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.
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).
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.
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:
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:
The following herbs/foods that promote intelligence are related to our mind and nervous system, especially the higher cortical centers of the brain:
Medicines for Boosting Memory Power
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.
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.