Rosemary and Alzheimer’s Disease


Today there are five million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and by the year 2050, the number is projected to be 13.5 million. My blog,, is devoted to the subject and one article in particular talks about the new medicines in development. As seniors, we laugh about “senior moments,” but is there anything we can do to stave off Alzheimer’s? In a little booklet called, “Folk Remedies That Really Work,” contributing writer and botanist James A. Duke, Ph.D., says that the spice rosemary is sometimes called the herb of remembrance.

Rosemary contains five compounds that seem to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that’s deficient in patients with Alzheimer’s and important in memory and cognitive functions. Duke believes that rosemary works as well as the drug tacrine (Cognex). He says that tacrine works in only 25% of patients and it can cause liver damage.

Eating rosemary in dishes such as chicken and fish might reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, but there’s evidence that rosemary can be absorbed through the skin. So you can try putting rosemary springs into your bath, using rosemary shampoo, or rosemary lotion. Rosemary has a long history and even as far back as ancient Greece, students wore rosemary garlands while studying for exams because they believed that it improved their memory. Check out the spices in your supermarket and there may be (as there was in mine) a little sign telling you about rosemary and memory.


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Alzheimer’s Disease Blog — New!

I have started a brand new blog on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Although I have had immense joy in writing this blog (and will continue to do so on a weekly basis — watch for me on Wednesday mornings), I have a special passion and interest in AD. So please visit me at I look forward to seeing you there.

Related blog posts on Alzheimer’s on this blog:

Fear of Alzheimer’s Disease

6-05-31-AlzFearAllAgesHere’s an interesting chart that I found at this Web site: Although most Americans fear cancer the most, the greatest fear of those 55 and over is Alzheimer’s.

This was a survey conducted by the MetLife Foundation. They found that although there’s fear, there’s very little preparation for this devastating disease. The greatest risk factor is age. While there are about one in 10 over 65 with the disease, the number jumps to closer to half of those over 85.

Doctors at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health say that obesity may be linked to an increased risk of dementia. Two-thirds of dementia cases in those over 65 are actually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. If you’re obese, the risk rises by 42% and if you’re underweight, the risk rises by 36%. So maintaining a normal weight is your best bet for preventing dementia.

Need to shed a few pounds? Try these moist, delicious cookies with lots of fiber. Check it out at


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