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There are Ways to Improve Your Memory as You Get Older


I am sure we all have a bit of a worry if we find we are starting to forget things, someone's name or where we left our car keys.  We all think the worst even though it is usually nothing to be worried about.

But as we get older, it is good to know that there are ways to improve your memory.

Mindfulness is one of those ways

In fact, spending just 15 minutes a day practising mindfulness will be a big help with researchers saying that daily meditation, mindful movement, body scans and other mindfulness exercises give a modest but worthwhile boost to our memory, concentration and problem-solving abilities.

Dr Tim Whitfield (of the University College London) and involved with the research says:

"We saw a benefit of mindfulness in those aged from 18 to 80 but the benefit was far larger for those aged 60 and over.  The effect we observed was equivalent to an older adult remembering an extra word from a 15-item list read to them half an hour beforehand."

The research looked at a specific training course called a "mindfulness-based program" with courses lasting between 6 and 12 weeks and delivered to groups of people by trained teachers.

Those attending the course were encouraged to do some home practice each day - usually for 15 to 20 minutes.

The main techniques taught were sitting meditation, moving meditation and the body scan.  This last method is where the participants concentrate on their bodies, one part at a time.

Where can you find this Study?

The study has been published in the journal Neuropsychology Review and also involved researchers from the University of Surrey in the UK as well as the Vanderbilt University Medial Center and Connecticut University in the USA.

This is the first significant study to look at the benefits for cognitive function, namely memory, concentration and problem solving.

Another way to improve the memory is with Rosemary

The popular herb Rosemary was frequently used for memory enhancement during ancient times. It was referred to as the herb of remembrance in William Shakespeare's play Hamlet when the character Ophelia says: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. 

Down the years, sprigs of rosemary have been added to a mixed bouquet of flowers or placed in a small bag (like a lavender bag) and left under the pillow to increase memory powers, protect a sleeper from nightmares or generally improve sleep.

In other trials and studies, rosemary has been shown to improve working memory because it appears to have an arousing effect on a brain chemical called acetylcholine, which plays a key role in maintaining attention.

In addition, rosemary contains an ingredient, carnosic acid, that is able to fight off free radical damage in the brain, helping to protect against beta amyloid-induced neurodegeneration in the hippocampus.

In another study, Kyoto University researchers in Japan revealed that rosemary may significantly help prevent brain aging. 

How can you get your daily sniff of rosemary?

Pick a bunch of rosemary from the garden or window box, or dab a little rosemary essential oil on a tissue.  




The effects of lavender, rosemary and orange essential oils on memory problems and medication adherence among patients undergoing hemodialysis: A parallel randomized controlled trial - ScienceDirect

Antioxidant and anticholinergic effects of rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) extract: A double-blind randomized controlled trial - ScienceDirect