Memory loss is a common problem these days. After all, what causes memory loss? Many of you will definitely say, aging! Yes, that’s right. Aging leads to memory loss. However, age related memory loss is not all. There are many factors that cause memory loss. Stress, anxiety, depression, nutritional deficiency, certain health conditions and of course some medicines too are in the roots of memory loss. But the good news is that in most of the cases, memory loss can not only be prevented but can be reversed too! How? With proper diet, lifestyle, exercises and home remedies for memory loss!
In fact, diet and brain exercises as well as physical exercises are major parts of home remedies for memory loss. But first, let’s talk about the herbal remedies for memory loss.
Herbal Remedies for Memory Loss
Herbs are being fast re-established as one of the safest means to restore loss of memory. The most important reason for this is that they don’t have any major side effects like the medications for memory loss. Herbs for memory loss can be divided as the herbs that have been used by traditional medicines like Ayurveda and certain aromatic herbs used world over for improving memory.
Top 3 Ayurvedic Herbs for Memory Loss
Since ancient times, Ayurveda has been the powerhouse of numerous miraculous herbs. In Ayurveda, herbs are considered the healers. Most of the herbs provide numerous benefits to health and can reverse many chronic conditions.
How do these herbs enhance memory?
In order to improve the memory power, Ayurveda has prescribed certain herbs. These herbs promote the functions of the nerve cells and neurons, addresses the damages to the brain cells. improves concentration, stimulates the growth of fresh cells, and enables overall augmentation of brain function.
Ayurvedic herbs doesn’t reverse memory loss, rather addresses the root cause of memory loss and focus on improving brain functions, which in turn improves your memory. Most of these herbs are easily available in the health stores that sell natural organic ingredients. Consume no more than the prescribed quantity in the pack. You can also buy these herbs in form of fresh greens from the vegetable vendors.
Gotu Kola – Stimulates your body and brain
When it comes to boosting memory power and strengthening the brain function, the first herb that most people think about is Gotu Kola. Called ‘Vallarai’ in Tamil, this is the famous green used extensively in Indian villages. It is used at least thrice a week in cooking and often fed to children.
- Gotu Kola improves the blood circulation all over the body.
- Enables proper blood supply to brain, which keeps the brain active and prevents as well as cures memory loss.
- Enhances your energy and boosts immunity.
- Increases the capacity of the brain.
- Protects the brain cells from damages.
- Strengthens the brain and improves your concentration and memory.
How to take Gotu Kola
Although Gotu Kola is available in form of churna, tablets and powder (with a tag, ‘Memory Booster’), it is recommended to use it as a fresh herb.
You can cook Gotu Kola like any other greens, for instance, as you cook spinach. You can also grow Gotu Kola in your home with ease. So, cook and eat Gotu Kola at least once a week. You can also make gotu kola tea.
- You can feed this green to students every alternate day, if your child suffer from memory problems.
- If you have any digestive issues, cook this with cumin seeds and eat during mid-noon.
- If you are aged above 50 + years, consume it for no more than twice a week.
Precaution: Side effects of this herb are rare. In rare cases, some people develop skin allergy and burning sensations but only when used externally. Avoid taking high doses of gotu kola.
Brahmi – A Brain Tonic
Brahmi is called a brain tonic! Consume Brahmi to boost your memory. It works straight! It stimulates the functions of the brain to enhance the memory, make it stronger and sharper. (Yes, this brain tonic is more powerful and effective than some health drinks!!)
The herb is named after the creator of the world, the Lord Brahman! Brahmi contains a few chemicals that enable synthesizing of proteins in the brain. Proteins are essential to nourish your brain cells and help them repair small injury. This keeps brain cells in good health
It is widely used to improve memory and concentration in students. However, it has powerful effects for people of all ages who get relief from stress and improve the actions associated with brain functions.
Brahmi oil is a more common product used to get relief from severe headache and tension. So, using Brahmi also help you reduce stress and anxiety, one of the major causes of mental loss. Here’s how Brahmi helps improve memory:
- Treats blurred, foggy and impaired memory.
- Sharpens the brain power.
- Enhances concentration and makes you smart.
- Soothes the brain and relieves you from anxiety
How to take Brahmi
Brahmi is available in form of fresh herb, dried herb, capsules and syrup. If you have access to fresh herb, eat a few leaves with or without honey. If not, you can buy the dried herb, powder it and mix with honey and consume it.
Alternatively, you can also add it when brewing tea and drink as herbal tea. These are available in form of tea bags too.
Precaution: Some people may suffer from upset stomach. If so, try using it with food and in small quantity. Have patience with it because it’s results on memory can show up as long as 2-3 months.
Ashwagandha – The Herb for Mental Clarity
Brain fogginess is experienced by a majority of people, at least at some point of time. School and college students are more likely to suffer from brain fogginess during exams. Sometimes, even professionals lacks clarity and experience trouble in retrieval of information.
Ashwagandha works in tune with the natural biological system of the body and helps bring harmony. This is core concept of ayurveda.
Also called winter cherry and Indian ginseng, ashwagandha is an edible herb. All parts of the herb can be consumed. The most effective part of this herbal plant is the leaves and root. Ashwagandha works in following ways to improve memory:
- Reduces the negative effects of stress, anxiety and depression
- Helps balancing the emotions
- Imparts mental clarity, peace of mind and ability to concentrate
- Provides quality sleep
- Keeps you active and energized,
- Defend against cell damage caused due to free radicals
An interesting study about ashwagandha and brain health
A new study by Public Library of Science on ashwagandha and its effects on improving brain health revealed several surprising facts. Aged people are more likely to receive reduced blood flow to the central part of the brain called hippocampus. It reduces the anti aging compound called glutathione, which damages brain cells. Ashwagandha supplies oxygen to the brain cells and specifically addresses various parts of the brain that are deprived of oxygen. This in turn, produces more glutathione, which prevents developing degenerative brain diseases.
How to take Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is available commonly in form of an extract or churna (powder) as well as supplements. You can buy its powder form and drink with water or herbal tea.
Aromatic Herbal Remedies for Memory Loss
Many people believe that memory loss is associated more with aging. They often ignore that forgetting small things is also a part of memory loss. It, in fact, indicates a decline in cognitive functions. To enhance the cognitive memory and prevent memory loss in the future, just go for some sweet aroma.
There are quite a few aromatic herbs that kicks the brain functioning. When it comes to aromatic herbs, most of them provide mesmerizing aroma that reduces stress, invokes brain function, strengthens the neurons and nerve cells.
Rosemary – A Sweet Smelling Herb for Clear Memory
Rosemary is a very popular aromatic herb used extensively in aromatherapy. Just sniffing the aroma of this herb boosts your memory power. How sweet, isn’t it? Rosemary provides a sense of rejuvenation and nourishment with its nice fragrances, almost instantly.
Brace now to prevent memory loss
Researchers conducted a study in the University of Northumbria, England on effects of aroma of rosemary. They revealed the fact that its aroma is quite important for prospective memory, which is crucial for daily activities. Prospective memory is nothing but ability to remember something that you intend to do in near future. For instance, booking tickets, bill payment, hotel reservation, etc. When we lose the hold of daily functioning, it gradually leads to memory loss and brain disorder. So, embrace this herb and prevent memory loss the most fragrant way!
How to use rosemary
Rosemary is available both in fresh and dried forms.
- Add half a teaspoon of rosemary when you brew tea. Let the water boil for 5 minutes. Strain and add honey, drink.
- If you don’t want to drink rosemary, just breathe the rosemary! (How easy that is!)
- Add as a flavoring agent (sparingly) in desserts
- Use as a spice when you cook savory recipes.
Sage – Reverse Memory Loss
Sage is an aromatic herb just like rosemary, but it has different properties. Sage contains several active ingredients which stimulate the chemicals and protein synthesis in the brain. Overall, it enables proper transmission of brain signals.
Better performance in the test
Universities of Newcastle in association with a few more universities tested the effectiveness of sage in 44 students. Students who consumed sage performed well in the test when compared to the other students.
Treat Alzheimer’s disease with Sage
Sage is actually the most powerful herb for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Lack of certain chemicals in the brain affects the normal functioning of brain, which leads to Alzheimer’s. Those who live with this terrible disorder can reverse the memory loss with sage. Regular intake of sage boosts the secretion of essential chemicals whose deficiency cause Alzheimer’s disease.
If you are using any medications for any chronic conditions like kidney or liver problems, consult your physician before using any aromatic herbs for memory loss reversal or prevention. Also, use of aromatic herbs is not recommended for kids and teens, below the age of 18 years, especially rosemary.
Top 8 Brain Boosting Foods – Meet The Cravings of your Brain
Okay! Eating healthy foods is crucial for staying healthy in a long run. Your brain craves certain nutrients, and only foods can provide these nutrients. Eating these foods satisfy the cravings of your brain and prevents cognitive impairment.
Whether you want to prevent amnesia, improve your cognitive functions, strengthen the brain functions or reverse memory loss, this is for you! Eating these foods regularly shows significant improvements in enhancing your memory power. Besides, you may also get some add-ons like healthy skin, glossy hair, etc.
Olive Oil – Monounsaturated Fats for brain too!
Using olive oil is wonderful for your overall health. You don’t need to replace the regular cooking oil, yet give some space to olive oil in your kitchen and your stomach. Just drizzle a few drops of olive oil to make salad dressings, tempering, sauteing, etc. It preserves your brain like a treasure and prevents cognitive impairment. It is one of the richest sources of monounsaturated fats, which is good for your heart too!
Coconut Oil – Is it a Miracle for your brain?
Olive oil has a tough rival in form of coconut oil!
Coconut oil contains a different type of fat, the Medium Chain Fatty Acids. Our body synthesizes the fat content of coconut oil in a different way. The fatty acids in coconut improves the declined cognitive performance in older people. Yes, it is powerful enough to boost the cognitive memory in elders, even who suffer from brain disorders.
According to a research conducted by a journal, Neurobiology of Aging, it is found that elders who suffer from memory disorders improved their cognitive functions merely by consuming coconut oil!
Seafood – Omega 3 Fatty Acids
A diet rich in sea food or frequent intake of sea food means you have a healthy brain with stronger cells and neurons. The key to optimal brain health is omega 3 fatty acids. The fatty acids build and manage the cell membranes. Omega 3 rich diet means you have very low risk of memory loss!
Walnuts – Vegetarian source of Omega 3
Vegetarians can’t have seafood, we hear you say! Walnuts are the answer for them. They are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids as are other nuts and seeds! However, the type of omega 3 found in walnuts is not found in anything else. In addition, it has rich vitamin E content, which promotes optimal blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
You could often see the name dark green leafy vegetables, greens, green veggies, etc. in many places wherever they talk about health and wellness! Your brain needs it too! The darker the color of any natural produce, better it is for your brain.
Several researches conducted at Harvard School revealed the fact that regular consumption of dark green leafy vegetables reduced the risk of amnesia, dementia and impairment of cognitive functions. Think about the grannies and great grannies, who simply remember everything! Thanks to their green platters!
Coffee – Three Cheers for Coffee Lovers
There are many claims that coffee is healthy as well as unhealthy drink. Both the claims are true. Coffee remains healthy as long as you don’t drink more than 2 cups a day. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a brain stimulant. Drinking coffee moderately boosts brain function. Even the smell of the coffee uplifts the mood. American Medical Association found that women who regularly drink coffee have low risk of dementia. However, excessive coffee may backfire!
Study is yet to be conducted on men, however, it is supposed that all benefits of drinking coffee translates invariably into men!
Tea – Healthy Brain Drink
Tea is an excellent health drink, more beneficial than coffee. Tea is low in caffeine, rich in flavonoids and anti-oxidants. A cup of hot tea in the evenings reduces your stress level and jitteriness. Besides, anti-oxidants in tea improve the blood flow to the brain.
Some of the healthy varieties of tea you can regularly drink include,
- Black tea – A common tea variety, tastes great and relives from anxiety / stress.
- Green tea – One of the healthiest drinks on the planet, packed with dense anti-oxidants. It reverses cell damages and boosts brain function.
- Herbal tea – Infuse your favorite, aromatic and healthy herbs / dried herbs in boiling water! Y
our cup of herbal tea is ready. Use sage, rosemary, mint or whatever you want!
Adding a pinch of cardamom makes your tea more delicious.
Blueberries – A Delicious Way to Reverse Memory Loss
Blueberries are regarded as super foods, and not only a fruit. It is a treasure house of anti-oxidants. This tiny fact about blueberries might be invigorating! A recent study about anti-oxidants and memory power revealed that daily intake of blueberries reverses memory loss with respect to cognitive recognition! After all, it is not in vain that blueberries are included in the list of 10 Best Foods to Boost Memory
Five Ways to Eat to Enhance Memory
Change your diet habits and include the following in your routine. In a month’s time, you will notice remarkable improvement in your memory power.
Include Herbs – Add some fresh herbs in your diet, in any form. These can be any- ginger, basil, mint, sage, rosemary or whatever you can lay hands on!
Drink Tea – Drink at least 2 cups of tea daily. If you are a green tea lover, make it up to 4 cups a day! You will also get a bonus, weight loss!
Savor dark colored foods in your plate – Your brain loves dark colored foods. So, include at least one dark colored fruit and vegetable in your plate, every time. To name a few, blueberries, apple, beetroot, eggplant, spinach, kale, purple cabbage, sprouts, broccoli, and so on.
Fish or Nuts – The choice is yours. Include any of these or both in your daily diet.
Desserts – Eating a sweet treat is the delicious way to end a meal. You need to eat some sweet too to soothe your brain. Make your dessert worry free by opting for natural sweeteners such as honey. Eating a teaspoon of honey after every meal reduces your sugar cravings too!!! Or just have a couple of dates! Don’t, however, go for cakes and muffins etc. They’ll prove to be harmful for your memory and overall health. Sugar is a big no!
Health Drinks to Boost Memory Power
Following is the list of few health drinks to boost your memory.
Herbal Tea is one of the best drinks to get the nutrients as well therapeutic benefits. So, you can use dried herbs to make herbal tea.
Herbs / Spices and other ingredients you can use to brew tea include:
- Tulsi (holy basil)
- Orange peel (dried skin of orange)
- Ginger / dry ginger with cardamom
- Fresh hibiscus flower – Another powerful source of antioxidants.
- Fresh lemon
- Cinnamon (along with any other ingredient)
Basic recipe for making memory boosting herbal tea
Things you need:
- Two cups water
- Half a teaspoon of herb – dried herb / powdered form (any choice of herb that has brain boosting properties)
- Honey / palm sugar to add flavor
How to make it:
- Boil water and add the herb
- Let the water boil for 3 to 5 minutes (low or medium flame)
- Strain the tea and add honey / palm sugar
- Drink it warm
Almond is one of the nuts that is popular for enhancing memory. In some Asian countries like India, almonds are soaked overnight. They are eaten in the morning on an empty stomach. This is especially good for children or those who need to concentrate more on their study or work!
Things you need:
- 5 almonds
- 1 pod cardamom / a pinch of cardamom powder
- One glass milk
How to make it:
- Soak almonds for 5 to 6 hours / overnight.
- Remove the skin and grind it into nice paste
- Boil milk and add the almond paste
- Add sweetener and drink it warm
- Drink it daily for a minimum of 30 days.
- Don’t add too much cardamom.
If you like almond flavor, you can add more almonds to make the paste. Drinking this milk at night promotes good sleep as well.
How to Improve Memory Loss in Elderly
Memory loss may be due to many reasons in aged people. In most cases, it is often a sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Following are the simple things that can improve memory loss in elderly.
Write down everything
As mentioned earlier, a certain extent of memory loss is unavoidable. It can be either due to cognitive impairment or damages to brain cells. So, whenever you remember something, write it down. It enables you to recall and enhance the retrieving power.
If you find writing is boring, just record it in your mobile phones! Learn to use new technologies. Learning new things too improves memory!
Do crosswords puzzle and involve in brain games
Engage your brain in interesting activities. Do crossword puzzles, memory games, play cards, and so on. It helps nourish the brain and you will certainly feel better. Do any brain challenging activity to energize your brain.
Walk 30 minutes a day
Improve your brain function in a simple way. Just go for a 30 minutes’ walk. As you age, blood circulation may not be optimal. Your brain may get deprived of oxygen which reduces the mental alertness and promotes forgetful behavior. Walking boosts oxygen and blood supply in the body.
Whenever you have time, engage in deep breathing for 5 minutes. Just inhale and exhale deeply. Deep breathing relaxes the body and enhances oxygen supply to the brain.
Connect with your old friends, say school and college friends. Reminiscence of your childhood and younger days help in preserving memory. If you cannot retrieve your childhood memories or reconnect with your old friends, get social with people around you. Social interaction reduces depression as well as associated memory problems.
Don’t put yourself in trouble by ruining your sleep. Aged people need a minimum of 9 hours of sleep every night. If sleep doesn’t like you, inhale some nice aroma, take a walk at night, drink milk and enjoy good music. You will fall asleep in no time.
Stop smoking and alcohol consumption
Both smoking and alcohol affect the brain in many ways. Smoking causes tiny strokes in brain and alcohol halts the functions of the brain. Avoid both of them.
Rest and relax
Get some rest. Rest doesn’t include your sleeping time. Get some additional rest to relax your brain.
Don’t drink coffee closer to your bed time
Coffee is good for brain when taken in limited amounts, but not for sleep. It affects your sleep in many ways. So, if you want to drink coffee in the evening, drink it before 6 pm.
Learn something new
Whether you are 60 or 80 plus, you remember alphabets and numbers. To keep your memory working, always learn something new. Learning a new language is the best way to energize your brain. If not language, acquire some new skill or pursue a new hobby and learn everything associated with it.
Two Simple Techniques to Cure Memory Loss in Students
Students often tend to suffer from memory loss. It can be due to defective learning, poor memory, stress, anxiety, poor diet, etc. Here are the two simple memory techniques to improve your memory power exponentially. Even adults who forget things suddenly can try this to improve their memory.
From Bed to Bed
You should do this at night. After you go to bed at night, recall what happened during the day, since you wake up.
- Start from when you wake up.
- Recall, what you saw first.
- What you had for breakfast, how many drinks you had, lunch, dinner, snacks, etc.
- How was your morning
- Fight with your sibling, father or mother
- What happened in your school
- What you learned, your conversation with friends, etc
- Television program you watched etc.
Try to recall at least a few things happened since morning. It is somewhat difficult to recall even 5 important things. There are many who cannot even recall what they ate during the day.
Don’t worry, do this daily. Within a couple of weeks, you will be able to easily recall most of the things happened during the day.
Word – Picture Mapping
This is relatively a simple technique, probably part of curriculum in management studies. However, teaching this to students can be really helpful. This is a simple technique to recall what you studied by mapping the words with image. This is for students who tend to forget what they read very quickly.
Consider this example:
You should memorize this and say it! When you say forest, imagine the picture of the forest and simultaneously respective image for each word. Form a story linking each word mapping with respective picture.
It was a dense forest. A marriage took place in the forest. Mango was the primary fruit served in the marriage. There were many other fruits too. A knife was also placed near fruits. Next to fruits, there were a lot of flowers. Suddenly a horse appeared from the mountain. The person who rode the horse was a thief and he stole the garland of flowers.
Picturize the story and you will remember these words in the same order forever.
Follow the similar technique to remember long passages in your text book.
- Split the lengthy text into several paragraph.
- Identify a specific keyword for each paragraph, say the subhead.
- Write-down the keywords and form a story.
General Tips on Improving Memory Loss and Overall Brain Function
There are a few things you can do regularly to improve memory as well to prevent memory loss.
Drink plenty of Water
Sudden loss of memory or forgetfulness often arise due to this major reason! You don’t drink enough water. Inadequate water consumption affects the functions of the brain. Just like your body needs water, your brain needs it too!
Drink more water, stay hydrated and prevent the deficiency of brain functions.
Grow Tulsi at Home
It may appear weird! Tulsi aka Holy Basil is one of the holy ingredients used by Hindus for worshiping. It is grown in many households and worshiped in India. Tulsi is full of oxygen. It keeps the environment fresh and energetic. The mild aroma from tulsi plant provides you loads of fresh oxygen. It activates the cells and neurons in the brain. There is no other way you can get fresh oxygen other than growing plants. Don’t look for any other option, other than oxygen!! Grow plants, especially basil.
Oxygenate your brain
Do you know why do you faint? Because your brain lacks oxygen at that time. Most people who faint and fall down are more likely to retrieve themselves in a couple of minutes. When they fall down, oxygen easily reaches brain and activates the brain cells. Just imagine, lack of oxygen supply can make you faint! Then why do you think that its deficiency won’t make you lose memory!
How to improve oxygen supply to brain?
- Meditate and do deep breathing exercise for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day. There’s no upper limit though.
- Eat nourishing foods. Know what foods are good for brain health and include them in your diet.
- Increase the intake of anti-oxidants, which means eat a lot of fresh produce- fruits and veggies
- Do some aerobic exercise, even if it is walking
Exercise your brain
As mentioned above, make your brain work. Squeeze your brain, solve puzzles, play games, and involve in activities that needs your brain to work a lot!
Okay, it is somewhat difficult to focus just on a single task in today’s competitive world. However, multi-tasking confuses your brain. It stores, processes and retrieves different tasks in different ways. At the end, your brain will store only a few details. For instance, you may forget some important data. Gradually, this becomes a habit.
Use the good old memory tools
These are nothing but calendars and diaries etc. Write down whatever you can recall with respect to a particular date. When you write something, you turn attentive and focused on certain aspect. Recalling written communication works better than oral communication.
Stay Away from these Brain Damaging Habits
These are some dangerous habits that affect your brain and impact the cognitive functions causing memory loss.
- Smoking and alcohol
- Sleeping immediately after a heavy meal
- Taking bath immediately after a meal
- Starving yourself
- Not sleeping, even when you feel extremely sleepy
- Not drinking enough water
- Skipping breakfast
- Too much sugar consumption
- Not talking at all
The major thing that can keep your brain healthy is good sleep. Just like your heart, brain works all the time. While you physically work focusing on something, your mind roam around several things. Your body is directed by your brain. Without brain functions you cannot think about anything. Lack of sleep puts a lot of pressure on your brain. When so much of work is done, brain needs proper rest through sleep.
When you analyze these facts, memory loss is all about lifestyle as well your eating habits. De-stress, eat nourishing foods and follow at least a few healthy habits to prevent memory loss as well improve your memory.