Ayurveda recognizes that any toxin or waste (ama) that lodges in the brain tissue will obstruct the brain's micro-circulatory channels and interferes with the mind's functioning. The modern medical version of this principle is Alzheimer's disease. When we think of amyloid plaques which is a protein waste (ama) that builds up in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, we see that it interferes with normal brain function. Researchers have studied ways of preventing this disease and have seen through studies that an important enzyme that has the function of 'cleaning-up' amyloid plaques declines with age. So keeping this enzyme prolific in the system may help to prevent not only Alzheimer's but any age related decline in cognition.
When we look at the Ayurvedic approach to cognition we see that these latest finds are not new. Balanced digestion (agni) which includes all enzymes in our bodies, is key to good health, vitality and longevity.
To clear ama in the brain or amyloid plaques or other wastes it is as simple as following these simple 4 tips.
- Cook with fresh ground black pepper. Black pepper enhances the brains metabolism and recent scientific studies show that it also helps with the uptake of oxygen in your brain cells. Try this ama buster:
1 tablespoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
2 tablspoon mint leaves (grind them up in coffee grinder or with mortar/pestle)
2 tablespoons fennel seed (grind them up in coffee grinder or with mortar/pestle)
To take: 1 teaspoon of the mixture stirred into 1/4-1/2 cup of warm water
Adding some fresh ginger root enhances the metabolism and also helps you digest your food well. It is an ama buster too- which means it is great at getting rid of ama (toxins). It is also used as a channel opener and remember - brain fog is caused by those micro-circulatory channels in the brain being blocked. Ginger is easy to add to sauteed vegetables or to soups and stews. Make a ginger milk by adding a slice to warm milk. This will aid digestion as well as nourish the brain.
- Watch out for sugar. Sugar can harm the brain's enzymes; in effect helping to promote amyloid plaque build-up. If you love the sweet taste, try honey, maple syrup, rice syrup and raw cane sugar. Being healthy does not mean we avoid the calming sweet taste. In fact, my clients often make these Coconut Energy Balls to help with that afternoon fatigue and foggy thinking. Try them - they are delicious and good for you!
- Avoid too much alcohol or any other recreational chemicals. If you want to enjoy your glass of vino (and who doesn't); do so in moderation and certainly not every day. Recent research has shown that women's brains are far more sensitive to the damaging effects of alcohol than are men's brains. This is evidenced in alcoholics where female alcoholics show greater brain atrophy than male alcoholics.
So remember that good brain health is also about quality sleep, physical exercise, and mental activity. The proper foods, spices and herbs can all help nourish and flex your brain cells keeping them alert and in shape and that way you can say goodbye to 'senior moments'.
If you are experiencing problems with your brain health, It is important to find the underlying cause - and then we can find the solution that is right for you. If you would like to talk with me, I offer a complimentary consultation where we can chat about your health problems and goals. Just go to my online scheduler and find a time that works.