Brain boosters and tonics

As my dad grows older, he seems to be recalling more and more bits of his childhood, and I love hearing his stories. Today when I was telling him how sick I’d been and lamenting about how there wasn’t any real medicine for this viral illness, he asked me if I had read about that memory enhancing supplement everyone in Hollywood is using. He just read an article that said it may lead to George Clooney’s divorce, because his wife is fed up with him using it. Apparently poor George was struggling to remember his most recent 200 page script and can’t seem to get by without this miracle potion.


I asked my dad how many miracle drug fads he has heard about in his lifetime and reminded him of all those housewives who got hooked on diet pills (aka speed) because they thought it was boosting their energy.

Dad: “Yeah, I remember when I was a kid there was something called Hadacol that everyone was taking cause it was supposed to be good for their health. Turns out it was mostly alcohol.”


He continued: “I’ll never forget the day I came home from school and the maid was laid out on the floor, with the ironing board on top of her. I helped her up, and when she started ironing again she fell right back down.”

Me, laughing: “Oh my, what was that about?”

Dad: “I asked her about the bottle of Hadacol on the counter, and she replied, slurring her words, ‘tha’s ma tonic’. I called my mother and she told me to send her home for the day”.

I smiled as I envisioned this scenario, with his stern mother at the other end of the phone line, and shuddered to think about what the maid would have to face when she returned to work the next day.

Dad: “People used to say it got its name Hadacol cause they “had to call” it something”

As far as the new craze towards using these brain enhancing supplements, I will take a pass.  Given my genetic make-up, I don’t feel the need to experiment with my brain chemistry. As much as I’d like to jump on the band-wagon in the quest to get smarter and improve my memory, I take a cautionary stance on these quick fixes. There could be a good reason that nature is slowing me down, and that’s ok with me.

I don’t need to be a hamster on a wheel for the rest of my life. At some point I think it is ok to take it down a notch and start smelling the roses along the way. I can still remain active and productive without having to be like a 20-year-old. I’ll just step aside and let them feel the burn for awhile. 



7 thoughts on “Brain boosters and tonics

  1. There isn’t much you can say for someone using a ladder when they have enough of a reach
    Poor george needs more than just a pill for his brain to function
    Thought I will say he’s manage to stay cool under Hollywood’s pressures


  2. Hmmm, obviously there is more to the notion of early to bed, etc. Yet, it has been my mantra most of my life.

    Eating healthily and exercise obviously has a good effect. The brain is made up of mostly cholesterol, which means you would think vegetarians should have a hard time with it. Usually though it’s the meat eaters who fail this most vital bodily function … memory. Eating the organs of other warm-blooded mammals seems to produce Jakob Creutzfeldt disease and other forms of degenerative brain function.

    Omega 3 fatty acids in some studies have been shown to offer little benefit. Omega 3’s show up in many other things than fish oils. One the best sources of Omega 3 found in nature is in cold-pressed hempseed. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids. Which makes it one of natures few vegetable saturated fats.

    Obviously, it’s doubtful that any one thing is going to improve, or aid in, brain function? Beside aging is a funny thing. It creeps up on you. You may think? In your middle age. Oh this will not happen to me, etc. Because I do this or that. Then whammo before you know it? Some aging thing, sideswipes you and all that running, jumping, eating, seems to not matter one whit.

    This note is not about throwing up your hands saying ” nothing matters, then”? Just be cautious, keep exercising and doing the right things. Just beware of looking for that one magical potion to save you. For it likely will never exist.


  3. Feeling the burn…I’d forgotten about that….mostly from Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons. ☺ I am wary of any miracle tonic/supplement…have trouble taking much of anything…even aspirin.


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