Simple Brain Boosters From Your Pantry: Dr. Mao's Wellness Central

Sunday, 16 Jun 2013, 9:03:00 AM

Dr. Mao Shing Ni

Dr. Mao Shing Ni
Courtesy Photo
Dr. Mao Shing Ni

Are you feeling foggy in your mind as spring leads into

summer heat? This Brain and Vision Blend recipe will enhance your cognitive

function and brighten eyesight with tasty antioxidant herbs and spices.

Read on to learn how the spices in your cupboard – such

as cloves, rosemary, sage, and turmeric – can improve your health and


Brain and Vision Spice-and-Herb Blend

The herbs and spices in this blend are packed with

antioxidants that help protect your brain cells from aging and defend against

the damage caused by toxins. 

This recipe – among nine

other herbal blends for common conditions – comes from my new book “Secrets

of Longevity Cookbook.” 

Simply mix in equal amounts:

– dried rosemary

– dried sage

– dried mint

– turmeric

– ground cinnamon

– ground cloves

– garlic powder

There’s no need to measure these spices and herbs

precisely, but I recommend using equal amounts of each spice in dried and

ground forms.

You can use a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder (that

you use only for herbs and spices) to grind these.

The consistency of the finished spices should be a dark


Store the blended spices in an airtight, glass jar to

protect the volatile oils for six months to a year.

Add this blend to your meals just as you are finishing

cooking the dish – about one minute before you turn off the heat.

Sprinkle in your soups, stir-frys, fish and veggie

dishes, and bean and grain dishes.

Spotlight on four brain & vision boosting


These herbs have plenty of health benefits in store for


One caveat: if you are on medication, speak with your

physician to make sure these herbs aren’t interfering with your


Cloves contain antioxidant compounds. 

Don’t put this cold season companion spice in the back

of your cupboard just yet!

Cloves are an amazing source of antioxidants and

abundant phenol compounds, which help combat toxins and the gradual damaging

processes that result in cell aging.

Support for cellular health translates to a younger

brain and healthy eyes.

Also, research suggests that a compound found in cloves

called eugenol functions as a platelet inhibitor, which may help protect you

from stroke associated with blood clots. 

Rosemary protects from free radical


Rosemary is also extremely high in the anti-inflammatory

substances and antioxidant compounds that protect your bodily tissues from free

radical damage.

One antioxidant, carnosic acid, has been singled out for

its ability to promote eye health and to protect the tissues of the brain.

More research is being conducted to investigate this

antioxidant’s promising role in the prevention of degenerative brain issues

like age-related memory loss and Alzheimer’s.

On its own, rosemary can be a helpful digestive aid for

settling your stomach.

This is a great herb to grow in your kitchen window,

whether you want to cook with fresh needles, or hang upside down to dry out and

add to a spice and herb blend. 

Sage advice for brain and vision health. 

Clary sage was once used by the Romans as an eyewash to

clear the vision.

Native Americans put white sage seeds into their eyes

and rolled under the eyelids to cleanse the eyes.

You may not be putting seeds in your eyes anytime soon,

but there are many benefits to including sage in your diet, far beyond its

delightful flavor.

Research has found that sage contains

acetylcholinesterase-inhibiting compounds that appear to reduce some of

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.

With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,

sage combats the inflammation that is often linked to cognitive decline, and it

has been suggested that sage can also improve memory.

Drink sage tea on its own for a brain and vision boost,

or sprinkle this spice blend into your dishes.

Turmeric’s curcumin combats plaque. 

This tasty, orange spice appears frequently in curry

dishes, and boasts anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor properties.

 A chemical called

curcumin is being studied for its positive effect on the brain.

Recent research points to curcumin as an inhibitor of

toxic beta-amyloid plaque; in fact, this substance may even help break down and

remove this plaque from the brain, which is great news for those susceptible to


The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin help reduce

cholesterol levels and optimize insulin function, which both promote the

healthy functioning of brain cells. 

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

Dr. Mao Shing Ni,

best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and

board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake

Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his

associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena.

Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than

25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To

make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or

you can email Dr. Mao at To subscribe to his

tip-filled newsletter please visit

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