Treating Alzheimer's Disease Naturally

By Jonathan Parry

Herbal medicine is one of the more controversial subjects in medical science today. Combine that with Alzheimer's, one of the most misunderstood and confusing illnesses and you have an explosive situation that has many concerned parties on both sides of the issue. There is no known cause for Alzheimer's and no known cure, either. Because of this huge gap in knowledge, treating alzheimer's naturally with herbal treatments has become a big market. With treatments making promises that conventional medicine can't.

The reaction to these treatments has been met with more than a little scepticism in mainstream medicine. However, it is unknown if the disbelief comes from mainstream medical profession being influenced by the major drug companies and if simply taking a vitamin supplement can help with Alzheimer's then the drug companies lose out on billions of dollars of profit; or if they are really looking out for everyone's best interest and just telling it like it is.

One of the all-natural supplements that many believe can help in the treatment of Alzheimer's is vitamin E. In several clinical trials, vitamin E has been shown to slow down the loss of brain functions that Alzheimer's causes. Another benefit to the vitamin E theory is that the pills can be bought in thousands of different locations right over the counter and don't require a prescription of any kind.

However, it's believed that to help with Alzheimer's, you need to take a massive dose far greater than you would take as part of a multi-vitamin. The problem with this is that too much vitamin E can cause side effects. Nausea and an inability to clot blood correctly are common side effects when taking high level units of vitamin E. The normal daily dose is between 30 and 60 units.

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Another herbal remedy that is thought to help with Alzheimer's is ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo has been marketed for years as a supplement that helps to improve attention span, memory and other brain functions. Its connection to Alzheimer's treatment hasn't been widely studied but the natural connection between gingko's impact on regular cognitive ability could translate to helping Alzheimer's patients.

Unfortunately, some of the more recent data that has come out about ginkgo biloba and its impact on Alzheimer's hasn't been good. A recent study showed no improvement among those that suffer from Alzheimer's who had taken Ginkgo, but for those that believe there is a link, a single study is not going to change their minds.

A third herbal compound that is thought to benefit those that suffer from Alzheimer's is the use of sage extract. The one study that was done using sage extract on Alzheimer's patients did show an increase in brain function. However, the study was small and further work needs to be done before it can be established as a viable option for treating Alzheimer's patients.

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