One of nature’s best kept secrets: Elya leaves reduce brain damage linked to Alzheimer’s
08/14/2018 // Michelle Simmons // Views

A study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine has found another potential natural treatment for Alzheimer's disease and other degenerative diseases. In the study, researchers suggest that the leaves of elya plant (Elatostema papillosum) can prevent neurocognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease.

A team of researchers from the International Islamic University Chittagong, Islamic University, and the University of Rajshahi in Bangladesh evaluated the antioxidant and anticholinesterase properties of the leaves of elya plant.

In conducting the study, the research team used a methanolic extract from the leaves of elya plant. Then, they looked at the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibitory activity and the antioxidant activity of elya leaf extract. In addition, they assessed the phenolic and flavonoid contents of the elya leaf extract.

Based on the results, the elya leaf extract exhibited inhibitory AChE and BChE activity. In addition, the elya leaf extract demonstrated potent antioxidant activity. The elya leaf extract was also found to be rich in flavonoid and phenolic contents. The antioxidant and anticholinesterase properties of the elya leaf extract prevent oxidative stress and cellular damage, which play a role in the development of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease.

The findings of the study suggested that the elya leaf extract can potentially reduce the risk of various degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease because of its antioxidant and anticholinesterase activities.


Other herbal treatments for Alzheimer's disease

In addition to elya leaves, there are other herbaceous plants have been studied for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. (Related: Herbal antioxidants improve learning and memory, could decrease Alzheimer's risk.)

  • Cat's claw – Cat's claw has been used by natives in the Amazon rainforest to help relieve redness and swelling, particularly in the bones and joints. Reseach on cat's claw revealed that the herb dilates blood vessels, which might be beneficial for patients of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's patients typically have weak blood flow, leading to less oxygen in their brain cells.
  • Gingko Biloba – Gingko Biloba is an herb known to improve blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Therefore, it may promote cognition. Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center discovered that the herb might help patients with Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, a study published in the journal BMC Geriatrics revealed that gingko biloba was effective in reducing Alzheimer's-related dementia. Another study found that the herb significantly improved memory test results of Chinese participants with mild cognitive impairment.
  • Ginseng – Ginseng has been studied for its potential benefits on many health problems, such as diabetes, cancer, colds, and flu. It has also been studied for its potential beneficial effects on Alzheimer's disease. In a study published in the Journal of Chinese Medicinal Materials, ginseng extracts were found to reduce cell death in Alzheimer's disease in animal studies.
  • Lemon balm – This herb is continuously studied because of its potential to help Alzheimer's disease patients. In a study conducted by researchers at Newcastle University, the effect of lemon balm on the enzyme and receptors responsible for helping the molecule acetylcholine transmit nerve signals. Results of the test revealed that lemon balm extract stimulated the receptors efficiently.
  • Sage – The same study that studied the lemon balm extract also looked at the effects of the sage extract on cognitive function. The results revealed that sage similarly inhibited AchE in the manner similar to how the Alzheimer's drug called Aricept works.

Read more news stories and studies on preventing dementia by going to

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