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Can dementia be treated naturally?

Photo: © Ellie Nator -
  1. neurology
  2. Ginkgo is said to help with dementia
  3. Study does not prove efficacy
  4. Lemon balm and rose root
  5. Other alternative treatment options


Dementia is the end stage of Alzheimer's, a chronic brain disease. To date, the disease can not be cured, but only the symptoms are treated. But also a number of alternative therapies and medicinal plants to help treat dementia.

Ginkgo is said to help with dementia

Ginkgo enjoys the reputation of supposedly acting at the onset of dementia. The extract of the plant should improve the fluidity of the blood and thus the oxygen supply and the energy metabolism of the brain. At the same time Ginkgo should protect the nerves and positively influence the neurotransmitters, ie protect against free radicals. Overall, the plant extract should provide for more learning, performance and concentration. Since the 1960s, ginkgo is offered in the form of tablets, including as a higher-dose drug available for free sale in the pharmacy.

Study does not prove efficacy

However, a recent study shows that ginkgo is not suitable for effectively treating dementia . 1400 patients over the age of 70 with memory impairment received ginkgo extract, while another 1400 people were prescribed a sham. After five years, an early form of Alzheimer's had developed in both groups equally frequently. Thus, Ginkgo can neither protect against dementia, nor improves the mental health.

Lemon balm and rose root

Lemon balm was already popular in the 17th century as a so-called mental accelerator. Today the plant is used because of its positive effect on dementia . It is designed to activate neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible, among other things, for memory. Also Rosenwurz is supposed to stimulate the release of messenger substances in the brain and provide a proper balance of neurotransmitters, which are known to be disturbed in Alzheimer's. For both plants, however, there are no studies that prove the actual effectiveness of the two plants.

Other alternative treatment options

An advanced dementia can also lead to changes in the personality, which can manifest itself among other things by personal actions and states of excitement. Since this can culminate in a state in which the person concerned is no longer capable of surviving alone and thus in need of care, additional psychotherapy can certainly make sense. The focus of this therapy is, for example, memory training or mnemonic techniques to remember things better. In combination with behavioral therapy, the Far Eastern relaxation techniques Tai Chi and Qigong can also be used to treat dementia. They can improve the self-confidence of patients and stop depressive tendencies.