Saturday, April 13, 2024

HEALING HERBS: This one’s good for brain care


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“In a double-T blind study in 1985 in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers tested vinpocetine’s effect on the short-term memory of 12 healthy women. The women who took 40 milligrammes of vinpocetine three times per day for two days scored 30 per cent higher on short-term memory tests than the women in the placebo group.” –

AFTER READING THE “memory” articles in this column for the past three weeks, many readers are genuinely researching the importance of taking better care of the brain.

The brain, like all parts of the body, needs tender care, and attention must be focused on its importance to our physical development and cognitive function. Last week alone my brain was loaded with information, including CXC deadlines, examination paper preparation, planning my vacation, looking for viable options to increase my income, preparing two upcoming herbal lectures, attending BMEX, computing my options about retirement and other factors which are too sensual to be mentioned in this column.

The brain indeed must be treated specially and its importance to our lives seems to be greatly underestimated. I believe that if we show more love and care to our brain and place more positive thoughts in it, we could avoid depression and some of the other brain challenges.

The quote at the beginning of this article introduces the word vinpocetine. On many websites, including, it has been revealed that “vinpocetine is a synthetic alkaloid derived from the periwinkle plant (specifically, synthesised from the molecule known as ‘vincamine’)”. Furthermore, “vinpocetine  appears to have a track record of usage in European countries for the treatment of cognitive decline, stroke recovery and epilepsy. Vinpocetine is also commonly used as a nootropic compound in the hope that it may promote memory formation”.

Periwinkle, scientifically known as catharanthus roseus, is considered as an old world plant. As we approach 50 years of Independence, conscious respect should also be dedicated to silent doctor periwinkle. This medicinal plant was a star of beauty in most gardens in the old time days. I like the pink and white variety.

Research published on the website indicates that “with around 100 studies conducted on vinpocetine’s effects on humans, mostly in Hungary, it is not surprising that it has been used by Hungarian doctors to treat senility and blood vessel disorders in the brain for 25 years. In these studies it appears to boost memory and cognition in healthy people and in those with mild to moderate forms of dementia”.

If you want to see periwinkle in full bloom, travel the road to the Cotton Tower in St Joseph.

• Annette Maynard-Watson, a teacher and herbal educator, may be contacted via or by telephone 250-6450. DISCLAIMER: It is not our intention to prescribe or make specific claims for any products. Any attempts to diagnose or treat real illness should come under the direction of your health care provider.


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