The brain is an amazing three-pound organ that controls all functions of the body, interprets information from the outside world, and embodies the essence of the mind and soul. Intelligence, creativity, emotion, and memory are a few of the many things governed by the brain. Protected within the skull(The skull is formed from 8 bones that fuse together along suture lines.), the brain is composed of the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem. The brain receives information through our five senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing - often many at one time. It assembles the messages in a way that has meaning for us, and can store that information in our memory. The brain controls our thoughts, memory and speech, movement of the arms and legs, and the function of many organs within our body. The central nervous system (CNS) is composed of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is composed of spinal nerves that branch from the spinal cord and cranial nerves that branch from the brain. The brain is composed of the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem. Cerebrum:
is the largest part of the brain and is composed of right and left hemispheres. It performs higher functions like interpreting touch, vision and hearing, as well as speech, reasoning, emotions, learning, and fine control of movement. Cerebellum:
is located under the cerebrum. Its function is to coordinate muscle movements, maintain posture, and balance. Brainstem:
acts as a relay center connecting the cerebrum and cerebellum to the spinal cord. It performs many automatic functions such as breathing, heart rate, body temperature, wake and sleep cycles, digestion, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and swallowing. Right brain – left brain
The cerebrum is divided into two halves: the right and left hemispheres. They are joined by a bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum that transmits messages from one side to the other. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. If a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, your left arm or leg may be weak or paralyzed.Not all functions of the hemispheres are shared. In general, the left hemisphere controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right hemisphere controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left hemisphere is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people.
The cerebral hemispheres have distinct fissures, which divide the brain into lobes. Each hemisphere has 4 lobes: frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital. Each lobe may be divided, once again, into areas that serve very specific functions. It’s important to understand that each lobe of the brain does not function alone. There are very complex relationships between the lobes of the brain and between the right and left hemispheres. In general, the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for language and speech and is called the "dominant" hemisphere. The right hemisphere plays a large part in interpreting visual information and spatial processing. In about one third of people who are left-handed, speech function may be located on the right side of the brain. Left-handed people may need special testing to determine if their speech center is on the left or right side prior to any surgery in that area.
The surface of the cerebrum is called the cortex. It has a folded appearance with hills and valleys. The cortex contains 16 billion neurons (the cerebellum has 70 billion = 86 billion total) that are arranged in specific layers. The nerve cell bodies color the cortex grey-brown giving it its name – gray matter. Beneath the cortex are long nerve fibers (axons) that connect brain areas to each other — called white matter.
Memory is a complex process that includes three phases: encoding (deciding what information is important), storing, and recalling. Different areas of the brain are involved in different types of memory. Your brain has to pay attention and rehearse in order for an event to move from short-term to long-term memory – called encoding.
Short-term memory, also called working memory, occurs in the prefrontal cortex. It stores information for about one minute and its capacity is limited to about 7 items. For example, it enables you to dial a phone number someone just told you. It also intervenes during reading, to memorize the sentence you have just read, so that the next one makes sense.
Long-term memory is processed in the hippocampus of the temporal lobe and is activated when you want to memorize something for a longer time. This memory has unlimited content and duration capacity. It contains personal memories as well as facts and figures. Skill memory is processed in the cerebellum, which relays information to the basal ganglia. It stores automatic learned memories like tying a shoe, playing an instrument, or riding a bike. Here is the short list of steps you can take now to improve your brain health, which will lead you to excellent physical health.
- Make a commitment to regular exercise:
According to an article in the Harvard Health Letter, exercise aids the brain by reducing insulin resistance, reducing inflammation, and stimulating the release of growth factors, the chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells. Exercise also reduces stress and improves mood and sleep. Problems in these areas frequently contribute to poor health.
- Eat real food:
Excessive consumption of the refined fats, sugar, and chemicals in fast food increases insulin levels. Subjecting the brain to a significant amount of insulin can cause it to stop responding to it, restricting our ability to think, make good choices, and create new memories. Unprocessed foods that are rich in micro nutrients and essential fats such as blueberries, avocado, kale, broccoli, walnuts, salmon and eggs all support brain health.
- Take necessary and appropriate supplements:
When you can’t get all the nutrients you need from food, supplements can be a lifesaver. Support your brain’s health with B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D, fish oil and zinc.
- Take Me-Time:
Meditate, get regular massage, laugh and play, and pursue a hobby for self-development, happiness and leisure time.
Q. What are Herbal powders?
The useful part of Herbs or medicinal plant is selected, dried, powdered & sieved to 40 or 60 mesh. They can be easily stored and transported.
Q. How effective are Herbal Powders?
They are very effective and fast acting if taken as recommended for particular illness and in correct dosage, as suggested by health practitioner. The result may be seen within 5-7 days.
Q. What is the Shelf life of Herbal Powders?
Generally dried powdered herbs if stored properly never get spoiled or damaged. They may be less effective after 5 years of manufacturing.
Q. What are the importance of Herbal medicines?
Herbal medicines are derived from Natural, Pure Herbs with Natural origin. They work as per their content of natural, pure Bio-active substances (Glucosides), which are not chemicals and not artificially induced! Hence no side-effects of Herbal Medicines, if taken in recommended dosage and for specific illness, Like – Brahmi (Bacopa) Powder very good for Brain Wellness.
Q. Can you make tea from powdered herbs?
Teas can be made by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 1–2 teaspoons of dried herbs. Cover and let tea steep for 5 minutes or so (roots and bark take longer). Then filter or decant the upper Tea solution and drink.
Q. How you can say, Your Brain Functions are good?
If you can perform your routine daily activity without much difficulties, if your presence of mind is good, if you can remember your and close ones mobile numbers, anniversary dates etc., if you can perform essential physical activities properly, then you can say that your Brain functions are good!
Q. How can judge that your Brain is not working properly?
If you cannot get up or walk properly, if you have sudden imbalance, giddiness, loss of sensations in all/one of the 5 sense organs, memory loss, tremors in hands/legs, weakness in muscles – are the signs that you should go for Brain Check!
Q. How to Boost your Brain wellness?
Perform regular physical & brain exercises, eat healthy and nutritious foods at regular time, have healthy supplements rich in Vitamin B 12 (on advice of health practitioner), avoid sugary, chemical leaded processed foods, sleep at regular time for minimum 6-7 hours in a day, have a Me-Time, dedicated to self - development, enjoyment, fun-frolic.
Q. Herbs good for Brain Wellness?
Brahmi (Bacopa), Gotukola, Holy basil, Indian Gooseberry, Walnut, Almonds.