The 8 Best Herbs for Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Alzheimer's disease brain comparison
Alzheimer’s disease brain comparison

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, it’s a neurodegenerative disease associated with a build-up of certain proteins and chemicals in the brain, which causes the brain atrophy and brain cells to die. This leads to dementia symptoms that worsen over time. Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning (thinking, remembering, and reasoning) behavioral abilities and social skills that affects a person’s ability to function independently and carry out simple day-to-day tasks.

What Are the Causes of Neuronal Degeneration in Alzheimer’s Disease?

Progression of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease causes degeneration of brain neural tissue (Image source:

Some of the processes by which neurons (nerve cells) die and lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are often similar.

It is currently understood that some of the processes that lead to neuronal degeneration include:

Inflammation – which is an essential part of the body’s immune response, can occur anywhere in the body when the immune system reacts to a foreign organism or infection, or after cell damage or injury as the body tries to repair itself. Inflammation of the brain or central nervous system (CNS) can result in the death of neurons and contribute to cell death in neurodegenerative diseases.

Oxidative stress – is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. When the amounts of free radicals exceed those of the antioxidants that keep them in balance, the free radicals can cause damage to fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins in the body.

  • Free radicals are highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons that can very easily create oxidation reactions with other molecules. Oxidation is a normal and necessary process within the body, and when functioning properly, free radicals can help fight off pathogens that lead to infections.
  • Antioxidants are molecules that can donate an electron to a free radical without making themselves unstable, causing the free radical to stabilize and become less reactive.

Mitochondrial dysfunction – Mitochondria are organelles (specialized structures) within cells that generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell’s biochemical reactions. Problems with mitochondria in neurons have been linked to depression, MS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and others.

Apoptosis – also known as programmed cell death, which refers to the natural death of cells as the body ages and grows, which happens due to biochemical instructions in the cell’s DNA.

Genetic factors – the two types of Alzheimer’s, early-onset and late-onset, both have a genetic component. Most people with Alzheimer’s have the late-onset form where symptoms appear in their mid-60s and later.

  • The specific gene that directly causes late-onset Alzheimer’s disease hasn’t been identified yet, but researchers have found several genes that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. Risk genes increase the likelihood of developing a disease but do not guarantee it will happen. APOE-e4 is the first risk gene identified with strongest impact on risk, with 40-65% of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s estimated to have the APOE-e4 gene.
  • By comparison, deterministic genes directly cause a disease, and guarantee that anyone who inherits them will develop a disorder. These genes are rare, estimated to account for 1% or less of Alzheimer’s cases, and cause familial early-onset forms where the symptoms usually develop in a person between their early 40s and mid-50s. Some cases of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease are caused by an inherited mutation in one of three genes – Amyloid precursor protein (APP) on chromosome 21, Presenilin 1 (PSEN1) on chromosome 14 and Presenilin 2 (PSEN2) on chromosome 1, which result in the production of abnormal proteins that are associated with the disease.

Protecting Nerve Cells from Damage

The structure of a neuron (nerve cell)
The structure of a neuron (nerve cell) allows it to rapidly transmit nerve impulses to other cells (Image source: LibreTexts Biology)

In traditional herbal medicine, the leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruits and seeds of various plants have been used therapeutically through the ages.

Some compound derived from herbs such as resveratrol, curcumin, ginsenoside, polyphenols, and triptolide have been shown to have neuroprotective effects, countering the effects of neurodegeneration (nerve breakdown), and serving to protect neurons from injury or degeneration.

The neuroprotective substances we currently know about cannot reverse existing damage, but they may protect against further nerve damage and slow down any degeneration of the central nervous system (CNS).

An interesting research journal titled “Neuroprotective potency of some spice herbs, a literature review” was published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine in 2019 and can be found in the National Library of Medicine’s online PubMed site.

The researchers analysed all the studies on specific neuroprotective herbs published up until the end of August 2016 and collated the results.

To quote the abstract of this study, which summarises the findings:

In traditional medicine a large number of plants have been used to cure neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other memory related disorders.

Crocus sativus, Nigella sativa, Coriandrum sativum, Ferula assafoetida, Thymus vulgaris, Zataria multiflora and Curcuma longa were used traditionally for dietary, food additive, spice and various medicinal purposes. The Major components of these herbs are carotenoids, monoterpenes and poly phenol compounds which enhanced the neural functions.

These medicinal plants increased antioxidant, decreased oxidant levels and inhibited acetylcholinesterase activity in the neural system. Furthermore, neuroprotective of plants occur via reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-1b, TNF-a and total nitrite generation. Therefore, the effects of the above mentioned medicinal and their active constituents improved neurodegenerative diseases which indicate their therapeutic potential in disorders associated with neuro-inflammation and neurotransmitter deficiency such as AD and depression.

The original research paper can be downloaded here – Neuroprotective potency of some spice herbs, a literature review.

There are many research papers on the use of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), and Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine) herb. An example is “A Comprehensive Review on Preclinical Evidence-based Neuroprotective Potential of Bacopa monnieri against Parkinson’s Disease” published in 2022 which collates all the preclinical studies on the subject.

To quote the abstract of this study, which summarises the findings:

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and gradually progressive neurodegenerative disorder triggered due to the loss of dopamine-releasing neurons in the region of substantia nigra pars compacta characterized by the motor symptoms, such as tremor, bradykinesia, akinesia, and postural instability.

Proteinopathies, mitochondrial dysfunction induced dopaminergic neuronal deterioration, and gene mutations are the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease.

The bioactive components of Brahmi, such as Bacoside A, Bacoside B, and Bacosaponins, belong to various chemical families. Brahmi’s neuroprotective role includes reducing neuronal oxidative stress, dopaminergic neuronal degeneration, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, inhibition of α-synuclein aggregation, and improvement of cognitive and learning behaviour.

Researchers found that Bacopa monnieri significantly increased brain levels of glutathione, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A in rats exposed to cigarette smoke.

Brahmi has a potent antioxidant property and neuroprotective effects against PD that help reduce oxidative stress and neuroinflammation and enhance dopamine levels. The review collates all the preclinical studies that prove the beneficial neuroprotective effect of Brahmi for treating PD.

The 8 Best Neuroprotective Herbs

Different medicinal plants showed the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which may have potential therapeutic effects in various nervous system disorders. The results of studies also imply that beneficial effects of the plants on neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer and Parkinson disease are mainly due to the interactions with the cholinergic, dopaminergic and glutamatergic systems. Regarding the anticonvulsant, analgesic effects of the plants interaction with the GABA and opioid system might be suggested.

The way to derive the benefits of these herbs is by incorporating them into the diet, using them in cooking and recipes, as all of them are culinary herbs, other than Brahmi which is a non-aromatic herb that can be used as a vegetable.

1. Saffron (Crocus sativus)

Saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) in flower (Image credits: Hocus Crocus Saffron)
Saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) in flower, showing the beautiful long red stigma that are harvested for the spice (Image credits: Hocus Crocus Saffron)

The saffron crocus plant is a member of the Iridaceae (Iris) family and is cultivated in many countries, primarily in Iran, but also in Spain, France, Italy and parts of India.

The saffron spice is made from the flowers, namely the dark-red stigma with a small portion of the yellowish style attached. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, and despite its popularity as a culinary herb, it is used mainly as herbal medicine in various parts of the world.

Saffron contains 150 different compounds including carbohydrates, polypeptides, lipids, minerals and vitamins. The main active ingredients in saffron are crocins, a family of red-coloured, water-soluble carotenoids, which are all glycosides of crocetin. Also, saffron has four main bioactive components such as, crocin, crocetin, picrocrocin and safranal. Another constituent of saffron was Picrocrocin which has a bitter taste.

Summary of therapeutic research findings:

  • Crocus sativus is used to treat cognitive disorders in Iranian traditional medicine.
  • The anticonvulsant and anti-Alzheimer properties of saffron extract in humans and animal models have been reported.
  • The efficacy of Crocus sativus in the treatment of mild to moderate depression in clinical trial studies, and effect on brain neurotransmitter concentrations as well as its interaction with the opioid system have been reviewed.
  • Crocus sativus and its main component, crocin, possess potent antioxidant effects via reducing of MDA level.
  • In addition, administration of Crocus sativus extract (200 mg/kg) and honey syrup for 45 days reduced the aluminium chloride-induced neurotoxicity in mice.
  • Administration of Crocus sativus (30 mg/day) for treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease in the patients of 55 years and older was found to be as effective as donepezil and the frequency of saffron extract side effects was similar to those of donepezil except for vomiting.
  • The uses of saffron in 46 patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease for 16 weeks improved the cognitive functions.
  • Saffron extract (30 mg/day) for six-week was effective in the treatment of mild to moderate depression similar to the effects of fluoxetine and imipramine (100 mg/day).
  • In a double-blind, single-center and randomized trial, patients were randomly assigned to receive capsules of saffron 30 mg/day (Group 1) or capsule of fluoxetine 20 mg/day (Group 2) for a 6-week study. Saffron at this dose was found to be effective similar to fluoxetine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. There were no significant differences in the two groups in terms of observed side effects.

2. Black Cumin (Nigella sativa)

Black Cumin flower
Black Cumin flower (Image source:

The black cumin plant is an annual herbaceous plant from the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family, which widely grown in the Mediterranean countries, Western Asia, Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Black cumin seeds are used as a spice to range of Persian foods such as bread, pickles, sauces and salads.

The seeds contain oils, proteins, carbohydrates, and fibre. The oil of black cumin seeds contains linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, arachidic acid, eicosadienoic acid, stearic acid, and myristic acid. The major phenolic compounds of N. sativa seeds are p-cymene (37.3%), Thymoquinone (TQ) (13.7%), carvacrol (11.77%), and thymol (0.33%).

Summary of therapeutic research findings:

  • Nigella sativa as a medicinal plant is well-known for its potent anti-oxidative effects.
  • It has been reported that N. sativa have protective effects on renal (kidney) damage.
  • Nigella sativa seeds could significantly ameliorate the spatial cognitive deficits caused by chronic cerebral hypo perfusion in rats.
  • Nigella sativa improved scopolamine-induced learning and memory impairment as well as reduced the AChE activity and oxidative stress of the rat’s brain.
  • Antioxidant effects of Nigella sativa oil on the patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) showed it reduced the serum level of IL-10, MDA and NO. Nigella sativa also improved inflammatory responses and reduced oxidative stress in patients with RA.
  • In the other clinical trial, 40 healthy volunteers were divided into the treatment with capsules of Nigella sativa (500 mg) and placebo (500 mg) twice daily for 9 weeks. Nigella sativa enhanced memory, attention and cognition compared to the placebo group.
  • Nigella sativa (500 mg) also decrease anxiety, to stabilize mood and to modulate cognition in the human model after 4 weeks.
  • Neuroprotective effects of Nigella sativa and thymoquinone (TQ) (its major components) on various nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer disease, epilepsy and neurotoxicity have been reviewed.

3. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Coriander plant
Coriander plant (Image source:

The coriander plant is an annual herb from the Apiaceae (parsley, carrot, dill) family native to the Mediterranean region and grown worldwide.

The fresh herb oil predominant contains aliphatic aldehydes (mainly C10-C16 aldehydes) with fetid-like aroma, whereas the major components in the oil isolated from coriander fruit include linalool and some other oxygenated monoterpenes and monoterpene hydrocarbons. Coriander seed oil contains linalool (60-70%) and 20% hydrocarbons.

Coriander is also a potential source of lipids such as petroselinic acid and a high amount of essential oils that are very important for growth and brain functions. The main coriander essential oils are linalool, linoleic and linolenic acids.

Summary of therapeutic research findings:

  • Coriandrum sativum is widely used in folk medicine as digestive agent, and in Iranian traditional medicine, it has been suggested to relive insomnia.
  • The seed extract of Coriandrum sativum has been used in lotions and shampoos and exerts antimicrobial and anti-rheumatoid effects.
  • A combination of the fresh leaf extract and tea or crushed plant seeds as a single dose before sleeping have been suggested to relieve anxiety and insomnia.
  • The leaves extract of Coriandrum sativum (200 mg/kg) showed an anxiolytic effect which was presented by increasing the time spent in open arms and the percentage of open arm entries.
  • Coriandrum sativum fruit extract (100 and 200 mg/kg, i.p.) increased the time spent in the open arms and entries into the open arms. Locomotion activity and frequency of rearing also decreased in the groups treated by 200 mg/kg (i.p.) of the extract. Furthermore, Coriandrum sativum extract at 100 and 200 mg/kg increased the time spent in social interaction.
  • Anticonvulsant activity of aqueous (0.5 g/kg, i.p.) and ethenolic extracts (3.5 and 5 g/kg, i.p.) of coriander seeds were studied using pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) and the maximal electroshock seizure models. These extracts decreased the duration of tonic seizures and showed a significant anticonvulsant activity in the maximal electroshock test. In addition, both extracts especially ethenolic extract (5 g/kg, i.p.) similar to phenobarbital (20 mg/kg) prolonged onset latencies of clonic convulsions.

4. Asafoetida (Ferula assafoetida)

Asafoetida plant
Asafoetida plant (Image source:

The Asafoetida plant is a tall perennial herb that belongs to the Apiaceae (parsley, carrot, dill) family and is native to Iran and Afghanistan. It is also grown in India. The spice is made from the dried and powdered resin which is extracted from the fleshy rhizome or tap roots of the plant.

It has been used in traditional medicine and as a spice in different
foods in India and Nepal.

This extremely pungent spice loses its strong bitter taste and foul smell during cooking, blending into other ingredients and imparting an umami flavour to the food.

The compounds E-1-propyl sec-butyl disulfide and germacrene B (7.8%) are the major components of Ferula assa-foetida. Additionally, 25 other compounds were identified in the hydrodistilled oil.

Summary of therapeutic research findings:

  • The roots, young shoots and leaves of Ferula asafoetida plants are eaten as vegetable. Leaves possess anthelmintic, carminative and diaphoretic properties and the root of plant is used as antipyretic.
  • In traditional medicine, Ferula asafoetida is used for treatment of various diseases including asthma, epilepsy, stomachache, flatulence, intestinal parasites, weak digestion and influenza.
  • The oleo-gum resin of Ferula asafoetida possesses sedative, expectorant, analgesic, carminative, stimulant, antiperiodic, ant-diabetic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, vermifuge, laxative, anti-inflammatory, contraceptive and anti-epileptic effects.
  • Effects of Ferula asafoetida on muscarinic receptors and possible mechanisms for functional antagonistic of guinea-pig tracheal smooth muscle have been studied.
  • The relaxant effect of Ferula asafoetida on smooth muscles and its possible mechanisms have been reviewed.
  • In pharmacological and biological studies, the ole-gum- resin of Ferula asafoetida have been revealed to have antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal, anti-diabetic, molluscicidal, antispasmodic and antihypertensive effects.
  • In a study, acute and sub-chronic toxicity of Ferula asafoetida was evaluated and the results indicated that single oral administration (500 mg/kg) and repeated doses (250 mg/kg) for 28 days of this plant did not induce mortality and obvious toxicological signs in rats.
  • It has also been documented that oleo gum resin of Ferula asafoetida can enhance regeneration and re-myelination and decreases the rat of lymphocyte infiltration in the neuropathic tissue in mice. It therefore it acts as a neuroprotective and nerve simulative agent in peripheral neuropathy.
  • Scientific evidence has shown that Ferula asafoetida resin can potentially inhibit monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) and it can be used in the therapy of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
  • Ferula asafoetida has been reported to have acetylcholinestrase (AChE) inhibiting property in vitro assay and in vivo on snail nervous system. Researchers have proposed that the memory increasing effect could be attributed to inhibitory effect of this plant on AChE in the rat brain.
  • In behavioural models, such as elevated plus maze (test measuring anxiety in laboratory animals), the extract of plant dose-dependently improved memory in rats. In another behavioural model, passive avoidance test, the lower dose of extract (200 mg) could not improve memory whereas in high dose (400 mg) it ameliorated memory.
  • Additionally, it has been documented that the extract of Ferula asafoetida applies a considerable anticonvulsant effect in Pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) and amygdala-kindled rats. Researchers investigated the effect of two doses of Ferula asafoetida (50 and 100 mg/kg) on parameters of seizure and the results revealed that dose 100 mg/kg exerts the better anticonvulsant effect than 50 mg.

5. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Thyme herb flowering
Thyme herb flowering (Image source:

The thyme plant is a strongly aromatic perennial herb that is a member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family native to the western Mediterranean region and is widely used as spice to add a distinctive flavour to food. In traditional medicine, thyme is used in herbal teas and infusions.

The main components are the phenols, thymol (40%) and carvacrol (15%). It contains lesser amounts of phenols during the winter. Thymol methyl ether (2%), cineol, cymen, pinene, borneol and esters are also components of the essential oil of thyme.

Summary of therapeutic research findings:

  • The bioactive compounds of thyme such as thyme essential oil (TEO) constituents, flavonoids and phenolic acids, natural terpenoid thymol and phenol isomer carvacrol, possess antioxidant, antimicrobial, antitussive, antispasmodic, and expectorant effects.
  • Researchers have reported that tocols and phenolics in Thymus vulgaris oil can directly react with free radicals and inhibit lipid peroxidation.
  • It has been reported that treatment with thymol results in improvement of antioxidant status in rat brain.
  • The results of behavioural studies have demonstrated that the extract of thyme can induce anxiolytic effects in rat when it was orally administered for 1-week. In confirmation of this report extract of thyme enhances the percentage of both the entries and the time spent in the open arms of the maze.
  • The results of animal studies also revealed that kaemfrol in thyme extract applies anxiolytic effects in the elevated plus maze (EPM) in mice.
  • Carvacrol derived from this plant has also been indicated to have anxiolytic effects in the plus maze test.
  • Bioactive monoterpenes in thyme extract such as linalool have been reported to be able to decrease the level of anxiety in animals.
  • The essential oil of thyme has also been suggested to have a dose dependent protective effect against toxicity of alfatoxins.
  • It has been documented that thymol acts centrally via mimicking or facilitating GABA action and modulates GABAA receptor. Therefore, it can apply the significant anticonvulsant and antiepileptogenic effects.
  • Neuroprotective and improvement effects of thymol, a bioactive monoterpene isolated from thymus vulgaris, on amyloid b or scopolamine-caused cognitive impairment in rats was documented.
  • Researchers have suggested that neuroprotective effects of thymol can attribute to its potential effect on GABA-mediated inhibition of synaptic transmission.
  • Researchers reported that thyme essential oil could modulate cholinergic function via enhancing synaptic acetylcholine (Ach) and nicotinic Ach receptor activity.
  • Antidepressant effects of thymol were documented. Thymol administration significantly shortened the immobility time in tail suspension tests (TST) and forced swimming test (FST) and restored the reduction of the hippocampal levels of serotonin (5- HT) and norepinephrine (NE) in chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS)- induced depressive mice.

6. Shirazi Thyme (Zataria multiflora)

The Shirazi thyme plant is a perennial herb that is a member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family native to Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. It is known as Avishan-e-Shirazi in Iran, and the dried aerial parts of are routinely used as a popular spice, and also in traditional medicine.

It consists of p-cymene derivatives: multi-flotriol (1), multiflrol (2), a new aromatic ester of p-hydroxy benzoic acid (3) and three known constituents: dihydroxyaromadendrane, luteolin and a-tocopherolquinone. The main components of the plant oil were thymol (37.59%), carvacrol (33.65%); PARA-cymene (7.72%), g-terpinene (3.88%) and b-caryophyllene (2.06%).

Summary of therapeutic research findings:

  • Zataria multiflora contains various compounds including terpens, luteolin, 6- hydroxyluteolin glycosides, di-, tri, and tetraethoxylated which could be responsible for the therapeutic effects.
  • Zataria multiflora essential oil (ZEO) possesses preservative effects whereas vigorous taste and aroma have limited its usage as food preservative in high amounts.
  • In Iranian traditional medicine, the plant is used for its analgesic, antiseptic and carminative effects.
  • It has also been documented that the essential oil of Zataria multiflora has antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal properties in in vitro.
  • The results of studies have indicated that the Zataria multiflora essential oil exhibited more potent antioxidative effect than pomegranate juice.
  • Antibacterial, immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of this plant have also been reported.
  • It has been reported that the Ab-caused learning and memory impairments could be restored by i.p. administration of Zataria multiflora essential oil essential oil in rats. Therefore, Zataria multiflora essential oil was considered to be as a worth source of natural therapeutic agent for attenuating cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by researchers.

7. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

how to dry turmeric root and make turmeric powder
Turmeric root, dried root slices and turmeric powder

The turmeric plant is a member of the Zingiberaceae (ginger)
family and is cultivated in the countries of Southeast Asia.

The active constituents of turmeric are the flavonoid curcumin
(diferuloylmethane) and various volatile oils, including tumerone,
atlantone, and zingiberone. Other constituents include sugars,
proteins, and resins. The best-researched active constituent is
curcumin, which comprises 0.3-5.4% of raw turmeric.

Summary of therapeutic research findings:

  • Some plants such as Curcuma longa contain a natural polyphenol and non-flavonoid compound called curcumin. Curcumin is known for its several biological and medicinal effects, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and so on. Curcumin therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases has garnered great interest in recent years.
  • It was reported that curcumin water soluble extract is able to raise dopamine, norepinephrine and 5-HT levels in the central nervous system (CNS).
  • Curcumin extracted from Curcuma longa have been reported to have inhibition effects on PD, ROS production, apoptosis, platelet aggregation, cytokines production, cyclooxygenase enzyme activity, brain oxidative damage, cognitive deficits in cell culture and animal models.
  • The protective effects of Curcuma longa extract (1000 mg/kg, body weight, per oral) on oxidative and renal damage have been reported.
  • It has been reported that administration of curcumin (50, 100, 200 mg/kg) ameliorated cognitive deficits and mitochondrial dysfunctions symptoms in mice.
  • Curcumin has also been indicated to exert neuroprotective effects in neuronal degenerative disorders and cerebral ischemia.
  • Scientific evidence demonstrates that curcumin protects the rat brain against focal ischemia through upregulation transcription factor Nrf2 and HO-1expretion.
  • Additionally, researchers suggested that curcumin debilitates glutamate neurotoxicity in the hippocampal of rat via suppressing ER stress-related TXNIP/NLRP3 inflammation activation.
  • It has been proposed that curcumin protects rats’ brain against cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury through increasing neuron survival rate, inflammatory cytokine activity and activating JAK2/ STAT3 signaling pathway.
  • It has been suggested that curcumin protects the brain against oxyhemoglobin-induced neurotoxicity and oxidative stress in vitro model of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (Xia LI).
  • The neuroprotective effects of curcumin in PD also are related to its antioxidant properties. It was reported that curcumin restores ROS intracellular accumulation in human cell line SH-SY5Y exposed to 6-OHDA.
  • Administration of curcumin (60 mg/kg, body weight, per oral) for three weeks has amended striatum neuronal degeneration in 6-OHDA lesioned rats.
  • Curcumin protected the neurons against ROS via restoring the GSH decreased levels.
  • Curcumin increased SOD levels in the lesioned striatum of 6- OHDA mice and MES23.5 cells induced the neurotoxin 6- OHDA.
  • Curcumin has been reported to protect the axons against LPS degeneration.
  • Curcumin neuroprotective effects might be mediated by overexpression of BCl-2 which is inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) antagonist. Therefore, curcumin is effective in improvement of NO-mediated degeneration.
  • Oral administration of 150 mg/kg/day curcumin for 1-week reduced proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-1b, TNF-a and total nitrite generation in the striatum of MPTP-induced mice.
  • Curcumin decreased activation of NF-kB in LPS116 and 6-OHDA-induced inflammatory.

8. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) plant
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) plant has small succulent leaves and grows in moist areas and along waterways (Image source: Wikimedia Commons, Attribution: Forest & Kim Starr)

The brahmi plant, also known as water hyssop, is perennial creeping herb from the Plantaginaceae (plantain) family that is native to India and Australia. It grows in moist wet places such as the edges of streams, rivers and lakes, and other wetlands.

This herb doesn’t have a fragrance like the other culinary herbs discussed earlier and is used as a vegetable. The small succulent leaves can be eaten raw, added to sandwiches or mixed into salads, added to soups, cooked as a vegetable or even pickled, and the flowers are also edible.

Brahmi is an Ayurvedic herb known to be effective in neurological disorders from ancient times. The bioactive components of Brahmi, such as Bacoside A, Bacoside B, and Bacosaponins, belong to various chemical families, and.  are known to have a significant role in neuroprotection.

Summary of therapeutic research findings:

  • The neuroprotective properties of Brahmi and its bioactive components including reduction of ROS, neuroinflammation, aggregation inhibition of Amyloid-β and improvement of cognitive and learning behaviour.
  • Studies have concluded that Brahmi can be used as a lead formulation for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.


One thought on “The 8 Best Herbs for Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

  1. In depth article including lots of healing herbs. One thing that most people don’t realize these diseases are actually caused by heavy metal build up in the brain according to The Brain Saver book by The Medical Medium Anthony Williams. Interesting his Heavy metal detox recipe has one cup of coriander in it. Borrow the book from the library or buy it as an e-book if you don’t want to fork out the money for hardcover. Well worth a read.

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