Alzheimer's disease is one of an irreversible and progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away (degenerate) and die. It is one of those progressive disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. Alzheimer’s, symptoms mostly appear peoples aged between 65 or older.Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.Just behind heart disease and cancer, Alzheimer's disease is currently ranked third leading cause of death for older people.
It's possible that a number of herbs and spices may help improve your brain health, and some of them may be already sitting in your fridge or pantry. Several of these herbs and spices have been studied for their effects on Alzheimer's disease, while others have been tested for their overall effects on cognition (i.e. the mental action or process involved in thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering).
Here's a look at some of the herbs and spices found to benefit the brain in scientific studies.
Turmeric is a spice long used in Ayurveda. It contains a compound called curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (two factors that may benefit brain health and overall health). Preliminary research suggests that turmeric may boost brain health and stave off Alzheimer's disease by clearing the brain of beta- amyloid (a protein fragment). The buildup of beta-amyloid is known to form Alzheimer's-related brain plaques. In addition, turmeric may shield brain health by inhibiting the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain.
To increase your intake of turmeric, try adding curry powder or turmeric to stir-fries, soups, and vegetable dishes. Include a couple of dashes of black pepper to enhance the absorption of turmeric.
A spice known for its pungent scent, sage might also improve cognition and aid in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. In fact, a research review published in 2017, suggests sage contains compounds that may be beneficial for cognitive and neurological function.
Try adding sage to butternut squash, roasted chicken, turkey, tomato sauce, or in a white bean soup. Sage can also be consumed in tea form.
Another Ayurvedic herb, ashwagandha has been found to inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid plaques in preliminary research, according to a review study published in 2010. Ashwagandha may benefit the brain by reducing ?oxidative stress (a factor that may contribute to the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease).
In alternative medicine systems such as Ayurveda and TCM, Gotu kola has long been used to improve mental clarity. Findings from animal-based research suggest that this herb may also help the brain by fighting oxidative stress.
In a preliminary study published in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology & Physiology in 2003, for instance, tests on rats demonstrated that gotu kola may inhibit Alzheimer's-associated oxidative stress and improve cognitive function
An herb often taken in tea form and frequently used to ease anxiety and insomnia, lemon balm may help improve cognitive function.
For a study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry in 2003, 42 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease took either a placebo or lemon balm extract for four months. At the end of the study, those given lemon balm showed a significantly greater improvement in cognitive function (compared to those given the placebo).
One of the most popular plants in herbal medicine, ginseng contains anti-inflammatory chemicals called ginsenosides. According to a review published in 2018, scientists have observed that ginsenosides may help reduce brain levels of beta-amyloid in preliminary lab studies.
There is no known way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease for certain. However, there are several steps that you can take to try to prevent or delay the onset of dementia.