As published in Le monde au naturel magazine, April 2018
Our brain is a very complex and extremely powerful organ. It is important to ensure its good development in children and with age, to give them a maximum of tools to ensure its regeneration and performance. Our modern, trendy and technological lifestyle, exposure to screens, internet, smart phones, advertising etc ... create overload and fatigue to our brain. Dr. Ivan Khorol, a prominent Russian scientist, has estimated that a human brain in the 21st century has stored and processed as much information in one day as that of its grandparents in a lifetime!
A tired brain will generate a series of nervous and cognitive symptoms. Dr. Madan Bali, PhD and renowned yoga teacher explains in his book Yoga for Taming the Mind that an overworked brain increases the incessant mental chatter that is, in general, of a negative nature such as concerns about the past and the future. This constant charge of thoughts and memories uses our vital energy and decreases our resources too quickly and early. This results in a point of deficit in the brain that can no longer process the information effectively. This deficit can cause exaggerated reactions to everyday events for example and also less stress resistance.
#1 IS LIFESTYLE
It is proven that the health of the brain goes through a healthy lifestyle. The results of a two-year clinical study in older adults at risk of cognitive impairment were presented at the 2014 International Association of Alzheimer's Disease Conference. These results demonstrated that combination of physical activity, healthy eating, cognitive stimulation exercises, social activities, stress reduction, and risk control for heart disease are factors that slow cognitive decline.
In Ayurveda, lifestyle is the foundation of health. And before using plants to heal and balance, we suggest adjustments to our clients' lifestyle. These adjustments concern of course the diet but also the relaxation times, the physical activity, the techniques of breathing, the self-massage, the meditation and others, in a personalized way and adapted to the own needs of the customer. Also, to help the brain stay alert and effective, it is important to give it some rest. Meditation, relaxation techniques like Yoga Nidra and time spent in nature using the senses are good ways to give our brain a break.
PLANTS FOR THE GOOD OF CEREBRAL FUNCTIONS AND MEMORY
Ancient Ayurvedic texts deal with brain functions and many plants are used to improve memory, concentration and nourish the brain.
ASHWAGANDHA (Withania somnifera): The Ashwagandha root has been used for thousands of years. It is one of the most powerful adaptogenic plants which means that it helps the body adapt to stress. In the brain, Ashwagandha mainly supports the health of the nervous system.
BRAHMI (Bacopa monnieri): Brahmi is traditionally used in Ayurveda to revitalize brain cells. It increases the concentration capacity and the memory. An Australian experiment conducted in 2002 concluded the significant effect of Brahmi on the tests of memorizing new information. This plant is also studied as part of the fight against Alzheimer's disease.
SHANKPUSHPI (Convolvulus pluricaulis): This Ayurvedic medicinal plant is mainly used to improve memory as well as cognitive and intellectual abilities. It acts as a stimulant for the brain and increases creativity. Shankhpushpi is beneficial against stress and depression.
Before you consume Ayurvedic plants, it is suggested to consult your Ayurvedic practitioner or practitioner to determine which plants are suitable for your specific needs and to advise you on the method of use. The use of medicinal plants carries risks. If you are taking medications and want to take medicinal plants, it is important to consult your doctor or pharmacist before using them.