Memory problems are common. While many suppose that memories are a side effect of aging, anyone who has told a teenage to do their chores knows that memory issues are not always tied to age. There are a range of natural memory boosters in the form of foods, supplements, and even color choice that can boost recall and help you remember where your keys are and your kids to take the lasagna out of the fridge and put it in the oven.

In the following excerpt from Secret Food Cures by Joan and Lydia Wilen the sisters discuss natural memory boosters that may help you remember why you went into the kitchen in the first place.


I keep misplacing my house keys, I can’t remember anyone’s name—I finally told my doctor that my memory has been getting terrible lately.”

“What did the doctor do about it?”

“He made me pay in advance.”

Sure, it’s easy to make jokes, but we know how frustrating it is to feel like your memory is slipping. One remedy for remembering a familiar name, place or fact is to simply relax and forget that you can’t remember. When you’re not thinking about it, it will pop into your mind.

Neither of us believes a good or not-so good memory is a matter of age. We think we’re all victims of data overload.

The genius scientist and physicist Albert Einstein didn’t believe in remembering anything he could look up. While that’s not always practical, it is a tension-relieving thought. Meanwhile, we have some remedies that may help you re-create a wonderful memory.

Natural Remedies

• Choline is used by our brains to make the important chemical acetylcholine, which is required for memory.

At a health food or vitamin store, buy choline chloride or choline hydrochloride— not choline bitartrate. (The latter sometimes causes diarrhea.) Taking choline may improve your memory and your ability to learn. You should also notice a keener sense of mental organization.

Dose: Take 500 mg of choline twice a day. (Set your alarm clock so you won’t forget to take it.

• Here’s a memory-improving drink—combine half a glass of carrot juice with half a glass of milk, and drink daily.

• Three prunes a day supposedly improves memory. It can also help prevent constipation, and since constipation paralyzes the thinking process, take three prunes a day.

• Daily doses of fresh ginger used in cooking and for tea may heighten memory.

• Add four cloves to a cup of sage tea. Sage and cloves have been said to strengthen memory. Drink a cup every day.

Try This Jungle Punch

• Yerba maté (pronounced mah-tay) is considered the beverage of choice in many South American countries, including Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and parts of Chile and Brazil. The herb is cultivated from leaves of a tree that is related to holly and is grown today mainly in Paraguay and Argentina.

One of the many positive effects of the herb, according to South American medical authorities, is that it strengthens one’s memory. It’s also been proven in European studies to boost the body’s immunity, make people feel better both physically and mentally, and it can actually help them lose weight. It’s no wonder that this amazing drink is guzzled with as much gusto in South America as coffee is in the US. Drink one cup of yerba maté early in the day. It is available at health food stores.

NOTE: Be aware that yerba maté contains caffeine, although less than coffee.

• Take one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of room-temperature water before each meal. Not only is it said to be an excellent tonic for the memory, but it also curbs the appetite.

• Ah, the healing powers of almonds. Eat six raw almonds every day to help improve your memory.

Eye-Opening Discovery

• Our research led us to a Japanese doctor whose records show that he successfully treated more than 500 patients who were having memory problems. How? By recommending they take eyebright, an herb best known for treating eye disorders…until now. Add 1 ⁄2 ounce of eyebright and one tablespoon of clover honey to 11 ⁄2 cups of just-boiled water. When it’s cool, strain the mixture and put it in a bottle. Drink 3 ⁄4 cup before lunch and 3 ⁄4 cup before dinner.

• Two mustard seeds, taken as you would take pills, first thing every morning, are said to revive one’s memory.

• Eat a handful of sunflower seeds daily. These seeds are beneficial in many ways, one being memory improvement.

■ Recipe ■

Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds

1 egg white

1 tsp cold water

4 cups almonds

1 ⁄2 cup granulated sugar

1 ⁄4 tsp salt

1 ⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250° F. Lightly grease one 15″ x 10″ x 1″ jellyroll pan.

Lightly beat the egg white, then add water and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts and stir until well coated.

Sift together the sugar, salt and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the nuts and toss to mix. Spread on pan and bake for one hour, stirring occasionally.


•According to a gem therapist, wearing an amethyst helps strengthen one’s memory. You just have to remember to wear the amethyst.

Walk This Way

Walking increases oxygen flow to the brain …and it’s never too late! Researchers experimented on adults between the ages of 60 and 75. The group that walked briskly three days a week, starting with 15 minutes each day and working their way up to 45 minutes a day, had a 15% boost in mental functioning. That 15% could mean an end to the frustration of not remembering things…at any age.

• What’s the most prevalent color in legal pads? In Post-Its? Notice a pattern forming here? According to color therapy research, the color yellow most stimulates the brain. Writing on yellow paper may help you better re – member whatever it is you’ve written.

The Case for Color

If you don’t think that color has an impact on us, think again after you read the following— Alexander Schauss, PhD, president of the Life Sciences Division of the American Institute for Biosocial and Medical Research in Tacoma, Washington, recommended that Blackfriars Bridge in London be painted a particular shade of blue. Called Ertel Blue, the color was supposed to reduce the incidence of suicides off the bridge, the highest of any bridge on the Thames River.

The bridge was painted Ertel Blue and the effect was dramatic. No suicides were reported from that point on.

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