More and more, people are turning to herbal and nutritional supplements for better memory and longer life. Some supplements are very familiar while others are less well known. Fortunately, there is a lot of investigation and research being carried out in Asia and Europe on natural and herbal remedies of that have a positive effect on memory.
With an aging population in the U.S., much research is being aimed at the problem of memory loss as well as improvement of intelligence and mental capability. The so-called smart pill ginkgo biloba is a case in point, and this plant is under constant investigation with regard to its effect on Alzheimer’s sufferers.
The number of different herbs and plants and the type of chemicals they contain is massive. All the various nutrients, antioxidants, hormones, enzymes and amino acids are being studied to find out what benefits they bring to the table. kava kava, for instance, helps stress and anxiety and has been shown to have a positive effect in suppressing the growth of cancer cells.
For other reasons, however, it is banned for sale in parts of Europe and the UK, though the reasons for this are currently under review. It is commonly used throughout the Pacific for its soporific effect, but can cause skin problems if overused. However, where available, its use is thought to prevent the onset of some cancers including leukemia.
Human Growth Hormone
Another supplement that is contentious in its use is Human Growth Hormone or HGH. This is used as a supplement in adults suffering from growth hormone deficiency, and has been promoted as an anti-aging supplement. Whether or not it has this effect is still open to debate, though it certainly increases lean muscle mass and bone density in those with a deficiency. The first step in an anti-aging program should be to ensure that your growth hormone level is as it should be.
The reason ginkgo is such a popular supplement is that it increases oxygen to various parts of the body. This goes a long way in treating memory loss. The queen of them all is probably ginkgo biloba. Studies have provided evidence that it can be beneficial in improving the brain and memory function in early stage Alzheimer’s, and in age-related cognitive decline (ARCD). It is also believed to help in cases of certain types of glaucoma. These benefits might be due to the effect is has of increasing the circulation of the blood to the brain.
Ginkgo is also a powerful antioxidant that can protect the central nervous system from the effects of aging, and protect the cardiovascular system through the destruction of free radicals in the blood. Free radicals can be responsible for mental deterioration and dementia in the elderly. Gingko biloba contains a number of different active antioxidants and chemicals that improve blood circulation to the brain.
It is not only the ancient remedies that are being found to have a scientific reason for their effectiveness in treating specific conditions, and Coenzyme Q10 is one of the relatively newer additions to nature’s arsenal. This substance is contained in every cell in the body, and it has been found to provide protection to the brain from Parkinson’s disease and other conditions that cause degeneration of the brain cells. This can help to improve memory, and reduce the effects of aging, though it does not relieve any existing Parkinson’s symptoms.
Studies into the effects of Coenzyme Q10 are still under way, and it has been shown to be a strong antioxidant. It is also believed to reduce high blood pressure though this is still under review, and studies into the potential uses of the supplement are continuing.
Although used extensively over the ages for a large number of ailments, bilberry is generally regarded by experts as being another strong antioxidant. In fact most supplements that have an anti-aging effect appear to be antioxidants. This is because aging is closely associated with the presence of free radicals in the blood, and even the traditional antioxidants vitamins C and E can have an anti-aging effect on the body.
Bilberry has been used for the treatment of arteriosclerosis and various eye conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts, and is commonly available. It contains flavonoids that can reduce the risk of blood clots, and hence of strokes and heart attacks. Although many of the medicinal properties claimed have yet to proved, bilberry is widely used as an herbal supplement.
Pumpkin is also high in antioxidants, and it is considered by the Chinese to stimulate the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The effect of increased insulin levels is to reduce the sugar levels in the blood, and reduce oxidation damage to certain cells in the body. It is being regarded as a possible natural treatment for diabetes that should reduce sugar imbalances and therefore have an anti-aging effect.
Dicosahexaenoic acid, otherwise known as DHA, is found predominantly in fish oils. Trials are currently under way with this material on humans in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease where it appears to reduce the formation of plaques in the brain. DHA used be found in cattle and eggs, but this has reduced considerably due to cattle being taken off grass some time before slaughter and there is less DHA in factory eggs.
The synthetic supplement is synthesized from beet though is more expensive than the marine source. This supplement is also effective in those that suffer from heart disease.
There are many other natural supplements that have an anti-aging effect or that improve the memory. Most work by means of their antioxidant content, and there are new studies being carried out continually throughout the world. China is a rich source of such remedies, and as that country opens up more will be known about the scientific basis behind their pharmaceutical applications.
There is little doubt that the use of herbs and vitamins for better memory and longer life has a strong scientific basis, and that we still have a great deal to learn about the remedies used before the introduction of mass produced pharmaceuticals.