Ayurveda For You - Boost Your Memory

From foods to herbs, breathing, yoga and meditation, there are many natural ways of increasing your memory. Dr Harshada Rama tells us how.
From foods to herbs, breathing, yoga and meditation, there are many natural ways of increasing your memory. Dr Harshada Rama tells us how.

Forgetfulness is common among many people, especially as we get older. With the advancement of age and lack of proper exercise, our organs lose their vitality. The brain is no exception. Memory problems are often the result of an inadequate supply of nutrients to the brain.

Ayurveda outlines three aspects to mental performance - dhi (learning and comprehension), dhriti (retention of knowledge), and smriti (memory or recall). These three factors working together at their peak allow us to reach our maximum mental potential.

The brain is susceptible to damage by free radicals produced from stress; environmental pollution; bacteria and parasites; prescription drugs; chemotherapy and radiation; and smoking and alcohol. Free radicals are widely linked to disease and aging. This makes antioxidants crucial for the brain to function effectively.
Sprouts, algae (like spirulina) and naturally occurring plant phyto-nutrients (like Ginkgo biloba) are good sources of antioxidants. Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), considered the richest natural source of vitamin C is one of the best sources of antioxidants.

EATING TO ENHANCE MEMORY
Carrots, which contain carotene, are good for memory. Drinking carrot or beet juice, both of which are blood builders, will help improve memory. Other memory enhancing foods include sweet potatoes, okra and spinach. Sattvic (pure) foods in general are good for memory. Foods considered most sattvic include fresh fruits and vegetables, almonds, oranges, ghee and milk.

HERBS FOR MEMORY
Ayurvedic scriptures have a special classification for herbs that increase memory. These herbs are called medhya (that which improves memory). Some of the best herbs in this category include Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Jatamamsi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica), and Vacha (Acorus calamus). These herbs help dilate the cerebral blood vessels, improve circulation to the brain, enhance mental performance and promote intelligence.

Brahmi oil rubbed on the soles of the feet and massaged into the scalp and top of the head, along with Shirodhara (Ayurvedic head treatment), is excellent therapy for both relaxing and stimulating the nervous system and calming the mind.

A half teaspoon of Brahmi powder boiled in a cup of milk with a pinch of saffron will improve your memory remarkably.

YOGA FOR MEMORY
Ancient texts recommend practicing as many rounds of Surya namaskar (sun salutations) as you are years old, but even including 6-12 rounds into your yoga practice will increase circulation and bring great benefit to your mind and body.

INCREASE MEMORY THROUGH YOUR BREATH
Your breath is the portal to your consciousness. You can increase your memory and, some say, increase your lifespan through deep breathing exercises. Anuloma Viloma (alternate nostril breathing) is directly linked with increased memory.

INCREASE MEMORY WITH MEDITATION
Daily practice of meditation not only increases memory, but also relieves stress, balances emotions, reduces worry, fear and anxiety and brings deeper balance and harmony to your physical body and well being.

Ayurveda outlines three aspects to mental performance - dhi, dhriti, and smriti. These three factors working together at their peak allow us to reach our maximum mental potential.

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