Alzheimer’s disease is associated with age, progressive neurodegenerative and irreversible. This is characterized by severe memory loss, unusual behavior, personality changes, and a decline in cognitive function.
Ayurvedic medicinal plants have been found only effective in reducing progression of this disease. There are many medicinal plants with properties which can be used to develop drugs. These medicinal plants has many valuable compounds, such as lignans, flavonoids, tannins, polyphenols, triterpenes, sterols, and alkaloids, that show a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anti-amyloidogenic, anti-cholinesterase, hypolipidemic, and antioxidant effects.
These medicinal herbs are used to treat various neurological disorder since long time and found +ve in many clinical researches.
Jyotishmati ( Celastrus paniculatus): This herb is used in Ayurveda to treat brain related disorders and improving intellect. Its seeds are bitter, acrid, stimulant, digestive, cardio tonic and hot in potency. Since its seeds are thermogenic they should not be taken more than two or three at a time. The oil extracted from its seed is bitter, thermogenic and improves memory.
Ashwagandha ( Withania somnifera): Ayurveda describes Ashwagandha as Rasayana that increase longevity and vitality. It is used as single drug or in combination with other herbs. It is prescribed for promoting health, longevity, arresting aging process, revitalizing the body in debilitated conditions, increasing immunity, treating musculoskeletal conditions and as general tonic to increase energy. The recommended dosage of Ashwagandha root powder is 3-6 grams.
A total alkaloid extract of Ashwagandha root exhibited a calming effect on the central nervous system (CNS) in several mammalian species, suggesting the use of this herb to produce relaxation.
Some of the Ayurvedic medicines containing Ashwagandha are Ashwagandha pak, Ashwagandha ghrita, Ashwagandha Churna, Ashwagandhadi Lehyam, Ashwagandharishta etc.
Jatamansi ( Nardostachys jatamansi): In Ayurveda, the root powder of Jatamansi is used as neuroprotective, stimulant, antispasmodic, antipyretic, and antioxidant. It is recommended for treatment of various neuropsychiatric illnesses and excessive thirst.
Turmeric ( Curcuma longa): Turmeric is anti aging, anti oxidant, anti inflammatory, and anti bacterial. Turmeric contain manganese, iron, vit B6 and potassium. Here are some of the medicinal use of turmeric.
studies indicate that the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory property of turmeric is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Guggulu: Guggulu is indicated in lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation, healing of bone fractures, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, atherosclerosis, obesity and hyperlipidaemia.
A recent study demonstrated that gugulipid has a significant protective effect against the streptozotocin-induced memory deficit model of dementia;the effect can be attributed to its cholesterol-lowering, antioxidant, and anti-acetylcholine esterase activity. These observations suggest gugulipid as a potential anti-dementia drug.
Brahmi ( Bacopa monnieri): In India, Brahmi is used for centuries to improve mental health, intellect and memory. It is highly effective brain tonic. In Ayurveda, Brahmi is classified as medhya rasayana (improves mental health, intellect and memory;Rasayana that prevents ageing and gives longevity).
Brahmi or Bacopa is bitter in taste and has laxative, astringent, brain tonic, memory enhancing, and longevity promoting properties. It is indicated in treatment of various diseases such as mental retardation, poor memory, epilepsy, insanity and neuroses, anaemia, leprosy, renal disease, blood disease, poisoning and cough.
Shankhpushpi ( Convolvulus pluricaulis): Shankhpushpi is a brain tonic that effectively treats nervine disorders, mental aberration, anxiety neurosis, internal haemorrhages, spermatorrhoea and numerous other diseases. It has astringent, antidysenteric, antispasmodic, antiphlogistic, febrifuge, and alterative properties.
It is believed that Shankhpushpi calms the nerves by regulating the body’s production of the stress hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol.
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica): It is brain tonic, which reduces stress, anxiety, tumours, and cures insomnia/sleeplessness and depression. It also improves mental abilities, memory, intellect and removes mental fatigue. Gotu kola tea removes toxins from liver and blood, improves energy levels and strengthens the kidneys. As per Ayurveda, it balances aggravated Vata and Pitta in body.