What is Alzheimer’s and dementia?
Dementia is a collection of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain and cannot be attributed to a single disease. Dementia affects a person’s behaviour, thinking, and ability to perform everyday tasks to the point where it interferes with normal working or social life.
Alzheimer’s symptoms slowly develop and get worse over time. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for roughly 60-80 per cent of all dementia cases.
People over the age of 65 have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s, but younger people can develop early-onset Alzheimer’s. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, however treating the symptoms may temporarily slow progression.
Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms
Some of the most common Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms are:
· Behavioural changes
· Vagueness in conversation
· Loss of enthusiasm in daily activities
· Forgetting the names of familiar people and places
· Taking longer to complete routine tasks
· Memory loss
· Delayed response
· Difficulty remembering recent events
· Inability to answer simple questions and follow instructions
· Deterioration of social skills
· Emotional unpredictability
Ayurvedic herb to help support those with Alzheimer’s and dementia
Some Ayurvedic herbs may be used to slow the progression of some symptoms, and these herbs are:
· Vacha - Acorus calamus
· Liquorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra
· Tagar – Valeriana wallichii
· Ashwagandha - Withania somnifera
· Brahmi – Bacopa monnieri
· Shankhpushpi - Convolvulus pluricaulis
· Turmeric - Curcuma longa
Vacha – Acorus calamus
Vacha root may be used in slowing the progression of some neurological diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Speech, coordination and proficiency may be improved through the use of Vacha. This herb may also have a positive effect on a person’s memory.
Liquorice – Glycyrrhiza Glabra
Liquorice has antacid properties that may soothe the stomach and intestinal walls, and be beneficial for those with arthritic problems, abdominal diseases, and mental disorders. Liquorice may also aid in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms by pacifying the vata dosha (five elements).
Tagar – Valeriana wallichii
Tagar may improve a person’s thinking and reasoning capacity to slow memory loss.
Ashwagandha – Withania Somnifera
Ashwagandha can be used to treat a variety of health conditions, such as gout, osteoarthritis, and mental stress. This herb may reduce mental fatigue and slow brain cell degeneration.
Brahmi – Bacopa Monnieri
Brahmi contains plant alkaloids, which can have beneficial effects on mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. This herb may slow the process of Alzheimer’s and slow the degradation of brain cells.
Shankhpushpi – Convolvulus Pluricaulis
Shankhpushpi may be used as a tonic to relieve mental fatigue and stress, and improve memory.
Turmeric – Curcuma longa
Turmeric contains a number of antioxidants, which may improve a person’s immune system and overall health. This herb may also reduce the degradation of brain cells and inflammation.
Ayurvedic therapies for treating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Supportive therapies include:
Shirodhara is an Ayurvedic therapy used when treating mental diseases. Ayurvedic oils or decoctions are gently poured over the forehead, which may help relieve stress, mental fatigue, and depression. This treatment may be recommended for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia to help improve memory and other functions.
Nasya is an Ayurvedic therapy where drops are administered through the nostrils. This therapy may help slow the progression of neurological diseases via the application of medicinal herbs, decoctions and oils.
Herbal medicines for treating Alzheimer’s and dementia
Herbal Ayurvedic medicines and recipes that may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia include:
· Brahma rasayana
· Bala Thailam
· Brahmi Thailam
· Aswagandhadi lehyam
· Kalyanaka Gritham
· Dhanwantharam Gulika
· Anu Thailam
· Balaswagandhadi Thailam
· Sarpagandha Gulika
· Brahmi Ghrita
· Saraswatha gritham
· Sathavaryadi gritham
· Brahma rasayana
· Ksheerabala Thailam
· Dhanwantharam Thailam
Ayurvedic yoga for treating Alzheimer’s and dementia
Yoga may be used to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia through stress relief. Pranayamas (breathing techniques) may help to improve memory and confidence, and rejuvenate the body.
Lifestyle changes for slowing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Some lifestyle changes may help prevent and delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, such as:
· Regular exercise
· Quality sleep
· An active social life
· Mental exercises
· A healthy diet
While there is no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, Ayurveda may help to slow the progression of the associated symptoms. Make an appointment at our Melbourne clinic for a natural way to support those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.