Ayurveda’s top two secret weapons against Alzheimer’s

Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. It originated in India more than 3,000 years ago and is still one of the country’s traditional health care systems.

Ayurveda is based on the principle of promoting good health, rather than fighting disease. However, it does use natural treatments to address specific health problems.

For example, spices like turmeric, cardamom and ginger are used to improve everything from digestion to energy to skin and hair.

Now, two substances, in particular, are gaining attention for their significant effects on cognitive health.

Studies are showing that these two natural substances, one an herb and the other a compound composed largely of an acid found in soil, could hold the answer to beating Alzheimer’s disease.

Ashwagandha: Decades of researched benefits

The evergreen adaptogen herb Ashwagandha, also known as winter cherry, has been a staple of Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is perhaps best known in the West for its ability to reduce stress and improve energy, which makes it a popular natural nootropic.

But for over a decade, researchers have been looking at Ashwagandha as a potential key to interrupting the mechanisms in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s disease.

A 2005 study found that derivatives of Ashwagandha improved neurite extension in both normal and damaged brain cells of mice with Alzheimer’s disease. (Neurite extension is simply the production of neurons and dendrites that connect nerve cells).

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In 2010, researchers at Michigan State University tested two chemical components of Ashwagandha and found that they protected neuron cells in rats from cell damage caused by beta-amyloid plaque, one of the primary destructive forces in Alzheimer’s.

Even more exciting, research at the National Brain Research Center gives hope that ashwagandha may even be able to reverse the memory loss of Alzheimer’s and improve cognitive abilities.

When mice with Alzheimer’s received Ashwagandha for 20 days, their ability to learn and retain what they’d learned improved significantly. After 30 days, the behavior of the mice returned to normal. At the same time, the researchers saw a reduction in amyloid plaques.

Shilajit: Alzheimer’s protection and more

There is a black, gooey, tar-like substance found deep in the Himalayas that controls pain, regulates the immune system, manages diabetes and protects against cancer.

But one of the greatest surprises about shilajit is its role as a safe dietary supplement that supports cognitive health and can prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

A 2012 study from the International Center for Biomedicine in Chile suggests that it’s the high content of fulvic acid in shilajit that protects the brain.

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Fulvic acid is an organic compound that can be taken as a liquid or solid supplement. It is found naturally in soil, so eating organic produce is an indirect way to consume it, since it’s commonly part of natural fertilizers that organic growers use to replenish nutrients in the soil.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that fulvic acid has antioxidant properties that help protect against the formation of tau proteins. These proteins build up in the brain and do damage to brain cells, resulting in Alzheimer’s symptoms. Fulvic acid shortens the length of tau fibrils and basically deactivates them.

Another source of fulvic acid

Blackstrap molasses is another rich source of fulvic acid. This thick, viscous molasses is less sweet than sugar but can be used as a substitute for honey and syrup in many recipes, as well as in glazes for meats and fish.

Blackstrap molasses is good for stress, controls blood sugar levels, and is high in calcium.

And, as an added bonus, 100 grams of blackstrap molasses has 25 percent of the RDA of selenium, a hard-to-find cancer-fighting nutrient that also helps regulate the thyroid, supports immunity and helps asthma symptoms.

Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!

Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.