Whether you have misplaced your car keys or can’t seem to remember names, memory loss can interrupt your daily life. The truth is many people have experienced forgetfulness or absentmindedness. With a busy schedule and constant stress, life can be chaotic. All of this can lead to short-term memory loss. When instances of memory loss begin to happen more frequently, it may interfere with your ability to handle daily life situations.
Memory loss can be caused by many things, including brain damage, stress, illness, fatigue, heredity and the normal aging process. Although memory loss caused by brain damage may be more difficult to treat, other causes may show improvement with the help of various Chinese herbs, acupuncture treatments, and other alternative Eastern remedies.
The science of Chinese herbology has been used for centuries in the preparation of tonics and tinctures in hopes of curing specific ailments. The earliest herbal recipes have been passed down through the generations and augmented to form a successful compilation of potent herbal remedies. Many of these century-old recipes are currently used by the Chinese today. These recipes have slowly made their way to the states and are more frequently being used in conjunction with Western medicine treatments.
In order to understand traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), you must be aware of the qi. The qi, in Chinese culture, is the principle life force or energy flow that every living object contains. Many ailments are thought to stem from the deterioration of the qi. Replenishing this life force can help to heal the condition. Many Chinese herbs targeted for memory loss actually involve treating the kidneys. The spleen is also a crucial element as the blood and qi decrease over time. If you are having mild to moderate symptoms of memory loss, here are a few of the most popular Chinese remedies that may stimulate your mind.
- Astragalus Root: Astragalus root is an adaptogen, which increases ones resistance to stress and disease by normalizing the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis. It helps people avoid health problems that stem from the aging process, such as memory loss and heart disease. Research has shown that a chemical found in astragalus can extend the lifespan of DNA.
- Chai Hu: Also referred to as Hare’s Ear Root, Chai Hu may help with stress-induced memory loss. Various studies from the Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research Center have shown Chai Hu to be effective for improving the memory during multiple studies. It remains to be one of the most common herbs in Chinese medicine to treat depression, irritability and stress.
- Chinese Dates & Date Seed: Chinese dates, also known as red dates or jujubes, are a superfood in Chinese culture that has many significant health benefits. In traditional Chinese medicine, red dates restore balance in the body and are essential to replenish qi. They also produce blood cells and help tranquilize the mind.
- Ginkgo Biloba: One of the most widely used herbal supplements, ginkgo biloba has been shown to improve memory loss. It works by dilating the blood vessels that nourish the brain, dramatically increasing blood flow to neural tissue. Along with increased blood supply the brain receives a greater concentration of oxygen, which helps to inhibit neural cell destruction. Not only does ginkgo biloba strengthen cognitive function, but is helps to prevent physical muscle and strength deterioration as well.
- Ginseng: According to experts, ginseng has properties similar to caffeine and encourages a deeper level of brain activity. This allows increased concentration, energy, and overall awareness.
- Huperzia: This herb contains an enzyme that stops the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. Acetylcholine increases the transmission of signals within the brain, stimulating memory and thought.
- Longan Fruit: Longan fruit strengthens the spleen and heart, nourishes the blood, and helps to boost intelligence. Although it may be hard to find a longan fruit stateside, it is a prime ingredient in many Chinese anti-aging tonics.
- Peony Extract: Either used by itself or in a cocktail of other Chinese herbs, Peony extract is used to enhance mental function.
- Rosemary: For thousands of years, the Chinese have regarded rosemary as a brain tonic. The essential oils contained in rosemary are thought to strengthen mental clarity, awareness, concentration, and memory. With no known dangerous side effects, rosemary can easily be added to anyone’s daily diet.
- Salvia: Also known as Spanish Sage, salvia increases oxygen flow to the brain cortex, helping to relieve mental exhaustion. It also improves memory and concentration.
- Wolfberry (Goji Berry): Chinese medicine believes wolfberry to have significant antioxidant properties, as well as neuroprotective properties. The high antioxidant level slows the aging process as well as memory loss. Studies show that the Goji berry can help restore damaged DNA.
- Yerba Mate: Otherwise known as Chinese wax tree, yerba mate prevents the deterioration of brain tissue and brain function. Herbal experts say that the vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, polyphenols, and amino acids found in yerba mate balance out the caffeine, which is also found in this herb.
- Gotu Kola: Gotu Kola is known for its ability to decrease the odds of developing dementia that occurs as a result of the aging process. This herb contains anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that taking mild anti-inflammatories on a daily basis can reduce memory loss and increase blood flow to all parts of the body, including the brain.
- Yuan Zhi: Also called polygala tenuifolia, this herb root improves cognition by means of its numerous medicinal constituents. One of these has shown to increase the amount of synaptic transmission that occurs within the hippocampus. Yet another constituent of the herbal root is able to prevent and reverse brain cell death.
- Acupuncture: Chinese acupuncture treatments have proven to be successful in improving memory and learning capacity. Specialists are able to restore the ability to process thoughts clearly, as well as improving your long-term memory.
Americans have become more aware of alternative forms of medicine. As Eastern meets Western in an attempt to improve the quality of life, doctors and Chinese medicine experts collaborate on effective memory loss treatments.