Alzheimer’s is one of the terrifying condition caused by a disorder of the brain. It is called the brain disorder of the elders. Yes, mostly it affects elders. In simple terms, Alzheimer’s can be termed as ‘memory loss,’ more specifically, ‘age related memory loss!’ In fact, everyone suffers from some degree of memory loss. It doesn’t mean that everyone has Alzheimer’s disease. However, if memory loss impacts and interferes with the intellectual abilities and even the daily activities, it can be a serious issue like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. To quote an example, an old aged man or woman may take bath twice; Alzheimer’s makes the life more difficult.
Alzheimer’s Disease- A leading cause of death in the USA
It is estimated that Alzheimer’s is one of the leading causes of death in the United States of America. The prevalence of this brain disease is increasing but it is not recognized as a major disorder in many countries. More than 7 million Americans (aged 50 + years) are affected by Alzheimer’s.
Memories play hide and seek
An elderly person may recall an incident happened 50 years ago, but forget what happened yesterday or forget the route to home!!
Alzheimer’s disease is very difficult to be diagnosed at its early stages. In the beginning, only short-term memory gets affected. It seems as the person has become forgetful, which is acceptable by all due to aging.
However, because short-term memory is very important to retain new information, the consequences start showing off. It hampers the person’s ability to interact socially and perform one’s work.
The person may not lose his long-term memory for a longer time. With time, however, it too becomes fragmented as the disease progresses.
At the last stage, patients with Alzheimer’s disease may not be able to recall even their own names.
Alzheimer’s – caused by changes in the brain
Alzheimer’s is nothing but an outcome of the changes in the structure and functions of the brain. A specific change in the brain prevents the functioning of the nerves and obstruct the communication of the nerve cells.
The brain cells function in small groups, like mini factories. Each group has some responsibilities like thinking, learning, communicating, remembering, etc. The cells receive energy (like raw materials), use it as resource to perform the functions, eliminate the wastes, etc. To perform all these functions, brain needs a lot of fuel (foods), blood and oxygen.
Aβ Peptide – The culprit behind Alzheimer’s
People suffering from Alzheimer’s have certain deposits in the brain. Aβ Peptide is the element that contributes to these deposits in the brain, which affects the neurons and nerve cells. In fact, the presence of Aβ Peptide is the major contributor to Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Disease is Progressive Disease
When a part of the factory is affected, it affects the whole process. Similarly, due to specific reasons, one or more groups of cells (factories) are affected. This damage spreads to all parts of the brain. This is a degenerative and progressive condition. The brain cells degenerate themselves and die gradually. It leads to a steady loss in memory, thinking ability and mental functions.
Until now, the exact reason why brain cells are affected in a different pattern is yet to be identified.
From the current studies and researches, it is stated that following facts may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Alzheimer’s is not caused by a single reason or affected by something that triggers the disease suddenly.
- Food habits, genetics, lifestyle factors and environmental factors affect the brain over a long period.
Can you Reverse or Treat Alzheimer’s Disease with Home Remedies and Herbs?
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease. Although it is apparent that degenerative diseases cannot be cured, a differential approach can help in reversing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
It is also proved that medicines play a very limited role in addressing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease. To reverse the condition, you should focus on enhancing the brain functions. The intake of medicines to enhance brain power and functions aren’t recommended for a long time as it may lead to many serious side effects.
Home remedies for Alzheimer’s disease are safe and impact the brain in a positive way. There are quite a few effective brain- boosting foods that are good for brain health– those that play a pivotal role in strengthening brain, channeling brain functions, etc. Similarly, most of the herbs have stimulating properties which specifically sharpen the cognitive functions.
Although Alzheimer’s cannot be cured completely, a significant improvement is definitely possible, which enhances the quality of life.
Let us look into the most effective home remedies and herbs to treat Alzheimer’s.
Home Remedies for Alzheimer’s Disease
Diet plays a vital role in preventing the further degeneration of the brain cells and controlling Alzheimer’s. The remedy and cure to many diseases (in fact, any disease) starts from your kitchen. Here is the list of home remedies for Alzheimer’s disease.
Diet and prevention are the best strategies to prevent and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s as well as other brain disorders. The same strategies apply for improving life with Alzheimer’s.
Two Super foods for Alzheimer’s Disease
Doctrine of Signatures – Coconut Oil and Walnut
Doctrine of Signatures refer to any herbs or natural food produce that resemble organs of body and has properties to treat any ailment related to that specific part of the body. Both coconut and walnut are enclosed inside a strong shell similar to Skull, bracing the meat rich in fatty acids. They resemble the brain structure. So, why can’t you believe that these foods can enhance your brain functioning and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease! They are two of the best foods to boost memory
Reverse the signs of Alzheimer’s Disease with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is said to be one of the best remedies for Alzheimer’s disease. The story of Dr. Mary Newport MD stormed the internet when she published that use of coconut oil for a couple of weeks reversed the signs of Alzheimer’s.
Although there is a lot of research still to be conducted to analyze the effects of coconut oil on Alzheimer’s, there are many promising claims and positive results.
How coconut oil works?
Using coconut oil for boosting memory and brain disorders always remain a controversial topic. Coconut oil provides a different type of fat called MCT fat, synthesized by the body in a different way. MCT fat is a brain booster.
Some benefits of consuming coconut oil:
- It is free from trans-fat and cholesterol.
- It supports thyroid function.
- It enhances the body metabolism and aids in weight loss.
- It increases the level of good cholesterol.
- It is a natural antibiotic and contains antioxidants.
Dr. Newport’s theory is well received by many research institutions.
Coconut oil energizes the brain
The key element behind the effectiveness of coconut oil is ketones. Coconut oil is a rich source of ketone energy, which is a form of energy to the brain. Being a direct source of brain energy, regular consumption of coconut oil prevents the risk of degenerative brain diseases and disorders.
Ketones and Coconut oil
Ketones from coconut oil makes the nerve cells and neurons healthier. The changes induced by the peptides are reversed and ketones contribute to healthy neurons. Ketones provide an alternate source of energy to neurons, which prevents the dysfunction of brain.
In addition to controlling Aβ Peptide, Caprylic acid found in coconut oil breaks the barrier of blood supply to the brain. Overall, it has Neuro-protective effect.
Support evidences from studies and researches
A study about the coconut oil effects was published in the ‘Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease’ detailing how coconut oil works. The study was conducted on an experimental basis.
Regardless of the facts that coconut oil has some potential to reverse the signs of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s effectiveness is yet to be approved by the medical community.
Add Coconut oil to your Diet
If you decide to use coconut oil to reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and promote brain health, there are a number of ways you can add coconut oil in your diet.
Virgin coconut oil and least processed, organic oil is the best types of oil to have.
- Instead of regular cooking oil, you can add coconut oil to cook.
- Use a few drops of coconut oil for salad dressings
- Consume one or two teaspoons of coconut oil in the morning
- Sautee veggies with coconut oil
Too much coconut oil is detrimental
Owing to the health properties of coconut oil on brain health and Alzheimer’s, many people consume a large amount of coconut oil. To get the most of coconut oil, many elders consume a tremendous amount of oil, almost like three tablespoons of coconut oil three times a day! Nine tablespoons of coconut oil is an enormous amount and it leads to diarrhea.
- Start with a small dose. Continue increasing the dosage considering how your body tolerates coconut oil.
- Sudden change of oil may lead to loose stools for the first two days. Especially, consuming coconut oil raw, and not using as cooking oil increases your bathroom visits. However, it will subside in two days.
- It is best to use coconut oil with fiber and protein.
Considering the impact of ketones on reversing the signs of Alzheimer’s, many pharmaceutical companies produce artificial ketones in the form of drugs. However, it is proved that intake of drugs is less effective, rather has no effect in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Not taking any medicine is the best therapy for this brain disorder.
The Brain look-alike Nut for your Brain – Walnut
How awesome, the mother nature is! If you look at the walnuts, it looks a miniature of the brain! It is funny as well as a miracle that it is a brain tonic! Several studies and researches stated that walnut has direct impact on brain. It enhances the memory power, strengthens brain cells, improves learning capacity, etc. Even the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published a report detailing the study of walnut and its influence on brain functions. Walnuts are quite delicious to eat. You can eat it raw, as long as it is not salted!
Top 7 Nutrient Dense Foods to Improve Alzheimer’s Disease
Sweet Potatoes – The Powerhouse of Beta-Carotene for the Brain
Several recent studies state that sweet potatoes have a potential effect on protecting the brain against further damages from the Alzheimer’s disease.
It has a high amount of beta-carotene. (About 200 grams of sweet potatoes contain equal amount of beta carotene as much as you derive in eating five kilos of broccoli.)
Glutathione is another important element that boosts brain function. It repairs the cellular damages in the body and brain. It eliminates free radicals caused by reactive oxygen.
Don’t worry, sweet potatoes aren’t high in starch. It has low starch compounds and low in fat. Besides, it is rich in Vitamin A, C, E, B2, B6 and minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous.
It is a good source of dietary fiber, which regulates the blood sugar and fight against the diseases that affect blood vessels.
Keep sweet potatoes in normal temperature and don’t refrigerate it.
Have it to keep Alzheimer’s disease away.
Fish and Nuts – Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Seafood is packed with fatty acids. Especially, salmon! It is a versatile variety of fish and loved by many. Include salmon thrice a week in your diet to reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s.
Non-eaters of fish, don’t worry! Here we go nuts.
Nuts are not just the healthy snack for your waistline, but also for the brain. Nuts are rich in essential fatty acids and contain healthy fats, antioxidants, fiber and minerals.
Kale – Packed with Flavonoids and Vitamin K
Kale might not be your favorite veggie but it is one of the highly nutritious vegetables overlooked by many. Kale is packed with more than 40 different variants of flavonoids. These flavonoids has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It clears the cobwebs in your brain. Another rare nutrient supplied generously by Kale is Vitamin K. Vitamin K is a memory booster. So, whenever you shop for groceries, buy a bunch of kale. If you don’t love kale, just add it in the smoothie!
Beetroot – Nitrates Improves Blood Flow
Beetroot is not just an iron rich vegetable, but also rich in Nitrates and Folate. Nitrate instantly enhances the blood flow to the brain, which energize the brain cells and nerves. Blood and oxygen supply to the brain determines how well the brain functions. Folate enhances the memory and delays the risk of dementia due to aging. Besides, beets contain anti-oxidants which fight against oxidation of the cells.
Legumes and Lentils – Get the B vitamins to prevent shrinking of brain cells
A study in ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ stated that increasing the vitamin B intake slows down shrinking of the brain cells, which is associated with Alzheimer’s. Lentils and legumes are packed with Vitamin B and delicious to eat. Eating a bowl of lentils boiled with herbs and spices are delicious as well as healthy.
Green Tea – Antioxidants prevents plaque buildup in the brain
Green tea is the powerhouse of anti-oxidants. The nutritional properties of green tea breaks up the plaque buildup as well as prevents further build-up in the brain cells, which is linked with causing Alzheimer’s. So, sip a cup of green tea three or four times a day.
Organ Meat and Cauliflower – CoQ10 to strengthen the brain cells
CoQ10 or the Co-Enzyme is a natural occurring nutrient. It is one of the elements that reduces the impact of plaques and additional deposits in the brain, leading to Alzheimer’s. In fact, CoQ10 is essential for energy in the brain cells. It prevents the aggravation of cell degeneration and boosts the cells health. Organ meats like liver, heart, brain, etc. of the meat are rich in CoQ10. Similarly, cauliflower and broccoli contain high amount of CoQ10.
Other brain boosting superfoods to manage and reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s:
- Green Vegetables – Spinach, leafy greens, Cruciferous Vegetables, Radish, etc.
- Fruits – Dark colored fruits like berries, apple, pome, plum, cherries, etc.
- Coffee, dark chocolate, cinnamon
Diet Tips for Alzheimer’s Disease
- Eat healthy fats. Diet low in fat is also one of the major causes of memory loss and poor brain function. Nuts, avocados and coconut etc. are healthy fats.
- Avoid eating junk foods.
- Eat foods that are easy to eat and digest like raw vegetables and fruits.
- Eat flavorful aromatic foods to stimulate the brain.
- Eat your favorite foods to keep the brain active. Remember that changes in eating patterns or choice of food is a sign that Alzheimer’s disease is progressing.
- Limit the serving size and go for six or seven smaller meals than three large meals.
- A big no to hot and cold foods. Both are detrimental to people with AD!
- Play favorite music during meal time. Music soothes and creates nice ambience. Music is also claimed to have capability of stimulating brain.
- Never let people with AD eat alone. It is best to eat reminiscing about the happy memories of the past.
Herbal Remedies for Alzheimer’s
Herbs are healers. Herbs have the potential to cure degenerative and autoimmune diseases that have no promising treatment. Alzheimer’s disease can be improved to a great extent with some herbs. Following is the list of top five herbal remedies to Improve Brain Functions to fight off Alzheimer’s Disease.
Ashwagandha: Brain Tonic
Also called as Winter Cherry and Indian Ginseng, Ashwagandha is the most popular herb used in many Ayurvedic remedies to cure a majority of ailments.
National Brain Research Centre evaluated the effects and the potential of Ashwagandha and stated that Ashwagandha can reverse the degeneration of the cells and memory loss. Also, Alzheimer’s disease impacts the cognitive functions (not being able to remember or recall). Ashwagandha is the best herbal remedy to enhance the cognitive functions. It destroys the plaques formed in the brain which affects the cell factories.
Rosemary – The Herb of Remembrance
Rosemary is one of the most aromatic herbs. The aroma of rosemary is quite invigorating and soothing. It protects the loss of an enzyme called acetylcholine which is responsible for reasoning, thinking, analyzing, etc. People with AD often lack this enzyme.
Rosemary reduces the oxidative stress in the body and the brain. It enhances memory.
It also has an element called Carnosic acid which reverses the cell damage and protects the healthy brain cells from damages. As reported by Brain Cell Journal, carnosic acid also controls and prevents degeneration of nerve cells.
Sage – Sister Herb of Rosemary
Sage is a sister herb of rosemary, and a popular culinary herb. Sage contains many chemical compounds as found in the modern drugs prescribed for Alzheimer’s. Sage boosts memory and controls the spread of plaques in the brain neurons. It gives a stimulating effect and rejuvenates the brain cells. You can consume sage in many forms.
Infusing sage in tea is one of the best and simple ways to include sage in your daily diet.
Lavender – Inhale the Aroma for Instant Boost
Inhaling a few drops of lavender oil or smelling the lavender, strengthens the weak cells and damaged neurons in the body. Lavender has nerve soothing properties and reduces anxiety as well as promotes sound sleep. It is more effective than other aromatic herbs and essential oils.
Brahmi – The Anti-Alzheimer’s Herb
Brahmi might be a very popular herb when it comes to hair growth. Brahmi has more potentials than this. It is an edible herb and can be used to reverse the signs of AD. In fact, next to coconut oil, Brahmi has more healing effects towards AD. Brahmi strengthens the nerve cells, neurotransmitters, and reverses the cell damages. It breaks down all obstructions that prohibit blood and oxygen supply to the brain. Brahmi enhances the memory, cognitive functions and stimulate the healthy brain functions.
General Tips to Prevent and Control Aggravation of AD
- Control the insulin levels in the body. If you are diabetic it certainly affects the brain.
- Understand that living with AD is not an easy thing. Don’t hurt the elders.
- Reduce the level of cholesterol and fat in your body. It affects the brain functions. However, don’t eliminate healthy fats in the diet.
- Get good sleep. Minimum of 8 hours of sound sleep is essential to prevent further damage to the brain.
- Avoid eating high salted foods.
- Do meditation for 20 to 30 minutes a day to enhance the oxygen supply to the brain.
- Add ginger to the diet. AD affects hunger and thirst. Adding ginger regulates your appetite.
Prevention is the best remedy for Alzheimer’s Disease. Most of the home remedies provide considerable improvement in AD. A combination of healthy lifestyle and brain boosting diet certainly can reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s Disease.