used to improve circulation to the head regions. Gotu Kola has long been thought of as brain food. Humbart Santillo indicates that combining golden seal with gotu kola produces a good brain food.

A very popular herb for improving memory and brain power is ginkgo biloba. Studies have shown it to be very effective in improving peripheral blood flow, which makes it useful in treating poor circulation to the brain, Raynaud’s disease, and emphysema. It has also been demonstrated as being beneficial in decreasing blood clotting, improving concentration, reducing ringing in the ears, improving hearing, and increasing energy.

Diet and memory

Remember that your brain uses 20% of your daily caloric intake. This means the quality and quantity of food you consume is really important. If you skimp on calories, eat junk food and wash it down with coffee or soda, you are not providing the energy or the nutrition your brain needs to work well.

Essential oils

Two essential oils that have proven beneficial for memory are lavender and peppermint. A study reported in Phytomedicine1 used rats who had induced dementia. After several exposures to Lavendula angustifolia or Lavendula hybrid, the rats showed improved abilities to form memories during Y-maze and radial arm-maze tasks.

Numerous studies cited in the Journal of the Association of Neurology2 show that peppermint oil enhances brain power for new learning and recalling information.

Fats & oils

Coconut is the new kid on the block. Coconut oil is an excellent source of medium-chain triglycerides which are converted into ketone esters in the liver. Dr. Mary Newport reported that the ketones in coconut oil helped reverse her husband’s symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Coconut oil has been touted for many other things as well – hypothyroidism, weight loss, and immune support, just to name a few. More research is needed on this.

A study conducted by Whalley et al in 20043 showed that omega 3 fatty acids, consumed on a regular basis over the long term, can protect mental function.

Additional Supplements

According to webmd.com,4 a supplement that has been studied somewhat is Huperzine A. It is derived from Chinese club moss. In two of the studies that were reported, improvements in the memory and thinking skills of Alzheimer’s patients were seen in 8 weeks or less.

Also according to wedmd.com,5 L-carnitine, which converts to Acetyl-l-carnitine, is used for a wide variety of symptoms of aging, including Alzheimer’s, age-related memory loss, late-life depression, poor circulation in the brain, cataracts, and male menopause.

Exercise

We have known for decades that exercise improves memory and the ability to process information. A study by Molloy et al, 1988,6 reports significant improvement in cognitive function and memory when tested before and after a 45-minute exercise period.

Sleep

The quantity and quality of sleep have a profound impact on memory. It is believed that memories are consolidated while sleeping, and that specific types of brainwaves during the different stages of sleep assist in the formation of specific types of memory. Poor quality sleep leads to sleep deprivation, which interferes with learning and memory pathways. Work on solving sleep issues, and you may improve your memory simultaneously.

A poor memory does not have to be a guaranteed part of aging. As you can see, there are many things you can do to slow aging’s effects on the brain.

If you have concerns about your memory or your health, or just don’t know where to begin making improvements, please contact me, Judith Cobb, to book an appointment. Skype, phone, webinar, and face-to-face appointments are available.

I also invite you to Like us on Facebook (Cobblestone Health Ltd) and to visit my other websites:
WomensHolisticHealth.com
GoodandNaturalRecipes.com
KidsNaturalHealth.info
Iridology.Education

Bonus: What does sleep have to do with your brain and your memory? Jeff Iliff has the answer!

Products referred to in this article:

 Nature’s Sunshine Products CANADANature’s Sunshine Products USA
herbsBlessed Thistle
is available through the Sunshine
Direct program (contact Nature’s
Sunshine Canada at 1-800-265-9163
for instructions) or by special order
from Cobblestone Health
(judith@cobblestonehealth.com
or 403-850-5503).
Blessed Thistle
Gotu KolaGotu Kola
Echinacea & Golden SealGolden Seal
Ginkgo Biloba ExtractGinkgo Biloba Extract T/R
essential oilsLavender Organic Essential Oil
is available through the Sunshine
Direct program (contact Nature’s
Sunshine Canada at 1-800-265-9163
for instructions) or by special order
from Cobblestone Health
(judith@cobblestonehealth.com
or 403-850-5503).
Lavender Organic Essential Oil
Peppermint OilPeppermint Oil
omega-3 fatty acidsSuper Omega 3Super Omega-3
additional supplementsBrain Protex with Huperzine A
is available through the Sunshine
Direct program (contact Nature’s
Sunshine Canada at 1-800-265-9163
for instructions) or by special order
from Cobblestone Health Ltd
(judith@cobblestonehealth.com
or 403-850-5503).
Brain Protex with Huperzine A
L-Carnitine is available by special order
from Cobblestone Health Ltd
(judith@cobblestonehealth.com
or 403-850-5503).
L-Carnitine

Sources:

  1. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711312000414
  2. http://jass.neuro.wisc.edu/2012/01/Lab%20603%20Group%205%20The%20Effect%20of%20Peppermint%20on%20Memory%20Performance.pdf
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3888166/
  4. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-764-huperzine%20a.aspx?activeingredientid=764&activeingredientname=huperzine%20a
  5. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/l-carnitine
  6. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1532-5415.1988.tb03430.x/abstract;jsessionid=3EB8E994B5626334D41378618D4868CD.f01t02?userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=

Copyright © 2015 by Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health Ltd. All rights reserved. Please respect the time it takes to write and publish articles. If you will link to this article and give proper attribution, you are encouraged to quote sections (though not the entire article).

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