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Published 13-08-2021

How To Boost Memory Power And Enhance Concentration

MENTAL HEALTH

How To Boost Memory Power And Enhance Concentration

Dr. Asfiya Najmi

An Unani Practitioner and consultant graduated from Hamdard University. I am an expert in cupping (Hijjama). My real goal is to heal every patient with natural treatment and give them comfort through her extensive knowledge & experience. Playing volleyball and chess is also something that i love.

Memory is the ability of an individual to record information over short or long periods, and then later recall the same when needed. We can say that, perhaps, memory is the most vital aspect of human beings. It distinguishes humans from other animals. Poor memory, slow recall, and lower retention are common problems in today's competitive world. But there are other conditions, such as Alzheimer's, Dementia, etc., that may lead to permanent or partial memory loss (Nisyan). In that case, the person cannot make full use of his or her potential.

 According to the WHO 2020 Report worldwide, around 50 million people have Dementia, and every year 10 million new cases are recorded. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of Dementia, and 60–70% of memory loss patients suffer from it. 

Memory Loss And Unani System of Medicine

According to Unani, intelligence combines three mind powers: Acquisition, Retention, and Recollection. 

Here is how these powers work:

● The Power of Acquisition (Quwwat-e-fikr): It is the capacity to grasp some topic or something new and to analyze things.  

The Power of Retention (Quwwt-e- Hafiza): It is the capacity to understand, learn, and retain items. It is considered for a shorter time period.

The Power of Recollection (Quwwat-e-khayal): This is the capacity to retrieve information after some time. It is considered for a long-term period.

According to Unani scholar memory loss(Nisyan) is caused due by viscid phlegm (Balgham Ghaleez) and excess moistness (Rutubat) in the brain or, other words, due to increase in the temperament of cold and moist (sue Mizaj Barid Ratab) or temperament of cold and dry (Sue Mizaj Barid Yabis).

Causes of Memory Loss

The causes of memory loss may differ from person to person, but the most common cause is a stressful lifestyle.

Here are some of the most common things that can cause memory loss:

Dementia (Faramoshi) is a progressive memory loss (Quwaat-e-Hafiza). It severely interferes with the ability of a human to do daily work. There are many causes of dementia, like blood vessel disease, alcohol, drug abuse, damage to the brain, etc. But the most familiar one is Alzheimer's disease, which is characterized by a progressive and degenerative loss of brain cells.

Nutritional deficiency is one of the other reasons for memory loss. The deficiency of vitamin B1 and B12 can cause memory loss. Good nutrition that includes high-quality proteins and fats is essential for the proper functioning of the brain. 

A head injury from an accident may cause memory loss. These injuries can result in both short- and long-term memory loss, which may slowly improve later.

Stroke often causes short-term memory loss. A person who suffers a stroke may have clear memories of childhood events, but may not recall what they had for lunch. A brain stroke can be caused due to several reasons, be it blockage or stopping the blood supply to the brain or leakage of a blood vessel into the brain. 

Over-the-counter medications can also cause memory loss. Overuse of drugs like Anti-histamines, Anti-depressants, Anti-anxiety medications, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, and painkillers after surgery can lead to memory loss.

Alcohol, tobacco, or drug use can cause memory loss. Illegal drugs may result in chemical changes in the brain and can make it hard to recall memories.

Smoking harms memory by reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain. People who smoke find it more difficult to recognize faces with names than non-smokers.

Sleep deprivation, both quantity, and quality of sleep are crucial for good memory. Frequently waking or getting too little sleep at night can lead to fatigue, which interferes with the memory abilities of the brain.

Depression and stress (Izterab-e- Nafsani) make it difficult to focus and pay attention, which leads to memory loss. Anxiety and stress can cause this lack of concentration. When someone is tensed; their mind is distracted or overstimulated. Hence, the ability of the mind to remember can suffer. Any personal loss or emotional trauma can also lead to memory loss.

Causes of Memory Loss

Symptoms of Memory Loss

The signs of memory loss are common in most individuals. If you ignore these signs for a more extended period, they may lead to more complicated problems. 

 Some common signs indicating that you are heading towards a memory loss:

  • Challenges in planning or solving day-to-day issues.
  • People who have Alzheimer's disease can lose track of time, dates, and seasons.
  • People lose the ability to retrace their steps and start misplacing things.
  • Difficulty in communicating or finding words, or asking the same questions repeatedly.
  • Problem with spatial skills and visuals, such as getting lost while driving or talking.
  • Not taking care of oneself, like not eating correctly, not bathing, or not behaving maturely. This all leads to anxiety, agitation, anger, and self-doubt.

Lifestyle and diet tips

Memory strength is just like muscular strength. The more you use your brain, the stronger it will get. But you can't do the same exercise every day and expect to get stronger. Similarly, we need to keep our brain constantly challenged so that it can work efficiently. 

The following are some lifestyle and diet tips that can help you a lot to keep your brain healthy:

  • Learning new crafts and skills is an excellent way to strengthen the brain's memory capacity.
  • A busy schedule helps to maintain the brain's episodic memory. It is linked with better cognitive functions like reasoning, decision making, etc.
  • Without enough rest and sleep, the neurons in the brain become exhausted. They can not coordinate data, which makes it more difficult to access information and memories. Turn off your electronic devices an hour before bedtime to allow your brain to relax and unwind.
  • Fat and sugar are linked to impaired memory. A diet high in sugar and fats, which is common nowadays, can impair hippocampal memory.
  • Yoga and Pranayam help create new brain cells essential for memory storage by improving nutrients and oxygen supply to the body. It benefits our cognitive function as well.
  • Our brain is mainly made up of water. It acts as a shock-absorbent for the brain and spinal cord. Water helps our brain cells use nutrients and oxygen. So, just a tiny amount of dehydration can have harmful effects. Mild dehydration may cause brain shrinkage and memory impairment.

Home remedies

The following herbs/foods that promote intelligence are related to our mind and nervous system, especially the higher cortical centers of the brain:  

  • Soak 7-8 Almonds overnight and peel them off in the morning. Blend them into a paste and mix it in a glass of milk. This delicious drink is terrific for retention and boosting memory.
  • Take 1 cup of juice of a Safed Petha (Ash Gourd) in the morning. This vegetable sharpens memory and strengthens the nerves.
  • Fishes are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. It plays a vital role in building nerves and brain cells. They're essential for memory and learning. Its consumption has been shown to delay declining cognitive power. It is recommended to eat two servings of fish weekly.
  • Include high protein seeds in your diet or eat a snack to provide stimulus. High protein seeds act as brain tonics and strengthen nervous activity. These include taking dry fruits and super grains like Almond, Pistachio, Kaju, Kaddu (pumpkin seeds), Kahu (lettuce), etc.
  • Put a couple of drops of Almond oil in your nose (1-2 drops) before you sleep to lubricate the channels of your brain. This process is also called Souot (Nasal drop).
  • Avocados may support the brain. It contains monounsaturated fats, which reduce blood pressure, and high blood pressure is connected with cognitive decline. Thus, by controlling high blood pressure, the monounsaturated fats in avocados may lower the risk of cognitive decline.

Medicines for Boosting Memory Power 

  1. Dimagi (Brain Tonic) - It acts as a memory booster, giving nerves and the brain the strength needed. Enhance the retentive power of the brain with this medicine. 
    Dose: Take 2 tablespoons with breakfast.
  2. Khamira Gawzaban Ambari - It helps strengthen mental health and increases the brain's cognitive power. 
    Dose: Take 2 tablespoons with water once a day.
  3. Itriphal Zamani - It soothes the mind, calms it, and increases concentration.
    Dose: Take 2 tablespoons with warm milk or water at bedtime.

Note: Along with medicine, the patients have to follow a strict regimen as per the concept of the Unani system. Also, the patients are strongly advised to avoid self-medication. 
 

Treatment Of Memory Loss

Conclusion

Poor memory and lack of mental health are prevalent in the present human population. The exact correlation of this problem is with many conventional diseases like Dementia, Alzheimer's, etc. Thus we recommend you to follow holistic, proven age-old, time-tested, and effective Unani regimes as suggested above to help control this problem naturally. Do try and share your experience with us in the comments.

Last Updated: Jan 17, 2022

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