“I don’t believe it,” Leni Hayes sighed as she retrieved her car keys from her freezer, gazing at them in disbelief. “How in the world did these get in here?”
For the 86-year-old Bellingham, Washington resident, confusing moments like this were increasing in frequency — and troubling her more and more. Lately, she found herself having to search for words, misplacing essential items, like keys and money, and was embarrassed to admit she had even left her purse behind at the grocery store…multiple times.
A retired nurse, Leni couldn’t help but ask the question: What is wrong with me? On its face, there wasn’t much troubling her physically. Except for a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, a type of heart arrhythmia that causes an irregular, often rapid heart rate and poor blood flow, Leni had always enjoyed excellent health. She had learned that her condition could lead to cognitive decline over time, but her doctor assured her that the blood thinners he had prescribed would help combat this risk.
To boot, Leni was also doing everything she knew to protect her brain health: daily walks, including house walking in inclement weather, gardening and socializing with friends at the senior center. And she was grateful to still be able to drive herself to appointments and church and do her own grocery shopping.
The symptoms of memory loss that made Leni worry
When Leni started being unable to balance her checkbook or follow beloved family recipes from her home country of Germany, panic, frustration and even depression set in. “I can’t lose my independence!” she despaired to her children, who had also noticed the changes and had begun to worry themselves, even suggesting she seek medical attention.
But the last time Leni had even hinted at feeling blue to her doctor, the only thing he had to offer her were prescription antidepressants. She had refused at the time due to the potential side effects, and this time, she would not make the same mistake again. “I have to find a solution to my memory issues — and fast.”
The simple solution that changed everything for Leni
At their weekly lunch outing one week, Leni’s daughter pulled a blue bottle from her purse and gave her a comforting hug. “I think I have something that may help you, Mom,” she said, as she handed Leni a bottle of Brain Fog Relief by Life Extension ($19 for a 30-day supply on Amazon).
At first, Leni wasn’t convinced it would help her. Her daughter explained that the capsules contained a brain-enhancing nutrient called mango leaf extract. Mango leaves…how can a mango help my brain? Leni wondered, skeptically. Keep reading to discover what a huge difference mango leaf ended up making on Leni’s life.
What are the benefits of mango leaf extract?
In many indigenous cultures, mango leaves are lauded for their nutritional value, eaten and made into teas. While most of us know mangos as the sweet, tropical fruit indigenous to India, Asia, Africa and South America, it turns out that the leaves of Mangifera indica, a particular species, have been used since ancient times to treat everything from diabetes to memory loss.
Mango leaves are a potent source of several beneficial plant compounds including polyphenols and terpenoids — the latter of which are beneficial for immunity and vision. But, as Leni’s experience demonstrates, where mango leaf really shines is brain health.
The leaves of the mango plant are particularly high in one polyphenol in particular: mangiferin. Also known as mango leaf extract, mangiferin is an antioxidant that helps protect the brain by reducing oxidative stress and brain inflammation.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology revealed that those subjects who took mangiferin had increased activity in regions of the brain associated with cognitive processing, attention and memory.
A study in the journal Nutrients found that people who supplemented with 300 mg of mangiferin experienced significant improvements in mental alertness, focus and reaction time for up to six hours.
In plain language, mango leaf extract has been shown to calm inflammation in the brain so that folks can think more clearly and remember more of what they learn. And as Leni soon discovered, the benefits of mango leaves were more varied than she every could have imagined.
What is the best way to consume mango leaves?
For Leni, the particularly potent blend of the capsules — which combined mango leaf extract and peppermint oil — was intriguing. But capsules aren’t the only option: Since mangiferin dissolves well in water, mango leaves can be easily extracted into infusions or be sipped as tea. One to try: Mango Leaf Tea by Palm Beach Herbals ($15, Amazon).
The amazing benefits Leni received from mango leaves
For several days, Leni stared at the blue bottle on her kitchen table, unsure of whether or not try it. “What have I got to lose?” she said to herself. “I’m determined to be independent as long as possible,” she vowed. “It can’t hurt to try.”
After clearing it with her doctor, Leni took her first capsule with breakfast and went out for her daily walk. She was skeptical and unsure if it was helping, but kept taking the mango leaf supplement, enjoying the fact that it did not contain caffeine or make her feel at all jittery.
And after the first week, Leni was pleasantly surprised to notice she easily recalled the names and faces of others she would encounter on her walks and she felt more confident and focused. All at once, daily tasks like cooking and paying bills were no longer a challenge.
Thrilled, Leni continued to take her mango extract every morning with breakfast, and today, she feels sharper than ever. “If I happen to miss a dose, I can tell the difference,” she shares. “I never want to be without it — the mango is a miracle!”
More study-backed benefits of mango leaves
Regulates insulin: Mangiferin (mango leaf extract) prods the pancreas to release a steady supply of insulin, improving blood sugar control. Researchers have found that taking magniferin daily slashed blood-sugar spikes that can trigger cravings and fatigue by 57 percent.
Jumpstarts metabolism: Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine say mangiferin helps pre-digest fatty foods, freeing up the liver to focus on crucial tasks like boosting fat burn and flushing out metabolism-slowing toxins.
Repairs skin: A powerful antioxidant, mangiferin promotes healing of damaged skin cells and speeds the growth of healthy new tissue, say researchers in the scientific journal PloS One. The result? A youthful glow and fewer wrinkles.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.