HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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School of Medicine. Play games (particularly word games) or cards. Join a book club. Watch Jeopardy! or a football game. Learn a new language or skill. Even better, take dance lessons – something that exercises the body physically and mentally. All of these and more stimulate and light up the brain’s circuitry.


4. Stay socially active.

Staying active socially and attending events with others help keep you in the game of life. Social interaction also helps memory because it elevates your mood: Depression is more common in people who are socially isolated.


5. Economize your brain use.

If you don’t need to use mental energy remembering where you put your keys, you’ll be better able to concentrate and recall new and important things. Have a place at home where you put your keys, your glasses, your purse, etc. and get in the habit of keeping those items in that designated place. This could extend to other areas of homemaking or organization in your office as well.


6. Believe in yourself.

People who believe they are in control of their memory function and who know they can recall what is necessary are more likely to work at maintaining or improving their memory and are therefore less likely to experience cognitive decline. The opposite is also true: Those who believe they are not in control are inclined to do less to improve their memory.  

SIX WAYS TO KEEP YOUR MEMORY SHARP

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60+ and Health & Wellness magazines. Her blog may be seen on her website at www.normajan.naiwe.com

more articles by jean jeffers

1. Exercise.

A 30-minute walk, a brisk bike ride, lifting weights – any of these and more are some of the best things you can do for your body to keep your mind sharp and alert. “Physical exercise has the best evidence for preserving memory and mental function with aging,” said R. Scott Turner, M.D., Ph.D., a leader in memory research. Exercise, he says, can help prevent things that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and stroke. Some studies suggest exercise leads to the release of a protein called BDNF that promotes healthy nerve cells in the brain. That alone could give your memory a boost.


2. Eat a Healthy diet.

Although any diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables is good for the brain, some diets are better than others, and the Mediterranean diet is one of the best, says Argye Hillis, M.D., professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.


3. Engage Your Brain.

Just like physical exercise, mental exercise is good for you, says Mustafa Husain, M.D., director of the geriatric psychiatry division at Duke University

“Now where, oh, where, did I put my keys? I can’t find them.”


Everyone has memory slips from time to time, and as we get older, we may have more of them. You may have forgotten that doctor’s appointment you didn’t write down. You may frequently have difficulty finding your glasses, your keys or your purse. You may go to the kitchen for something and when you get there, you can’t recall what you came for.


We laugh off these pesky missteps. We call them senior moments or intellectual pauses. These kinds of memory lapses are not serious. They’re annoying, yes, but less than life threatening. When you cannot recall your address or your son’s name or even that you have a son, these indicate serious memory difficulties. In such cases, it’s wise to go to your doctor for treatment.


According to Harvard Health, most of the fleeting memory problems experienced with age reflect normal changes in the structure and function of the brain. These changes can slow certain cognitive processes, making it harder to learn new things quickly or screen out distractions that can interfere with memory and learning.


You don’t have to resign yourself to frequent memory lapses. There are simple steps you can take to keep your mind sharp and protect your brain function. Here are six ways to do so: