Indian medicinal herbs and formulations for Alzheimer’s disease, from traditional knowledge to scientific assessment

Jogender Mehla, Pooja Gupta, Monika Pahuja, Deepti Diwan, Diksha Diksha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Cognitive impairment, associated with ageing, stress, hypertension and various neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, is a major health issue. The present review focuses on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), since it is the most important cause of cognitive impairment. It is characterized by progressive memory loss, language deficits, depression, agitation, mood disturbances and psychosis. Although the hallmarks of AD are cholinergic dysfunction, β-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangle formation, it is also associated with derangement of other neurotransmitters, elevated levels of advanced glycation end products, oxidative damage, neuroinflammation, genetic and environmental factors. On one hand, this complex etiopathology makes a response to commonly used drugs such as donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine and memantine less predictable and often unsatisfactory. On the other hand, it supports the use of herbal medicines due to their nonspecific antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and specific cholinesterase inhibitory activity. The popularity of herbal medicines is also increasing due to their perceived effectiveness, safety and affordability. In the present article, the experimental and clinical evidence have been reviewed for various Indian herbal medicines such as Centella asiatica, Bacopa monnieri, Curcuma longa, Clitoria ternatea, Withania somnifera, Celastrus paniculatus, Evolvulus alsinoides, Desmodium gangeticum, Eclipta alba, Moringa oleifera and Convolvulus pluricaulis, which have shown potential in cognitive impairment. Some commonly available herbal formulations for memory impairment in India have also been reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number964
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Complimentary and alternative medicine
  • Herbal medicine
  • Memory


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