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Eminent holistic healer, Dr. Rajesh Nair, BA MS of Ayurvedic medicine and surgery from prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College of University of Calicut, specializes in work related stress, women's issues, diabetes, pcos, arthritis, male and female sexual problems and infertility.

Dr. Rajesh Nair
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Feel Unfocused? Try These 6 Natural Remedies for Concentration and Memory

How Ayurveda helps in improvising Memory and Concentration:
As per the dictionary, meaning “concentration” is complete attention /intense mental effort. As the meaning specifies, in the present world it is really an intense mental activity to try to focus or concentrate on something even for a couple of minutes.
Ayurveda can help in preventing memory loss; more than preventing it can help boost memory and concentration through the regular intake of certain herbs and these natural remedies for concentration and memory .

 

Herbs which help in boosting focus or concentration and preventing memory loss are as follows:

1. Brahmi ( Bacopa Monnieri):

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Brahmi is one of the major Medhya (promoter of general mental ability) drugs described by Bruhattrayees (The 3 great scholars who have designed the basic principles of Ayurveda – Charaka, Sushrutha and Vagbhata ).
Brahmi as per the Ayurvedic classic textbooks is indicated in poor memory, poor concentration, emotional imbalance, anger depression, anxiety, nervous system disorders etc. among many other health benefits.
The regular intake of natural remedies for focus and attention in specific quantity along with routine diet for prolonged period f time surely enhances the capacity of the brain and also helps in relaxing the mind and increases its functional capacity and ability to focus and memorise.

2. Mandookaparni ( Centella Asiatica):

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Aqueous extract of the herb is proven to be a good memory enhancer. The regular intake of this drug in specific quantity along with routine diet for a prolonged period of time surely enhances the capacity of the brain and also helps in relaxing the mind and increases its functional capacity and ability to focus and memorise.

3. Indian Gooseberry or Amla,

It is rich in Vitamin C, as well as antioxidants, which helps boost immunity, but other than that, amla is also known to have properties to strengthen your nervous system.. It can be consumed fresh and raw and also in dried form and as juice.

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon helps in revitalizing your mental health, when consumed, or even when smelled. Consuming cinnamon with honey provides has a very soothing effect on mental health.

5. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

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According to research outlined in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, the aroma from rosemary can improve a person’s concentration, performance, speed, and accuracy and, to a lesser extent, their mood. Scientific studies have proven that consumption of Rosemary has a very positive impact on the functioning of the brain. Rosemary contains an ingredient called carnosic acid which can help to cure brain damage by free radicals.

6. Ghrutham (Clarified butter)

Daily intake of clarified butter in the morning can have magical effect on memory and concentration.

Magical Ayurveda preparations, which help in improving memory and concentration, which can be taken under the prescription of A qualified Ayurveda practitioner are as follows:

1. Brahmi Ghrutham:
2. Saarswatham ghrutham
3. Saaraswatharishtam
4. Brahmi swarasam
5. Mandooka parni swarasam
6. Shankhupushpi rasayanam

Natural ways to increase focus and concentration:

Ayurveda is considered the Upaveda of Atharva Veda. The ‘Rasayan chikitsa’ (rejuvenation therapy) is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda. Rasayana has been considered as a form of rejuvenation recipes, dietary regimen and special health-promoting conduct and behaviour. This therapy helps the individual to attain longevity, intelligence, bright complexion, great tone of voice, good physique e.t.c. Ayurveda is believed to cure human diseases through the establishment of equilibrium in the different elements of human life, the body, the mind, the intellect and the soul

Ayurveda targets to maintain a healthy life by prevention of diseases through various healthy lifestyles and following healthy diet regimen and curing of diseases. The Rasayana chikitsa comes under the herbal supplements for focus and concentration which helps in prevention of diseases which gives amazing rejuvenation of the body by refreshing its functionality and physique
It aims enhancement in strength, immunity, ojus, vitality, willpower and determination of the body, longevity, memory, intelligence, the excellence of lustre, complexion and voice, optimum strength of physique and sense organs.

According to Acharya Charak, equilibrium of Agni of Dhatu, Vayu, and Srotas are essential factors for maintaining normal strength, colour and longevity of the body.
Medhya comprises Dhee, Dhriti and Smriti.
Medhya can be divided into the following:
1. Grahanshakti (Power of Grasping)
2. Dharana shakti (Power of Retention of knowledge)
3. Vivekshakti (Power of Discrimination)
4. Smriti (Power of memorising)

Types of Rasayana (Rejuvenation) therapy

According to the achievable outcome- Rasayana is of three types:

1. Naimittika Rasayana (naimittika-Sanskrit for “cause”) is also known as Rogapaharan or Curative type of Rasayan. This type of Rasyana is used t cure specific disease in the body e.g.Agastya Rasayana,, Dashamoola Rasayana e.t.c
2. Ajasrika Rasayana is used to maintain a healthy life through a healthy lifestyle, healthy diet or exercise.. It is also called as Vayasthapan Rasayan.
3. Kamya Rasayana- This is described as to fulfil a wish or desire or to serve a special purpose (kama – desire). It is of four types:
a. Prana Kamya- enhancing Prana (life energy)
b. Medhya Kamya- enhancing the memory and intellect.
c. Ayush Kamya- increasing lifespan
d. Chakshu Kamya- maintaining healthy eyes.

According to modalities– It is of three types:

1. Achar Rasayana (Behavioural modalities)- describes a type of Rasayana for mental and spiritual health. It focuses on the mind and soul along with the body.
2. Ahar Rasayana (Dietary modalities)- It includes a specific modality of eating and sleeping. The individual is made to follow a Saatwik diet ad lifestyle like speaking only truth, practising non-violence and living in harmony with nature.
3. Dravya (Aushadha) Rasayana

Medhya Rasayana is a group of 4 medicinal plants which can be used single or in combinations.

1. Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica Linn.)-Scientific studies have proven that it is a brain growth promoter, and helps to inhibit inhibits the memory impairment
2. Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn.)-Scientific studies have shown that it increases circulation to the brain thereby enhancing learning and memory.
3. Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia (Wild) Miers)- Scientific studies have proven that it helps in memory enhancement and learning. It is useful in the treatment for behavioural and mental disorders.
4. Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus leuricaulis Chois)-effective in chittodvega (anxiety disorders).

Medhya Rasayana drugs are of two types:

1. Shita Virya and Madhura Vipaka drugs which enhance “Dharana Karma” (i.e., retention of memory) e.g., Yastimadhu, Bramhi, Sankhpushpi etc.
2. Ushna Virya and Tikta Rasa- drugs which promote Grahana and Smarana (i.e., grasping power and Memory) e.g., Guduchi, Vacha, Jyotishmati etc.

Magical Effect of Meditation on Memory boost and Improving concentration:

How To Meditate For Better Concentration:
To start meditating, just follow these steps:

1. Find a quiet spot, empty of distractions.
2. Set a timer for the time you want to meditate. The first day you can have a 5-minute meditation and the time span can be increased systematically day by day.
3. Sit on a chair or on the floor, whichever is more comfortable.
4. Close your eyes and focus on your breath; on where it feels the strongest When thoughts start entering and appear to be distracting, do not try to avoid them- instead accept the thoughts but focus on the breath.

Improving focus and concentration results in improvising memory. You should not expect a spontaneous or instantaneous result from meditation. The results will be gradual and it has been proven scientifically and through researches that meditation has a tremendous and a highly positive impact on memory boosting.

Spending at least 5 minutes for meditation can have a tremendous impact on boosting the memory and improving the concentration, not spontaneously but gradually. It is a method to realise how many minutes we stay unfocused and slowly realizing how our mind and thought scan focus on what we need to focus s actually is an important life hack that can help us in our day to day activities.

Yoga poses which help in boosting memory and improvising concentration:
1. Bakasana (Crane Pose)

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Benefits: Bakasana helps in improving the balance of the body as well as concentration and thereby memory.
Procedure: Sit on the floor with the knees up straight. Keep an arm’s distance between both the knees and keep your feet flat on the ground. Move the arms in between the knees and place them firmly on the ground. Your knees and elbows should be kept at the same level. Balance the entire body with your palms. Keep your head straight and look ahead.
Precautions And Contraindications
It is best to avoid this asana if you have the following conditions:
a. Carpal tunnel syndrome
b. Pregnancy
c. A current or chronic wrist pain
Beginners’ tip:
As beginners, you will tend to move your buttocks high and away from your heels. But you must keep your heels and buttocks close together while in this asana. When you are ready to push your feet off the floor, press the upper part of your arms against the shins, and pull your groin into the pelvis so that you can lift easily.

2. Padmasana (Lotus Pose):

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Benefits: Padmasana relaxes your mind and reduces muscular tension.
Procedure: Sit on the floor with legs expanded sideways. Bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh in such a way that the sole of the right foot should face upward and the heel closer to the abdomen. Repeat the same procedure with the left leg. Now, place your hands on the knees in the mudra ( extend the palms and make a circle with thumb and index finger while keeping the other 3 fingers straight) position. Keep your head up, looking straight and breathe gently.

3. Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend):

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Benefits: Padahastasana stimulates the nervous system and increases blood circulation to the brain.
Procedure: Stand straight with your feet together. Lift your arms straight up over your head. Your arms should touch the ears. Bend down in such a way that your torso and head should be facing and hugging the thighs and your hands placed on either side of your feet.

4. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose):

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Benefits: Sarvangasana cures insomnia, relieves hypertension and soothes headaches.
Procedure: Lie down on your back keeping legs normally like you lie down to sleep. Lift your legs together up straight. Hold your waist by your hands and lift them up making a straight line. Keep your shoulder blades straight.
Precautions And Contraindications:
1. Avoid practising this asana if you have the following conditions.
a. Diarrhoea
b. A headache
c. High blood pressure
d. Menstruation
e. Neck injury
2. If you have mastered this pose, you can continue to practice it until late into your pregnancy.
3. Since this is a complex asana, it is best if it is practised under the supervision of an expert.

5. Halasana (Plow Pose):

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Benefits: Halasana reduces stress and fatigue.
Procedure: Lie on your back and keep your arms on either side of your body with palms facing down. Lift your legs straightly upward. The support your hips with your hands, take your feet over your head and place the feet on the floor in a way that your toes touch the floor. Try to keep your back perpendicular to the floor. Bring back your hands to their initial position.

Precautions And Contraindications
1. Avoid practising this asana if you have the following problems:
a. Diarrhoea
b. Menstruation
c. Neck injury
2. If you are suffering from high blood pressure and asthma, support your legs with props while you practice this asana.
3. If you are pregnant, do this asana only if you have been practising it for a long time. Do not begin practising when you get pregnant.
4. You must do this asana under the guidance of a yoga expert.

6. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend):

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Benefits: Paschimottanasana cures headaches and increases concentration.
Procedure: Sit down with your legs stretched out forward. Raise your hands straight up, with your arms touching the ears. Bend forward at the hips with your abdomen and chest-hugging the thighs and your head on the knees. Your fingers should touch your toes, and you can keep your arms a little bent at the elbows.
Precautions And Contraindications:
1. Avoid this asana if you have asthma or diarrhoea.
2. If you have a history of a back injury, you must make sure to practice this asana only under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor.
3. Pregnant women must avoid practising this asana.

7. Tadasana (Tree Stand Pose):

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Procedure: Stand on the floor in straight position. Expand your hands up in the air and bring them down. Bend your left leg from the knee and place it on the inner side of your right thigh. Look straight. Hold your palms together in prayer position and place them in front of your chest. Close your eyes and relax.

8. Sukhasana:

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Benefits: This is the best asana to relax your mind, body and soul.
Procedure: Sit on the floor with your legs spread straight in front of you. Bend your left knee and fold it in such a way that the sole of your left foot is placed on the inner side of your right thigh.
Bend your right knee in such a way that the sole of your right foot is placed on the outer side of your left calf muscle. Place your hands on your knees. Close your eyes and relax.

9. Vajrasana:

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Procedure: Kneel down on the floors that your knees, feet and ankles are parallel to each other and touch the ground. Place your palms on the knees. Keep your spine straight. Look straight and close your eyes. Relax.

References:
1. Charaka Samhitha
2. Ashtanga Hrudayam
3. www.Lybrate.com
4. www.medicalnewstoday.com
5. www.omicsonline.org
6. www.magneticmemorymethod.com
7. www.stylecraze.com

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