Improving Brain Function With Ayurveda
According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, health rests upon a foundation supported by three pillars – sleep, diet, and overall balance of life. If any one of these three pillars becomes weakened, our overall health and well-being may become affected. Therefore, in order to function optimally especially during modern times, let us look at specific ways to help maintain a healthy balance for the brain.
Intelligence Plus – with Gotu Kola, Ashwagandha, & Bacopa!!
~The Healthy Brain~
It’s to no surprise that the brain requires oxygen. In fact, the brain can only survive for about four minutes without oxygen before suffering from irreparable brain damage. Not only does the brain require oxygen – the brain requires glucose, fat and protein.
Healthy Fat – Healthy Brain
It’s quite astonishing that nearly 60 percent of the brain is fat. In fact, every single neuron [brain cell] is insulated by a myelin sheath made of fatty material – which stresses the importance of fat required for brain stability. That said, it is also important the differentiate between the quality of fat. For example, it’s important to eat healthy fats from pure oils [i.e. olive oil] and avoid nonorganic, mechanically processed, hydrogenated fats and all other altered fats such as trans-fatty acids [i.e. margarine].
The Importance Of Ghee
Ayurveda has traditionally considered ghee [clarified butter] to be the healthiest source of edible fat, with many beneficial properties. Ghee is butter from which the water and milk solids have been removed. Recent research has clearly demonstrated the importance of essential fatty acids [EFAs] for normal brain function and stabilization of moods. According to Ayurveda, not only does ghee improve memory and strengthen the brain and nervous system but it’s thought to improve digestion, promote longevity, and even help to protect the body from various diseases.
The Brain-Gut Connection …
According to Ayurvedic wisdom, by-products of poor digestion [ama] are considered toxic to the body and overall well-being. If these toxins [ama] enter into the general circulation and lodge into certain tissues this can interfere with proper functioning of the bodily systems. For example, in modern medicine we are quite familiar with a particular substance associated with Alzheimer’s disease being an amyloid-beta-peptide ‘plaque’. From an Ayurvedic perspective, this plaque formation is a by-product of poor digestion at various levels [G.I. tract, tissue, cellular, mental]. Therefore, from an Ayurvedic perspective, in order to keep the brain healthy and free of these toxic by-products of poor digestion [i.e. amyloid plaques], it is important to maintain a healthy and balanced digestive function.
The Ayurvedic Brain Gut Connection – By Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, the Director of Neurology at Wellspring Health and a pioneer in the field of Integrative Medicine, explains the Ayurvedic view of The Brain Gut Connection.
4 Simple Tips For Keeping The Brain Healthy
1. Black pepper. Modern research suggests that black pepper enhances the uptake and utilization of oxygen by brain cells. Likewise, black pepper helps to improve the quality of digestion – therefore, preventing formation of by-products of poor digestion [ama].
2. Ginger. Ayurveda describes fresh ginger root as one of the best enhancers of digestion – helping to better assimilate food and prevent the formation of toxic by-products of digestion [ama].
3. Turmeric. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial and has long been used in the Indian system of medicine to treat a variety of conditions. Epidemiological studies show a 4.4-fold lower incidence of AD in Southeast Asian countries where turmeric is commonly used as a dietary spice
Turmeric – is one of the oldest, most important spices known to humankind!!
4. Avoid eating refined sugar. Alzheimer’s disease has been likened to “diabetes of the brain” and excessive sugar is thought to impair certain enzymes within the brain, such as neprilysin – which can promote the buildup of amyloid plaques [ama] within the brain.
Brain Boosting Herbs
There are a certain class of Ayurvedic herbs which are distinctly thought to improve the functions of the mind and enhance memory which are classified as “medhya rasayanas”.
Shankapushpi is revered as one of the best herbs for supporting the brain and mental function. It enhances memory, calms the mind, and thought to improve tolerance to mental stress. Because of these properties, Shankapushpi is often considered “somanasya janana” – the giver of great mental power and bliss.
The effects of Brahmi help to calm and balance the mind. Certain scientific studies have demonstrated Brahmi to enhance learning and memory while providing antioxidant support for the brain.
Organic Brahmi – A Revered & Ancient Brain Tonic!!
Gotu Kola [Indian Pennywort]
Gotu Kola is considered one of the best herbs at enhancing memory. Likewise, Gotu Kola also contains asiatic acid which is a known potent inhibitor for the formation of amyloid plaques often seen in Alzheimer’s disease.
This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not to be considered medical advice. Always first seek the consultation of your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.