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Memory Aids
    Bryce Wylde, BSc, DHMHS, Homeopath
  • on Jul 10, 2017 |

Memory Aids

It is generally accepted that aging and memory loss go together, but it’s also known that there are ways of keeping our aging brains sharp. Staying active both mentally and physically can help prevent memory loss. Most of us think gingko when we think of an herb with memory- boosting effects. However, where gingko shows some effectiveness in the treatment of dementia (multi-infarct and Alzheimer's type), it appears to have only weak potency in improving the memory of healthy patients. New research, however, suggests that the herb bacopa might offer additional memory benefits. One study, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, included 98 healthy people over 55 years old. They were randomly assigned to receive either 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract per day or placebo for twelve weeks. Memory and learning tests done at the beginning and end of the trial included tasks such as remembering lists of words, recreating complicated geometric shapes from memory, and following letter and number patterns. Participants also answered questions about recent memory changes. The authors of the study concluded that bacopa significantly improves memory acquisition and retention in older Australians. This study was well designed and executed but of course an improvement on one test does not prove decisively that bacopa improves memory acquisition and retention. Like most studies it had some limitations and bears repeating and refinement.

The take-away for us is that natural and traditional health products often stand up to scientific scrutiny and that this work has barely begun. Every one of us can benefit from greater awareness of the latest developments.