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Plant Conference preview: How everyday foods could help fight depression and dementia

Health Guide, herbal practitioner and Pukka strategist Simon Mills on how everyday plants including cocoa and turmeric could help health problems associated with inflammation…

Ground-breaking new research suggests that inflammation could be a key contributor to depression, dementia and other pressing mental health problems.

Cambridge University Professor of Psychiatry Dr Edward Bullmore’s recent book Inflamed Mind examines the link between the immune system and mental health problems (Pictured: stock image)

For example, Cambridge University Professor of Psychiatry Dr Edward Bullmore’s recent award-winning book Inflamed Mind links depression and inflammation of the body and brain, suggesting that the immune system is crucial to how mental health problems manifest. 

If  this is the case rather than simply consuming daily anti-inflammatory drugs, we could look to how plants commonly found in our diet including herbal teas, supplements and herbal medicines might provide simpler, safer and surer solutions.

Plants commonly found in our diet including turmeric (pictured), cocoa and green tea could prove a valuable source in helping reduce inflammation

The health benefits of plants such as cocoa, turmeric, saffron, ginkgo and green tea in helping to reduce cognitive decline in old age have been supported in the latest research (see here).

Herbal practitioner and Pukka strategist Simon Mills, who serves on the College of Medicine Council, will address delegates at the Plant Conference on June 21st

At the College of Medicine’s Second Plant Medicine conference, which takes place on 21st June, I’ll summarise extensive scientific research that shows how long term health problems, including dementia and depression can be caused by immune mechanisms, and examine how regular consumption of some plants could reduce this ‘neuroinflammation’.

Conference attendees will have access to this literature and many leads to further research.

It will be nice to hear that eating chocolate, curries and green tea could fend off old age!

The Second Plant Conference takes place in London on Thursday June 21st: for last-minute tickets and more information on the programme, click here.

Simon Mills

Simon Mills, who studied Medical Sciences at Cambridge, is a health Guide, herbal practitioner and Pukka strategist