You find yourself turning the house over looking for your glasses... blanking on the word you want mid-sentence... even walking into rooms unsure of why you went in there.

We've all been there.

Those "senior moments" of forgetfulness can make life feel like a comedy of errors, but if your senior moments keep stacking up, it may be time to get serious.

They could signal the beginning of Alzheimer's disease -- and that’s no laughing matter.

Alzheimer's turns mild memory blips into devastating memory loss -- forgetting the name of your better half, where home sweet home is, and even what the heck that fork in your hand is for.

But according to the latest science, you may be able to protect your brain from Alzheimer's damage naturally.

And your salvation may come from a somewhat unexpected source: a prickly plant called milk thistle.

A study out of China found that the plant compound silibinin -- a flavonoid derived from the seeds of the flowering plant -- can suppress many of the abnormal brain processes associated with Alzheimer's and even REVERSE memory loss.

We still have a lot to learn about what causes Alzheimer’s, but we do know that the disease is linked to the formation of brain “plaques” and “tangles” made of excess proteins called beta-amyloid.

In the study, rats were injected with beta-amyloid to mimic Alzheimer's. But after the scientists gave them silibinin, the rats significantly improved on memory tests like running through a maze and recognizing objects.

The results suggest that silibinin can help guard against HUMAN memory loss, too!

Previous research has identified brain abnormalities that come along with Alzheimer's disease -- including inflammation, oxidative stress, and impaired "autophagy,” which is how brain cells clear out damaged or mis-folded proteins that can turn into plaques.

In the study, silibinin put all of these problems in reverse: It reduced brain inflammation, alleviated oxidative stress, and improved autophagy.

That makes silibinin a promising way to prevent developing Alzheimer's plaques in the first place!

You probably don't want to start munching on the thorny leaves of the milk thistle plant, and luckily you don't need to, because you can get a daily dose of silibinin by taking a milk thistle supplement in capsule form.

A doctor well-versed in integrative medicine can work with you on finding the right dosage.

Milk thistle has also been shown in studies to protect against liver damage, kill colon cancer cells , and reduce hay fever symptoms .

But it can interact with certain drugs, so talk to your doc before adding it to your regimen.