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Herbs With Nicky Treacy Kohler - Boost Your Brain Power

Thursday, 29 September 2005


Nicky will be here to talk to us about alternative medicines that can boost your brain power.  People use their brains to function everyday.  We are always talking about ways to improve our bodies so that we can perform better in our workplace, so that we can have a better appearance and so that we are in better health. We tend to forget about our brains and that they need to be minded too.  Boosting the brain can be done in two specific herbal ways.  The first is by stimulating the cells nerves and the second is by producing a state of relaxation that provides clarity of thought.

Coffee is one of the main general stimulants used in the treatment of migraine.  It is also a powerful diuretic.  Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant especially for the Central Nervous System.

Rosemary - Rosmarinus Offianalis
Rosemary improves and strengthens the memory.  In Greece they burn it for students before exams.
Rosemary is a symbol of fidelity between lovers on account of its ability to improve the memory.  It has high percentage volatile oils including camphor - used in the Victorian times to revive fainting ladies.  It is because of the high percentage volatile oils that it is used for memory.

. Place the chopped up rosemary into a jar.
. Pour alcohol over the herbs in the jar, making sure all is covered.
. Shake for 1-2 mins.
. Close the jar and label it.
. Store in a dark place for 2 weeks, shaking every 2 days.
. Put a pop sock over the jar and strain into a jug, wring the pop sock out with your marigolds on.
. Pour liquid into brown bottles, with a stopper and label (use a funnel for this).  This can last up to 2 years.
Dosage: Half a teaspoon as needed (Nicky will explain doses)

Gingko Biloba
This is a brain stimulant.  The leaves of this tree are used and the tree grows to 100ft.  It is the oldest tree on the planet dating back 190 million years ago.  It is a great Chinese remedy for the elderly because it improves circulation and helps provide a good blood flow to the CNS.
There has been loads of research done since 1960 to prove that it has real potential in treating Dementia and Alzheimers.  It is exhibits PAF - platelet activating factor - which is a substance released by some blood cells that make the blood stickier.
This is the reason why you cannot but it over the counter but can get it on a one to one consultation with a herbalist or a doctor.  It can be taken in tincture form or as a tablet.

This is also a Chinese herb. It is an adaptogen and helps the body to adapt to stress.  It can cause insomnia so it is not recommended to take it after 4pm. It is also recommended not to take caffeine with this herb.
It can be taken for short term stress such as moving house.  The ginsenosides look chemically like the body's own stress hormones.  It has a stimulating effect on young people and a restoring effect on the elderly.  It is believed to be more suited to male temperament.  It is an old Chinese remedy to cope with winter.  It can't be taken for more than 6 weeks.  You can take it in tablet form or you can put the roots in a vegetable soup.

Valeriana Officinalis
This is a herb which boosts the brain by providing a tranquilizing effect. It is best used for stress such as a driving test because it calms the CNS and allows the knowledge to come through.  The name is thought to derive form Latin 'to be well'.
It grows in Europe and the roots and rhizome are used.  It reduces mental over-activity and nervous excitability and therefore the calm produced allows for clarity.
It is recommended to take it in tincture or tablet form.  You can take it in a tea.
We will show the herb in studio but here's a little word of warning- it apparently has an absolutely foul smell!