Improving Memory, Part 1: Is Your Mental Filing Cabinet Full?

Are there ways for improving memory? Barring injury, genetic mishaps, or serious disease, most of us have no excuse for not remembering most everything we need to recall.

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.

I have fielded a lot of complaints from 50-something women lately about poor memory. I have often excused my own temporary lapses in memory by saying “My filing cabinet is full. Something had to be removed and thrown away. That thing I forgot? Well, that got thrown away.” We know this is not really the truth. Barring injury, genetic mishaps, or serious disease, most of us have no excuse for not remembering most everything we need to recall.

improving memory

Improving Memory

There are specific habits that can be cultivated to improve memory. Repetition of information is helpful, as is putting emotional significance with the bit to be remembered. e.g. always put your car keys/purse/glasses in the same place, and make a specific mental note that you are putting them there. The next time you need them you will most likely recall your mental sticky note.

If that is not enough and you still find yourself searching for your husband’s name, you may need some nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle support. There are nutrients that your brain requires on an on-going basis if it is to function properly. (Taking extra of these nutrients probably won’t make much difference if you are a disorganized scatter-brain.)


Remember that all nutrients are transported in a fluid medium in the body; hence, if you are dehydrated, nutrients don’t get transported. A study reported in Human Brain Mapp (Jan 2011)1 shows that dehydration does impact cognitive (thinking) performance in some people. So, if you want to naturally enhance your brain power, be sure to drink water – ½-¾ oz per pound of body weight each day – and avoid dehydrating fluids like coffee, black and green tea, carbonated beverages and sugary or artificially sweetened beverages. Even too much naturally occurring fruit sugar (fructose), which is found in concentrated amounts in juice, can negatively impact learning and memory.2 Yes, that pretty much leaves you with water.


We know the brain is made of neurons. Neurons need adequate sodium (not table salt) and potassium in order for the electrical impulse to move along to the next nerve in the pathway. The best herbal supplement I know of that supplies these minerals is Combination Three (Herbal Trace Minerals). This simple herbal formula consists of alfalfa, kelp, and dandelion. Together, these herbs provide some of every known vitamin and mineral, including potassium and sodium.

Manganese (5 to 10 mg per day) has also helped some people.

B Vitamins

B-complex vitamins as a whole are important for proper functioning of the brain.  Along with Stress Formula (Nutri-calm), extra of the following B-complex vitamins may be helpful.

Many authors recommend Vitamin B6 as being helpful for improving memory.  Suggested doses range as high as 300 mg per day, but remember to take adequate B-complex with the extra B6. I suggest starting with lower doses, 50 mg for instance, and building it gradually rather than starting at 300 mg. Lendon Smith indicates that some learning-disabled persons have been shown to do better when taking B6. Extra magnesium is needed if lots of B6 is being used.  (A good source of magnesium is Liquid Chlorophyll.  Other good sources are Irish moss and oatstraw, both of which are in Herbal CA. If you feel you need even more magnesium, try Magnesium Complex.)

Vitamin B3 has been shown to have positive effects on circulation due to its vasodilating effects. Anyone who has experienced a ‘niacin flush’ will probably attest to the fact that circulation to the head is the first place we feel the stimulating effects of niacin. Balch writes that this enhanced circulation to the head may be beneficial for the brain.3

Pantothenic acid (B5) functions as an enzyme to transform choline into the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. So, a little extra pantothenic acid might be helpful. Add to this the fact that pantothenic acid supports the adrenal glands and helps people cope with stress, and it appears we can work on memory from more than just one angle.

Those little brain neurons need choline to shoot their electrical messages on to the next neuron. Choline is often included in B-complex preparations, but it is not really a part of the B-vitamin family. It is an abundant part of lecithin. Choline is manufactured in the body from B12, folic acid, and methionine.

Have you tried any of these or any combination of them? Leave your comments below and let me know how they worked for you. If you haven’t already tried any of these, which one(s) appeal to you most and why?

Click here to access Improving Memory, Part 2: Making your mental filing cabinet work better for you.

BONUS: You might find the following 11-minute video interesting.

Products referred to in this article:

 Nature’s Sunshine Products CANADANature’s Sunshine Products USA
Herbal mineralsThree Combination HerbHerbal Trace Minerals
Vitamin B ComplexVitamin B ComplexVitamin B Complex
Stress FormulaNutri-Calm
MagnesiumLiquid Chlorophyll, Paraben-free (473-ml)
Liquid Chlorophyll, Paraben-free (946-ml)
Chlorophyll, Liquid (Size selectable on product page)
Herbal CAHerbal CA
Magnesium ComplexMagnesium Complex
Vitamin B3Niacin 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 or 403-850-5503).
Pantothenic AcidPantothenic AcidPantothenic Acid
Methyl B-12 PlusMethyl B-12 Complete, Liquid

3.  Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing Group, 2010

If you have concerns about your memory, or just don’t know where to begin making improvements in your health, 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:

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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