Forgetfulness and memory loss can have a big impact on your quality of life. With Chinese herbs for dementia diseases, you can help the brain function better and may help prevent conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Let’s take a closer look at why dementia diseases occur from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, and learn which herbs for brain function are best for fighting cognitive decline as we age.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is not a disease itself, but a range of symptoms that come with a decline in cognitive function. For most people affected, this can mean memory loss, trouble communicating, and even changes in personality and behavior. As the condition progresses, it can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to carry out daily activities and they may eventually require full-time care.
Dementia diseases are caused by damage to or loss of nerve cells and their connections in the brain. But researchers aren’t sure exactly what causes these changes in the brain to take place. What we do know is that other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke, can make it more likely for someone to develop dementia.
Types of Age-Related Brain Diseases
There are several types of age-related cognitive diseases, all of which can affect a person’s memory, thinking, and overall cognitive abilities. The most common types of age-related brain conditions include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of age-related cognitive disease. This condition leads to significant memory loss and is characterized by the buildup of plaques in the brain.
- Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease mostly affects movement, but can also impact cognitive function over time. In Parkinson’s, there is a substantial decrease in dopamine levels in the brain, which interrupts the communication between different parts of the brain that control how you move.
- Vascular dementia
Vascular dementia occurs when a lack of blood flow to the brain leads to damage and cognitive impairment.
- Lewy body dementia
This is a type of dementia that is caused by the buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain, leading to a range of cognitive and motor issues. Those with Lewy body dementia may also experience hallucinations, sleep issues, and depression.
- Frontotemporal dementia
When dementia primarily affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, it can cause changes in a person’s behavior, personality, and ability to communicate.
- Mild cognitive impairment
This term is used when there is a general decline in cognitive function that is more than to be expected for a person’s age, but not severe enough to be diagnosed as dementia.
Treatment of Dementia Diseases
While there is currently no cure for dementia, early diagnosis and treatment can help to slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life for those affected.
Conventional Treatment for Dementia
In Western medicine, the specific treatment options depend on the type and severity of the dementia, as well as the individual’s overall health.
There are several medications for memory loss that can help manage the symptoms of dementia. These include drugs like cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. While these drugs can help improve cognitive function and may slow the progression of the disease, they cannot reverse dementia.
Therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and occupational therapy may also help to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and help people with dementia maintain their ability to do their daily tasks with confidence.
Beyond medications and therapy, lifestyle change is often necessary. Anything from regular exercise and a healthy diet to social activities and brain games can help improve overall quality of life for people living with dementia.
Natural Remedies for Dementia
While natural remedies like massage, aromatherapy, and supplements can’t reverse dementia, they can help make living with dementia more manageable. Here are some common natural remedies that may help prevent dementia diseases from developing:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Healthy fats are necessary for healthy brain development. Now, research shows that consuming omega-3 fatty acids may prevent the changes in the brain that lead to dementia diseases over time.
- Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba is a medicinal herb with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties. It may be helpful to prevent brain cell damage and protect the brain as you age.
Acupuncture and herbs have long been used to support brain health as part of the Chinese medical system. Studies show that people with depression who regularly get acupuncture are less likely to develop dementia diseases compared to control groups.
Chinese Herbal Treatment for Dementia Diseases
Along with acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years as a way to support the brain, prevent cognitive disorders, and reduce the symptoms of dementia diseases.
In TCM, dementia diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s typically have a root cause in one of these imbalances:
- Qi and blood deficiency
As we age, it’s normal to become deficient in resources like qi, blood, and fluids. That is one of the reasons we develop wrinkles or lose our hair. But when this deficiency affects the brain, we experience cognitive decline and memory loss. Qi and blood deficiency can also lead to depression or anxiety along with cognitive issues.
- Kidney deficiency
In TCM, the Kidneys are essential to healthy aging and brain power among many other functions. When the Kidney energy is weakened (either by Kidney Qi deficiency, Kidney yin deficiency, Kidney yang deficiency, or Kidney essence deficiency), issues related to memory and thinking can arise.
- Blood stasis and phlegm
Blood stasis occurs when poor circulation allows blood to pool and coagulate in the body, which only further weakens the body’s circulation. A similar thing happens with our body’s fluids, only this stagnation leads to dampness and phlegm. When blood stasis and phlegm are present, they create inflammation and block the “clear” thinking of the brain and prevent proper brain function and memory.
Herbs for Dementia Diseases
TCM herbal formulas work to support healthy brain function and graceful aging in many different ways. The key to dementia prevention is knowing your body’s constitutional weaknesses and using herbal formulas that build your brain strength and restore balance.
Clear the Fog: Bu Nao Pian
Bu Nao Pian is a brain-boosting formula that can help improve memory and concentration when there is dampness or phlegm present. How do you know if dampness is at the root of your trouble? You consistently experience brain fog, a heavy feeling in the head, excess mucus, stubborn weight gain, lethargy and fatigue, or similar issues. Taking this formula can “lift the fog” and help you prevent future cognitive conditions.
Restore Brain Balance: Huan Shao Wan
Huan shao wan, or Return to Spring Teapills, is a tonifying formula that restores the body’s energy after it has been depleted. This formula may be for you if you have noticed a steep decline in your natural energy levels, either due to age, postpartum, or a chronic illness. Along with supporting your brain function and improving memory, this formula can also improve other age-related issues such as weak knees, frequent urination, low libido, hair loss, and hearing loss.
Boost Brain Circulation: Healthy Brain Pills
Healthy Brain Pills are based on a unique TCM formula that strengthens brain health from the root. Herbs in this formula build qi and blood to reduce mental exhaustion, while others stimulate blood circulation to “awaken” the brain. Choose this formula if you want to protect your brain power while also reducing issues like fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, poor memory, or restlessness.
Protect & Prevent: Lion’s Mane
Lion’s mane mushroom is a powerful medicinal mushroom best known for its ability to improve brain function and performance. Those taking lion’s mane notice better focus, improved problem-solving, and less mental fatigue. If you want to reduce your risk of dementia diseases, studies show that taking lion’s mane could help.
Prevent Dementia Diseases with Chinese Herbs for Brain Health
There may be no cure for cognitive disorders or dementia diseases, but there are ways we can support the brain to ease the symptoms or prevent these issues entirely.
Chinese herbal medicine offers a natural way to preserve your brain health so you can think clearly today and retain your precious memories in the future. Not only do Chinese herbs help you protect your brain, but they also help you live a long and healthy life.It’s never too soon to start protecting your brain against dementia diseases. Explore our full collection of herbal formulas for brain health, cognition, memory, and mood balance here!