Herbal antioxidants improve learning and memory, could decrease Alzheimer's risk

Thursday, December 05, 2013 by: PF Louis
Tags: herbal antioxidants, improved learning, Alzheimer''s risk

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(NaturalNews) Susan Farr, PhD, professor of geriatrics at St. Louis University School of Medicine, presented her preliminary findings regarding herbs that can reduce cognitive decline at a Society for Neuroscience conference, Neuroscience 2013. The herbs tested were rosemary and spearmint.

Dr. Farr's study used mice exhibiting age-related dementia and cognitive decline. She didn't use raw herbs. Instead, she was supplied proprietary extracts of those herbs from Kemin Industries, a company involved in developing food products, nutraceuticals and ingredients for supplement companies.

Susan Farr used three different extracts, one high-dose rosemary extract, another lower-dose rosemary extract and a spearmint extract. She discovered that the high-dose rosemary extract created the greatest improvements with memory and learning in three tested behaviors. The lower-dose rosemary and spearmint extracts improved memory in two of the behavioral tests.

This research managed to observe increased antioxidant activity in areas of the brain connected to memory and learning. Oxidative stress in those areas of the brain precipitate age-related dementia, ranging from cognitive decline to full-blown Alzheimer's disease.

Although Dr. Farr declined to comment on what amounts, if any, would be helpful for humans, she did state, "Our research suggests these extracts made from herbs might have beneficial effects on altering the course of age-associated cognitive decline. It's worth additional study."

Despite her inconclusive determination for humans, she did mention that consuming both herbs is beneficial for health.

Here are some Natural News articles that extoll the health benefits of rosemary herbs, including other research on rosemary and memory (

Regardless of the quest for more studies (and research grants) of rosemary and spearmint for staving dementia and cognitive decline, there are herbs with a centuries-old history of improving memory and mental acuity.

Ayurveda and its use of brahmi, bacopa and kotu-kola

According to Ayurveda practitioner Vaidya R.K. Mishra, the herb brahmi is extinct. Supplements called brahmi are either simply Bacopa monnieri or gotu kola. Ideally, a mixture of Bacopa monnieri (aindri) and gotu kola (mandukaparni) delivers benefits close to what brahmi once did.

Vaidya has continued his family lineage of Ayurveda practitioners' use of balancing bacopa and kotu kola together as a substitute for the extinct brahmi plant.

He explains how bacopa itself handles each of the three properties of the mind, dhi (learning and comprehension), driti (retention of knowledge) and smriti (memory or recall), and helps harmonize those properties together.

He adds that gotu kola is even more powerful than bacopa for enhancing mind power, especially memory. But it can be harmful to some if not buffered with other herbs and/or balanced with bacopa. It's even banned in Canada.

According to Vaidya, Ayurveda considers gotu kola its most powerful anti-aging herb as well. Vaidya provides informational e-booklets for these and other herbs here (

If you live near an Ayurveda clinic or practitioner, it's wise to pay a visit for a complete non-invasive, non-radiological consultation without other expensive medical devises, which makes their consultations cheaper than mainstream medical office visits.

They usually carry a complete line of herbs in bulk powders, also much less expensive than off-the-shelf and even online capsules and tablets.

Let's not forget the power of coconut oil for staving off and reversing dementia while we're at it. Cold pressed organic virgin coconut oil is ideal. There are arguments that the label "organic" is meaningless with coconut farming, because chemicals aren't used, but better to be safely fooled.

Two to four tablespoons of coconut oil daily has even reversed advanced Alzheimer's disease. If you're not familiar with this matter, make sure you check the sources at the bottom of this article (

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