As we face the next school term with our children, let me introduce to you, the way a Medical Herbalist can help your child learn and enjoy learning in term 3 and beyond. Learning involves the establishment of new neurological pathways. For the optimal development of these neurological pathways sufficient macro and micro nutrients are required (Mitra-Ganguli et al., 2017). Insufficient consumption of macro and micro nutrients is not the only determinant of malnutrition for neurological development. Immature, and insufficient gut microflora results in the malabsorption of these nutrients required to learn and concentrate (Goyal, Venkatesh, Milbrandt, Gordon, & Raichle, 2015).
To help an individual to learn, phototherapeutics involved in supporting neurological development, and supported brain circulation is required.
A randomised control trial performed in India involving school aged children established that the Ayuverdic herb “Brahmi” Bacopa monneiri helps children to learn and concentrate on tasks involved in learning (Mitra-Ganguli et al., 2017). Bacopa enhances the rate of protein synthesis within neurons due to the constituent bacosides A and B (Farooqui, Farooqui, Madan, Ong, & Ong, 2018) in this way Bacopa stimulates the development of new neurological pathways.
Included in aspects that make learning and retaining information difficult is anxiety. When an individual has a heightened anxious response, they will not score as well in tests as when their mind is clear of worry (Kent, Devonport, Lane, Nicholls, & Friesen, 2018). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a common childhood psychiatric disorder, where a heightened anxiety level inhibits the child’s ability to learn. Phototherapy with an anxioltytic action that can balance the reuptake of serotonin and improved cognitive performance will prove helpful in this regard. For this purpose the Chinese herb Ginko bilopa has shown positive effects (Shakibaei, Radmanesh, Salari, & Mahaki, 2015). Ginko bilopa improves the cognitive function of non-dementia patients who report a noted slowed cognitive function. These claims were tested via a randomised control trial performed on 160 subjects (Gavrilova et al., 2014).
By combining Ginko bilopa with Bacopa monneiri the herbs will help the person to concentrate, and memorise information, and learn new skills even during times of stress.
Farooqui, A. A., Farooqui, T., Madan, A., Ong, J. H.-J., & Ong, W.-Y. (2018). Ayurvedic Medicine for the Treatment of Dementia: Mechanistic Aspects. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2018, 2481076. doi:10.1155/2018/2481076
Gavrilova, S., Preuss, U., Wong, J., Hoerr, R., Kaschel, R., Bachinskaya, N., & Group, G. S. (2014). Efficacy and safety of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761® in mild cognitive impairment with neuropsychiatric symptoms: a randomized, placebo‐controlled, double‐blind, multi‐center trial. International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 29(10), 1087-1095.
Goyal, M. S., Venkatesh, S., Milbrandt, J., Gordon, J. I., & Raichle, M. E. (2015). Feeding the brain and nurturing the mind: Linking nutrition and the gut microbiota to brain development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(46), 14105-14112. doi:10.1073/pnas.1511465112
Kent, S., Devonport, T. J., Lane, A. M., Nicholls, W., & Friesen, A. P. (2018). The Effects of Coping Interventions on Ability to Perform Under Pressure. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 17(1), 40-55.
Mitra-Ganguli, T., Kalita, S., Bhushan, S., Stough, C., Kean, J., Wang, N., . . . Khadilkar, A. (2017). A Randomized, Double-Blind Study Assessing Changes in Cognitive Function in Indian School Children Receiving a Combination of Bacopa monnieri and Micronutrient Supplementation vs. Placebo. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 8, 678. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00678
Shakibaei, F., Radmanesh, M., Salari, E., & Mahaki, B. (2015). Ginkgo biloba in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. A randomized, placebo-controlled, trial. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 21(2), 61-67.