Brain Fog, Poor Memory, & Cognitive Health
As we grow older, it becomes more apparent that our memory just isn’t what it used to be. Areas of our life that in the past had razor-sharp clarity and recall now, more often than not, are hazy. But age isn’t the only culprit — younger generations are also experiencing lapses in memory due to high stress levels and the after-effects of the pandemic. Are we destined to be forever at the mercy of brain fog and poor memory? Not at all! In fact a 100-year-old technique developed by a German psychologist may hold the answer for greatly improving recall and help you to remember anything.
Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve
Have you ever stopped to consider how incredible memory is? We can remember a birthday party as a young child — even if it occurred over 40 years ago. Or a critical moment during our high school years. Getting married and the birth of our children. These milestones make an impression on our brain and we are able to recall them with, many times, startling clarity as if it were yesterday. However, we may not appreciate this crucial function of the brain until it begins to slip away. This is why it is important to exercise our “memory muscle” to keep it in shape. Learning something new, such as a language or how to play chess, is an excellent way to improve our cognitive health. But if you struggle with fuzzy memory, this can bring frustration and subdue the joy of learning. This is where the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve comes in.
Based on the work of German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus over a century ago, it identifies how we retain or forget information. Essentially, we retain the most information immediately after the event, whether it is a lecture, conversation, or reading a webpage, paper, or book chapter. Within 24 hours, if we haven’t taken steps to cement the information into our memory, we have lost between 50-80 percent of the content. A week later, we can only recall about 10 percent, which drops to zero retention a month later.
Using these observations, we can train ourselves to remember anything — in twenty minutes or less. The first step is to spend ten minutes reviewing the material within 24 hours. Then, a week later go over it again for 5 minutes. At the 30 day mark, spend between 2-5 minutes “reactivating” the material. After that, review it for a few minutes every month and it will continue to stay fresh in your memory. It helps to keep an organized file of material where each subject is dated so that you can revisit it consistently and with ease.
Additional Habits to Keep in Mind (and Adopt!)
Tending to overall brain health is a crucial aspect of supporting memory. If our brain isn’t functioning properly, memory won’t either. As someone with multiple sclerosis, I know this first hand! Here are 3 daily habits to practice that will encourage a healthy brain and robust recall.
Quality sleep. First and foremost, getting enough rejuvenating sleep is paramount for proper brain health — including strong memory. Aim for between 7 1/2-9 hours each night. However, it isn’t just about quantity, but quality. If you are waking up throughout the night and tossing and turning, your brain power the next day will be less than ideal. See this post for how to improve your routine for deeper, more restful sleep. And don’t forget about our potent Sleep Blend formulation in the apothecary if you need an additional layer of support.
Reduce stress. Nothing will destroy your memory faster than chronic stress. Because of this, it is crucial to take steps to reduce it in your life — laughter, connecting with friends and loved ones, breathing techniques, and spending time in nature all help to reduce the stress load in our lives. Try it and see! Our Anxiety & Stress tincture can also help for those seasons of heightened stress.
Exercise. Not only will physical activity lower stress hormones, but it also raises your oxygen levels, stimulates new neural growth, and boosts neuroplasticity — all of which contribute to brain health and reduced memory loss.
Need further inspiration? Have a look at the post, “My Top Tips for Keeping an Aging Brain Healthy, Sharp, and Active.”
Medicinal Herbs for Outstanding Cognitive Function
Since aging, heightened stress, autoimmune conditions, and other chronic illnesses can greatly impact our cognitive health and memory, I developed a powerful collection of herbal remedies that directly support brain function. These include dual-extracted, fruiting body tinctures of cordyceps, lion’s mane and reishi medicinal mushrooms, plus our lemon balm tincture. Each of these potent tinctures can be found in our convenient Brain Bundle.
These 3 mushrooms have unique, research-backed benefits that include: lowering neuroinflammation, stimulating Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), boosting cognitive function, limiting neuronal cell death, enhancing memory, calming stress, combating fatigue, and boosting energy.
Lemon Balm is associated with improvements in memory, mood, and age-related cognitive performance, a reduction in stress and anxiety, and improved clarity and focus. It is an antioxidant, helping to protect nerves. Lemon balm also inhibits the brain’s levels of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme that helps break down acetylcholine (Ach), a critical neurotransmitter involved in cognition and memory[NA14]; reduced levels of acetylcholine have been associated with Dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
ADHD, STRESS, & MEMORY HELP — PLUS NO MORE BRAIN FOG!!!
“Wow! The Lemon Balm really helps my ADHD so I can focus. It has also made a big difference in my memory and stress levels. I use the entire Brain Bundle and the Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail and Cordyceps have also been huge game-changers for me. My energy is better and I have less brain fog from the mushrooms. Thank you!” -Martha R.
Why Our Herbal Extracts Are Different
Our alcohol-based tinctures provide the most effective concentration of beneficial elements found in the plant. We also employ double-extraction in both water and alcohol to access the full spectrum of medicinal compounds in the mushrooms and lichen. At Nicole’s Apothecary, we not only perform this extraction method, we go one step further.
We use a third, additional process called The Spagyric Extraction Method. With this unique method, the spent herb is processed with pressure and heat to produce a mineral-rich ash that’s derived from the entire plant, lichen, or mushroom. Tinctures that employ the spagyric method are highly energized and concentrate the full medicinal properties, nutrients, and enzymes of the botanical.
Additionally, our mushroom extracts only utilize the fruiting bodies of the mushroom without fillers or mycelium. Fruiting body extracts contain 30 to 40 percent beta-glucans, compared to mycelium extracts, which typically have only 5 to 7 percent. These compounds are known to boost and regulate the immune system, improve glucose tolerance, support heart health, and more. In short, if you are seeking the most potent medicinal mushroom extracts, tinctures that utilize the whole fruiting mushroom body are essential.
If you are ready to take your cognitive and physical health to the next level, visit the apothecary today to learn more!