Alzheimer’s | Natural Herbal Treatments and Lifestyle
We don’t know it or recognize it until it hits us—and sometimes we don’t even recognize or notice it then. The disease could affect any of us: our families, our friends, or maybe even ourselves.
Who knew there could be a disease that makes us forget who we are, where we are, and the people we love.
In the end, it places an incredible burden on the loved ones the disease leaves behind, no matter how much the diseased person doesn’t wish to burden them.
The disease we’re talking about: Alzheimer’s.
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE – AND HOW IT WORKS
Alzheimer’s is a neurological disorder. It is responsible for somewhere between 60-80% of cases of dementia, which is itself characterized by memory loss, forgetfulness, and cognitive disability.
In essence, it is a slow decline and dysfunction of the nervous system.
Though it can’t ever be fully healed, the disease can be supported, and symptoms can be managed—especially if done with a nervous and neurological focus.
CAN HERBS AND MUSHROOMS HELP?
Conventional and mainstream medicine, thankfully, do have treatments for Alzheimer’s. But the majority of these sometimes come with unwanted and unpleasant side effects—and not all medications work optimally for everyone.
But there are alternative and natural approaches out there.
Such as: herbs, mushrooms, and other botanicals. These may not manage symptoms as effectively as pharmaceutical options, nor are they shown to be more reliable or recommended replacements in any way, shape, or form.
Still, research suggests that they could be supportive neurologically, helping strengthen the overall nervous system—which may further help reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms and perhaps even medications (if doctors recommend it).
These botanicals are also being researched as potential Alzheimer’s therapies.
So, who knows—maybe someday, one of the following will be a part of one’s Alzheimer’s medication in some way.
Bacopa is truly an amazing herb. The history behind it is bound to be even more amazing, with ancient uses stretching as far back as ancient India and Ayurvedic herbal medicine.
In fact, its uses and effects are so amazing that it’s still in popular use today.
That goes for both traditional folk healing and use as a widely available supplement to support various health issues. Besides these, it’s also attracted plenty of scientific attention, specifically for its nervous system benefits.
In this realm, bacopa could have a lot to offer—including for Alzheimer’s and issues related to it.
One clinical trial used bacopa on 39 elderly patients with the disease. It found that the herb helped improve cognitive functions very noticeably, which included recognition of location, other people, attention, writing, and speaking abilities.
After reading about cordyceps, most would think “this is probably the weirdest mushroom in the world.”
They’re probably right on many counts: not only because cordyceps is weird for growing out of bugs, but because its effects on health are also anything but average.
Cordyceps has a famous reputation for being neuroprotective.
The benefits for Alzheimer’s here are obvious, though one study really spelled it out: cordyceps contains polysaccharides that inhibit enzymes which interact with neurotransmitters. More specifically, these polysaccharides inhibit enzymes that may get in the way of optimal brain function in Alzheimer’s, especially with cognition and learning.
In another study, a compound called “adenosine” found in cordyceps showed an ability to reduce glutamate production in the brain. Glutamate is linked to the development of many different types of neurological disorders, and Alzheimer’s is certainly no exception.
So, in addition to bacopa, the mushroom cordyceps may be one of many natural remedies leading the charge of alternative choices for supporting Alzheimer’s.
The herb epimedium may be known more commonly by another name: horny goat weed. With a name like that, one might be quick to think it’s good for one thing and one thing only.
But that’s just not true—because epimedium is also a powerful nerve tonic.
In fact, its beneficial and healing effects on nerves may account for its energetic benefits to reproductive health too, just as much as they account for healing neurological conditions through the nerves.
Alzheimer’s is a great candidate among conditions that epimedium could help. One study even established a strong link between the herb and the disease.
Epimedium contains a compound called icariin, which in research shows an ability to protect damage to the brain and nerves—damage that can occur in Alzheimer’s. Damage like this often leads to cognitive impairment and certain other Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Evidence like this makes epimedium a double-whammy for both reproductive health and Alzheimer’s, both being problems that increase in likelihood as we age.
Who would expect potential Alzheimer’s health benefits from something like a clubmoss plant? Apparently, ancient Asian cultures did—or something close to it.
One such clubmoss, called toothed clubmoss, was favored in both China and Japan as a nerve and brain tonic. Herbalists would prescribe it for memory problems, depression, and much more.
Such an effective herb for the nerves also made scientists take notice.
With research, scientists discovered an alkaloid compound in clubmoss with powerful healing properties, and called it huperzine A. But the research didn’t end there.
Tons of studies have tested the alkaloid’s nerve properties and how they benefit Alzheimer’s. This has even led to major reviews of evidence, including this one—which states that huperzine A could be very beneficial to Alzheimer’s when it comes to boosting cognition and improving quality of life, though more studies are needed.
LION’S MANE MUSHROOM
Though other herbs and mushrooms are quite impressive when it comes to Alzheimer’s, none stand out so much—or are as fervently researched— as lion’s mane.
Transcending its origins as a nerve tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this mushroom has far surpassed its humble beginnings to earn an outpouring of research on its neuroprotective capabilities.
Of these, its impact on Alzheimer’s disease has been the greatest focus.
Moreover, the most notable and unique thing about lion’s mane: studies show it’s neurotrophic. This means it doesn’t only protect nerves, it also helps them regenerate and grow back.
For Alzheimer’s, this means that lion’s mane could make amazing things happen. But there could be more to it, too: such as in this study, for example, where the mushroom was found reducing Alzheimer’s-causing plaque in the brain.
For these reasons, lion’s mane may be the #1 botanical to try for the condition.
Lion’s mane may be the top mushroom for Alzheimer’s, but the reputable reishi mushroom doesn’t lag too far behind.
In practically every area of health, reishi has amazing credibility and superb ability to help with issues—plus tons of scientific studies and historical use to support its effectiveness. When it comes to Alzheimer’s, too, reishi is no slouch.
One study even directly tested reishi’s effects on Alzheimer’s.
In the study, reishi remarkably promoted neurotrophic regeneration, or “neurogenesis,” not all that different from lion’s mane— though to a lesser degree. The result: it greatly reduced cognitive impairment issues in the test subjects who had Alzheimer’s.
Let’s just say the results were so intriguing, there were urges from studying scientists to continue this research—all for the purpose of finding new medicines for Alzheimer’s.
While reishi is certainly considered no remedy yet, its story as a possible therapy for the disease is far from over.
Whenever someone munches on vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli, or kohlrabi (and many others), they’re reaping the benefits of an amazing compound found in these dark leafy greens: called sulforaphane.
Research has uncovered some amazing things about this compound.
Not the least of these being Alzheimer’s benefits, which is really only one of many powers it has as a neuroprotective.
Studies like this one reveal that sulforaphane’s antioxidant properties are so potent, they can effectively reduce oxidative stress in the brain and nerves, thus slowing down the progression of neurological disorders of all kinds—including Alzheimer’s.
To experience the benefits of sulforaphanes on a therapeutic level, however, one would have to eat pounds upon pounds of vegetables. Fortunately, condensed and purified supplements can provide an amazing amount of the Alzheimer’s-supporting compound in a single dose.
VELVET BEAN (MUCUNA PRURIENS)
This last herb we may not be too familiar with in the Western world. Velvet bean, which also goes by the name “cow itch” (or the more scientific mucuna) has more widespread recognition in Asia than in the United States.
But that doesn’t downplay its potential at all, no less for Alzheimer’s.
Mucuna certainly hasn’t escaped notice in the scientific world, either. One very remarkable thing about the plant: its seeds contain amino acids. These amino acids, though found in animals and plants in nature, are also shockingly and strangely similar to a neurotransmitter found in the human brain called L-DOPA.
Studies have shown that using the seeds for illnesses like Parkinsons’s had amazing effects, and even helped slow down the progression of the illness.
Though more research is needed, some scientists are anticipating that the same neuroprotective effects may be expected in Alzheimer’s studies, too.
LIFESTYLE AND DIET TIPS FOR ALZHEIMER’S
Care and treatment for Alzheimer’s, in a natural sense, can go far beyond just natural supplements or medications. It can also be established through one’s lifestyle and routine.
Once again, none of these can remedy or treat Alzheimer’s.
But they can be a little “something extra” for the bigger picture of things, as well as helping some symptoms people with Alzheimer’s experience.
- Manage anxiety
- Manage stress and depression
- Create calm environments
- Create environments absent of blue light and EMF’s
- Establish a nutrient-dense diet for optimal nervous system health
- Work frequently on challenging puzzles or games
- Quit smoking
- Work on boosting heart health
- Maintain a social life and relationships
- Exercise frequently and often
- Learn a new skill or subject
FIND THESE BOTANICALS IN OUR TOP NERVE-FOCUSED FORMULAS
Each precious herb and mushroom in this article can be found in either one of our supplement blends, each formulated for different levels of neurological support. Research suggests that neurological support may ease Alzheimer’s symptoms and possibly reduce one’s risk.
Neuro Shroom contains all the very best and healthful ingredients for the nervous system overall. This makes it great for all things related to nerves, neurons, and all conditions related to them.
Neuro Shroom Contains:
- Huperzine A
- Lion’s Mane
- Reishi Cracked Shell Spores
Neuro Regen is a step ahead of Neuro Shroom, providing even more focused support specifically for experience nerve and neurological-related conditions.
Neuro Regen Contains:
- Lion’s Mane
- Mucuna pruriens
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Shishir Goswami, Anand Saoji, Navneet Kumar, Vijay Thawani, Meenal Tiwari, Manasi Thawani (2011). Effect of Bacopa monnieri on Cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s disease patients. International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health 3(4) 285-293. Retrieved from https://docplayer.net/21921112-Effect-of-bacopa-monnieri-on-cognitive-functions-in-alzheimer-s-disease-patients.html
Peth-Nui T, Wattanathorn J, Muchimapura S, et al. Effects of 12-Week Bacopa monnieri Consumption on Attention, Cognitive Processing, Working Memory, and Functions of Both Cholinergic and Monoaminergic Systems in Healthy Elderly Volunteers. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:606424. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3537209/
Cheng-Han Tsai, Yue-Horng Yen, John Po-Wen Yang (2015). Finding of polysaccharide-peptide complexes in Cordyceps militaris and evaluation of its acetylcholinesterase inhibition activity. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis 23(1) 63-70. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1021949814000957
Opeyemi J. Olatunji, Yan Feng, Oyenike O. Olatunji, Jian Tang, Zhen Ouyang, Zhaoling Su, Dujun Wang, Xiaofeng Yu (2016). Neuroprotective effects of adenosine isolated from Cordyceps cicadae against oxidative and ER stress damage induced by glutamate in PC12 cells. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology Vol. 44 pp. 53-61. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1382668916300308
Wen-Xian Li, Yuan-Yuan Deng, Fei Li, Bo Liu, Hui-Yu Liu, Jing-Shan Shi, Qi-Hai Gong (2015). Icariin, a major constituent of flavonoids from Epimedium brevicornum, protects against cognitive deficits induced by chronic brain hypoperfusion via its anti-amyloidogenic effects in rats. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior Vol. 138 pp.40-48. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S009130571530054X
Guoyan Yang, Yuyi Wang, Jinzhou Tian, Jian-Ping Liu (2013). Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. PLoS ONE 8(9) e74916. Retrieved from https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0074916
Lai P, Naidu M, Sabaratnam V, et al.(2013). Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. Int J Med Mushrooms 15(6):539-554. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24266378
Tsai-Teng T, Chin-Chu C, Li-Ya L, et al. (2016). Erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease-related pathologies in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice. J Biomed Sci. 23(1):49. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27350344
Huang S, Mao J, Ding K, et al. (2017). Polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum Promote Cognitive Function and Neural Progenitor Proliferation in Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease. Stem Cell Reports 8(1):84-94. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28076758
Andrea Tarozzi, Cristina Angeloni, Marco Malaguti, Fabiana Morroni, Silvana Hrelia, Patrizia Hrelia (2013). Sulforaphane as a Potential Protective Phytochemical against Neurodegenerative Diseases. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Vol. 2013 ID 415078. Retrieved from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2013/415078/
Sanjay Kasture, Mahalaxmi Mohan, Veena Kasture (2013). Mucuna pruriens seeds in treatment of Parkinson’s disease: pharmacological review. Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine 13(3) 165-174. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13596-013-0126-2
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