Herbs to Improve Memory
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Shirl
Posted on: January 28, 1999

I am interested in a safe herb that will help me to keep my memory and even improve it. I am 68, white female, married happily. I am every active in golf, tennis, working out, playing piano etc. etc. I am concerned about taking something that is not safe to take on a daily basis.

The brain requires a good supply of oxygen from the blood in order to function properly. In aging, thickening, hardening and loss of elasticity in the arteries slows the blood flow to the brain.

A high intake of fats, alcohol, smoking, caffeine, lack of exercise and alcohol consumption all contribute to narrowing of the arteries and slowing the blood flow. Foods that help to keep cholesterol from forming and blocking the arteries are: garlic, blueberries, grapes and cherries.

Studies show that Ginkgo, Gotu kola, and Ginseng improve memory and concentration. Rosemary has a reputation for doing the same.

Ginkgo increases blood circulation to the brain and improves the brain’s ability to use oxygen. It has been shown useful both for short term use such as in studying for exams, and long term in helping the elderly to feel more alert and lively. It has no side effects and is not habit forming.

Gotu Kola has a long reputation in India as a brain tonic. It should not be used for more than 6 weeks without a break, and is contraindicated in pregnancy and epilepsy.

Rosemary increases blood circulation to the brain and has a long reputation for improving memory. It can be taken as a tea, a tincture, or a few drops of the essential oil added to a bath.

Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthrococcus senticosus) improves physical and mental concentration. Because of its stimulating properties, it must not be used by those with high blood pressure, coffee drinkers or in pregnancy, and should not be taken for longer than a month without a break.

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