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The Brain Tonic

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A FRUSTRATED client of mine popped up unexpectedly in my place in Orissa. He apologized for the unannounced visit and explained with his sunken and teary eyes the condition of his wife. He said that his wife doesn’t remember him at all. She gets hysterical whenever he enters their bedroom, thinking that he is a stranger who wants to rob their house and hurt her.

My heart ached at this unfortunate situation. Imagining a loved one with whom you shared most of your life, did silly things together, and built dreams for your future, not recognizing you anymore. What is more heartbreaking is the person who is afflicted with the forgetfulness disease or dementia. It must be a dreadful experience, to become totally dependent and to learn just to trust people to survive, because you do not remember most of the time.

Dementia is a general term for loss of memory. Damaged brain cells cause dementia. This damage hinders the ability of the brain cells to communicate with each other. When brain cells cannot transmit messages normally, the behavior, feelings and thinking procedure can be affected. It decreases the control to manage the functions to restore memory, cognition and body movement. When cells in a particular spot of the brain are disrupted, that region starts functioning in a disruptive way.

Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, severe head injury, are some of the major causes of dementia according to Stanford Health Care research. It is caused by abnormal brain changes severely sabotaging the natural flow of thinking process and the cognitive brain, resulting to the impairment of daily life function, delivers anxiety, impacts the life of the inflicted person considerably in an unpleasant manner and all those around her.  Dementia alters behavior, hence, feelings and relationships are greatly harmed and challenged, not only the brain.

Many conditions are progressive, which means that the signs of dementia start out slowly, like forgetting where you put your car keys or wallet, a missed appointment, slower thought process and gradually gets worse. Depression, prolonged sleep deprivation, circulation problem, vitamins and minerals deficiency, medication side effects, alcohol abuse, trauma, all contribute to memory drop.

Natural remedies have been always my first option and suggestion, either for cure or prevention, when it comes to treating my body or my clients. In this case, I highly recommend “ginkgo biloba,” also known as the brain tonic. It is the second most popular herb that is native in China and highly recognized for its potent powerful antioxidant properties and for treating the nervous system. The part used are the leaves, which have two lobes or biloba. Years of research report its remarkable contribution in improving memory loss, mental alertness and concentration, anxiety, depression, senility, brain circulation, dizziness, vertigo. Ginkgo is a best bet to restore healthy cell membranes throughout the body, especially the brain, and beneficial to sexual function related to circulation, says Steve Schecter, naturopath and director of Natural Healing Institute of Naturopathy, in California, USA, where I am an alumna.

Dosage: For preventive purpose: 40 mg, 3 times a day. For therapeutic purpose: 60 mg, 3 times a day, for at least 3 to 5 months, for optimum results. The longer it is used, the more you will feel its effects. To those taking blood thinners, it is not advisable to take the ginkgo herb.

Aside from ginkgo, try brain exercises like crossword puzzles and vocabulary challenge offered in some apps for memory system enhancement. Physical exercise, sufficient sleep and rest, proper hydration, meditation for calm, vitamin C, D, Magnesium, B-Complex, probiotics and intimacy are big contributors for mental and overall wellness.

Blessing you a brain full of health and a mind full of peace.

Namaste.

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