It’s back to school time. This year it appears a whole new group of students are matriculating. The over 50 group is increasingly heading back to college, for a variety of reasons.
Whether you are a freshman in high school or in college, the challenge of being focused is a daunting one. On the one hand older students bring some maturity and experience to the educational challenges. Patience and good work habits will help, but we also bring the baggage of work, family, economics and other factors that can be obstructions, let alone being out of practice of being a student.
We have worked with many people, young and old, who suffer from ADD (attention deficit disorder) /ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and the sub-categories involved. These supplements help with concentration, memory and focus. The supplements used in products aimed at children are beneficial to adults.
Below are some of the vitamins, supplements and herbs that have a proven track record to help improve memory and focus for students of all ages:
Phosphatidylcholine, present in eggs and whole grains, is a neurotransmitter, and is helpful for memory. It also reduces fat deposits and relieves ulcerative colitis symptoms. Fancy that.
Studies show that it is the case. Though some sources only suggest pine bark, or a branded product called Pycnogenol – because that was the original research source – it has been found most subsequent research used grape seed. Practically speaking, pine bark has to be removed from the tree, which will kill it. Grapes, on the other hand, grow quickly and organically, bringing down the costs of producing the bioflavinoid and increasing the benefits to the environment.
Now that we have looked at increasing memory and focus, let’s look at nerve tonics to keep you grounded, calm and focused.
We have all experienced studying for the exam, getting to class and your mind goes blank. Frustration and panic set in, making concentration and memory worse.
No worries. Anti-anxiety herbs such as Kava Kava (Piper methysticum), Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), and Wild Oat Seed ( Avena sativa) will help general nervousness, anxiety and depression. If you are calm, it makes it easier to break the cycle and slow things down, allowing you to think.
There are also essential oil blends to help with concentration, recall and self-confidence.
For younger students there are liquid formulas. For adults I have found a product called Mindtrac has done a really great job, I have used it for years. It’s the kind of supplement that helps when you get off track or had six things on your mind and forgot the first four.
Funny story – it used to be called Protrac many years ago, but the makers of Prozac said people might confuse the two, due to its name similarity…. Really.
One last thing. I keep seeing a product advertised for memory on the tube. I was familiar with it many years ago when it first came out. We tried it and were disappointed with the results. Now it’s on every station, but if you can, read the fine print under the testimonials. Yes of course they are paid, but it is the other line that gets me. These people were a subgroup of the study that had no cognitive problems or minor problems. So why are they saying it helped so much?
Send questions on botanical remedies to: Nature’s Rx: Jonathan Evans at Herbarium258@gmail.com; or by regular mail to: The Herbarium, 254 Exchange St., Chicopee MA 01013. If requesting information, please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.