Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects over 5 million individuals in the United States annually. By the year 2050, the number of individuals living with AD is projected to triple (Latest Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures, 2016). Although there is no cure for AD, there are many prescriptive pharmacologic agents used to help manage the clinical manifestations of the disease. Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) and herbal supplements are also used in the treatment of AD, however indications for their use and effectiveness during the progression of AD have not been examined. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of herbal supplements in managing the clinical manifestations of AD. The secondary purpose was to compare a variety of herbal supplements used to treat the clinical manifestations of AD and to evaluate the most widely used and most beneficial for clinical practice. A literature review examining herbal supplements and their risks, benefits, and uses in AD was conducted from multiple online databases. Peer reviewed articles published in the English language from 1998-2016 that focused on herbal supplements used to control the clinical manifestations of mild to severe AD were included for synthesis. Results from 14 studies that used herbal supplements as a treatment for the clinical manifestations of AD were compared for effectiveness in the management of symptoms. The findings suggest Ginkgo Biloba is the most effective and widely used herbal supplement in the treatment for cognitive decline in AD. Other supplements including Saffron, Curcumin, Cistanches Herba, and Sage were found to improve memory function and activities of daily living in individuals with AD. Herbal supplements can be cost effective and easier to retrieve for many individuals in comparison with prescriptive drug therapy. Although the research demonstrated beneficial results with the use of herbal supplements, the limitations of these studies make the application of the results problematic. Therefore, further research in this area is required.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

D'Amato-Kubiet, Leslee


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)


College of Nursing




UCF Daytona Beach



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

August 2017