In this webinar we explore underlying causes of cognitive disruption and how to address them, with a focus on some of the most important botanical and nutritional combinations for improving memory, cognition, and focus.
When we see our patients struggling with memory, focus, and cognition, it is common for us to think of the brain as the source of the problem. More recent research reveals that disruptions in the ecological homeostasis of our digestive tracts, including the gut microbiota, is associated with how we feel, whether we are anxious or depressed, calm or erratic, shaky or stable, and how well we can access our mind and our memory. The field of Neurogastroenterology deals with interrelationships between the neurological and gastrointestinal networks. These overlapping systems have powerful influence over each other, and are intrinsically interconnected.
There are many factors present in the world today that influence our ability to focus, to remember, and to maintain a sense of well-being. Although the gut is central, disruptions exist across organ networks. Environmental toxins cause neuroexcitation, leading to neurological damage and the build-up of dysfunctional proteins that inhibit proper functioning in our neurological tissue. Stress that is emotional, chemical and/or physical strains the HPTA (hypothalamic, pituitary, thyroid, adrenal) axis, our adaptive neuroendocrine system, leading to anxiety and depression, ADD/ADHD, neurocognitive decline, and a host of neurological conditions. Emotional strain, coupled with chemical toxicity and poor food choices puts strain on the liver’s ability to metabolize and detoxify, leading to negative alterations in the neurological network, disrupting cognition. Loss of biodiversity in our gut microbiota due to the combination of our altered food supply and the build-up of environmental toxins create deficits in our ability to learn, retain information, and to remain in a state of calm, restful awareness.
We are generally addicted to stimulation, to things moving faster, to being distracted. Our attention span continues to shorten, and stimulating energy drinks are a standard part of most people’s daily routine. While we are seeking more energy to be able to handle the ever increasing number of inputs we experience every day, we are missing the mark on how to maintain health and happiness. Calming the central nervous system provides immense benefits to our overall health and well-being, and specifically supports our ability to learn, retain information and problem solve. Rather than attempting to increase our stimulation and neuroexcitation with stimulants, we would benefit greatly from the regular use of botanical nervines, which are naturally occurring agents that induce calm focus without causing sedation.
Improving blood flow in the brain, inducing autophagy, supporting detoxification networks, modulating inflammation, normalizing neuroendocrine function and promoting the elimination of dysfunctional components in neurological tissues are all essential strategies for enhancing cognition and improving memory and focus. Because the causes of our neurological disruptions are many and varied, our approach needs to encompass a wide range of therapeutic targets in order to be effective.
We are experiencing a dramatic rise in the incidence of ADD and ADHD in young people, while cognitive impairment and the associated memory loss is rising in elders. Using botanical and nutritional medicine, combined with diet and lifestyle therapies we can address both the causative factors and the overt symptoms of these debilitating conditions.
Therapeutics for Improving Memory, Cognition, and Focus
- Panax ginseng
- Panax quiquefolius
- Rhodiola rosea
- Rheum p.
Memory and Focus Enhancement
- Gotu Kola
- Huperzine A
Omega 3 fatty acids
Note: This webinar is intended for healthcare practitioners.