Dementia: spearmint tea improves working memory

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Dementia is a looming crisis in much of the developed world, where populations are aging. In addition to strengthening health systems, there is another approach to fending off the headwind: strengthening the brain against decline. Although there is no known way to prevent dementia, progress is being made to understand how the brain can be strengthened.

Although it is unclear whether it will confer protection against dementia, spearmint tea has been shown to boost working memory.

Spearmint is an aromatic herb from the mint family. It tastes similar to peppermint but is milder and sweeter.

The finding came from a review that sought to assess three herbal teas – German chamomile, rosehip and spearmint – and their impact on health issues important to women, such as sleep, anxiety and menstrual difficulties.

Commenting on the finding, GP, study co-author and guest advisor to the independent health and wellbeing group, Tea Advisory Panel (TAP), Dr Gill Jenkins, said: “Of the herbal teas reviewed in this article, spearmint in particular was found to improve memory.

READ MORE: Dementia warning: New study links popular UK drink to ‘poorer cognitive performance’

According to the doc, the review “identified a study of 90 women and men with age-associated memory decline and found that 900 mg of spearmint extract daily improved the quality of working memory. by 15% and spatial working memory by 9%.

Working memory is the small amount of information that can be held in mind and used in performing cognitive tasks.

Spatial memory specifically relates to the storage and retrieval of information in the brain that is needed both to plan a route to a desired location and to remember where an object is or where an event has occurred.

“Trends of improved mood, alertness and behavior were also evident in this study,” Dr. Jenkins noted.

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She continued, “Another human study using spearmint extract 900mg daily in 142 women and men (aged 50-70) found that spearmint improved cognitive function.”

The discovery is particularly noteworthy because, in addition to the obvious dementia implications, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on memory function.

Dr Jenkins explained: “Most of us have suffered from a lack of social connection over the past couple of years, and due to the lack of new experiences, events and dates, our memories may have become more confused.”

What else did the study reveal?

According to the doc, “This new study examines several women’s health issues and finds compelling evidence that drinking herbal teas – German chamomile, rosehip and spearmint – can improve sleep quality and, in turn, help function. of memory and bad mood”.

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The review identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) from a large international database of peer-reviewed research articles.

“These trials were identified by the use of specific search terms (i.e. ‘herbal tea/infusion/herbal tea’, ‘chamomile tea/infusion/herbal tea’, ‘peppermint/peppermint tea green tea/infusion/herbal tea’ and ‘rose hips/rose tea/infusion/herbal tea’),” explained Dr Jenkins.

She continued: “Because we wanted to assess the mechanisms of action (i.e. how the teas might work – rather than whether they worked – in different health conditions), we also identified laboratory studies of teas and tea extracts.

“Studies like these can really dig deeper into how teas and their ingredients may work in certain parts of the body as well as the body as a whole.”

According to the doc, the general conclusions from the review of RCTs were that chamomile can improve sleep and reduce anxiety.

“Improved sleep and anxiety may improve brain function (through better rest). It can therefore be concluded that chamomile tea might indirectly improve brain function, although the immediate effect of chamomile either to calm down without an immediate effect on the memory”, she added. Noted.

According to Dr. Jenkins, chamomile can increase the activity of brain neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine) and thus have positive effects on mood and anxiety.

“There is also evidence from laboratory studies that rosehip improves spatial memory.”

You can buy 20 spearmint tea bags for £2.69 at hollandandbarrett.com


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