Herbs for Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s patients have an acetylcholine deficiency. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in cognitive function and reasoning. It’s not clear if this deficiency causes Alzheimer’s or if Alzheimer’s is a result of the deficiency.

The following herbs show promise to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine or boosts acetylcholine.

Horsebalm (Monarda) helps prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine from two different compounds; carvacol and thymol. Horsebalm is best used as an herbal shampoo by adding a few drops to your normal herbal shampoo.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) contains antioxidants that should help combat free radicals in the body. Rosemary can be used as a tea, in shampoo, or in bath water because it can be absorbed through the skin.

Brazil nut (Bertholettia excelsa) has a high concentration of lecithin which contains choline. Choline is a building block for acethycholine. Other plants that contain good amounts of lecithin are dandelion flowers, poppy seeds, soybeans, mung beans, horehound, ginseng, cowpeas, English peas, and lentils.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) contains lecithin, choline and are very nutritious.

Fava beans (Vicia faba) are rich in lecithin and should be included in everyone’s diet not just the diets of Alzheimer’s patients.

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is high in choline as well as a good source of the antioxidant beta-carotene.

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is good for memory loss and poor circulation. Studies have not indicated its use for treating Alzheimer’s but is worth taking since it has shown its usefulness with memory loss.

Sage (Salvia officinalis) has been found to inhibit the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine and is a good source of antioxidants. Do not go overboard on the use of sage as it can cause convulsions in high doses due to the ingredient thujone.

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) contains the mineral boron which helps the levels of estrogen, a hormone in the body that can help short-term memory. It has also been shown to elevate the mood in some Alzheimer’s patients.

Willow (Salix) is the herbal source of aspirin, an anti-inflammatory drug. Studies have shown that people who have taken a lot of anti-inflammatory drugs for arthritis have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s.

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is an old folk remedy for memory and maintaining a strong mental vitality.

Remember, if you want a good memory and to lessen your changes of developing Alzheimer’s, use the memory herbs.

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