The brain is an amazing organ that controls every physiological and cognitive function in our bodies. From the moment you open your eyes until the moment you fall asleep, and then while you are sleeping your brain keeps working around the clock to ensure coordination, balance and proper functioning of all the systems in your body. Among the many functions the brain is directly responsible for, it is the center of all cognitive processes like memory, thinking, concentration, etc.
You might have been looking for ways to boost your brain power and memory capacity. Maybe you have trouble staying focused, you often feel sluggish, you forget easily, or you suffer from reduced productivity. Maybe you frequently suffer from brain fog or mental fatigue, and you have been looking for a natural relief to help you stay mentally fit and sharp.
There are various herbal supplements available that can fuel and nourish your brain in a safe and natural way. Lots of herbs have been used in traditional remedies for the enhancement of the brain and its functions, and some of them have been scientifically proven to have considerable health benefits. The following are 6 of the best herbs to consider as a natural aid for your brain power and wellness.
1. Ginkgo Biloba
This herb has found wide use in ancient healing practices. It has many cognitive benefits and actually helps regenerate brain cells. Studies show ginkgo biloba to be effective for improving memory and concentration as well as countering anxiety and stress.
Ginkgo biloba improves blood flow in the body and especially in the brain, and many people use it as an over the counter cognitive enhancer. There are some studies that questioned the benefits of this herb, but many studies and consumers reported marked improvement in mental performance when taking certain extracts of this herb.
One important thing to remember when taking ginkgo supplements is not to mix it with blood thinner medications, or else you would be at a high risk of suffering from brain bleeding. If you are taking any drugs for blood or circulation problems, it is always better to consult with your doctor before taking ginkgo biloba.
Rosemary is not just a star in Mediterranean dishes. It is also widely used in aromatherapy (as an essential oil) for improving memory. The herb contains 1,8-cineole (eucalyptol), which helps improve cognitive performance and mood.
When you smell the essential oil of rosemary, it has the potential to improve your proficiency and efficiency at mental tasks. So as a student or someone learning a new skill, you can develop a better retentive memory simply by smelling rosemary essential oil.
3. Gotu Kola
Gotu kola has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve mental clarity, concentration, and performance. This herb, sometimes called Indian Pennywort, is an adaptogen which can help your body ‘adapt’ to stress, thereby improving your brain’s ability to process information faster.
Studies show that there are certain substances in this herb that have neuroprotective properties and can boost cognitive functions. It has also been shown to improve blood circulation throughout the body.
So, if you are looking for a natural supplement to help you achieve better attention span, concentration ability and better memory, Gotu Kola is one of the top choices to try.
Ginseng is a very popular adaptogenic herb that is used for countless health issues. Some of its wide uses are to boost mental energy, concentration, learning and mood, especially when combined with ginkgo.
Ginseng can help your body cope with stress and protect your brain cells against toxins that have been linked to mental decline. It is a safe herb with no worrying side effects compared to many prescription drugs used for the same purposes.
Many studies have investigated the benefits of ginseng, and while there is no solid evidence it improves mental functions in healthy people, there is enough positive results and consumer feedback to say that it is at least worth trying.
Sage has been used in traditional medicine worldwide for several medicinal purposes. It is a potent herb that contains active ingredients that help to boost memory, alertness and attention. It is particularly used for people with Alzheimer’s disease, but it can also enhance mental performance in healthy people.
A research was conducted by Newcastle University, in collaboration with Northumbria University, to evaluate the effects of sage on memory. Word recall tests were performed on 44 participants who took either sage oil tablets or a placebo. The results showed that those who took sage oil performed markedly better than those who received placebo.
What a better way to boost your memory and brain performance than adding this aromatic herb to your dishes? You can add it to roasted chicken, tomato sauce, turkey, white bean soup, butternut squash, and the list goes on. It also makes an excellent hot tea, or alternatively, you can take it in supplement form.
When you are feeling overworked or overwhelmed, this adaptogenic herb can be highly helpful for you. Ashwagandha can help you combat brain fog, balance your mood, and increase your focus. When you use this herb, your brain can process information faster and you will have sustained attention, especially in stressful situations.
A study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements showed that participants treated with ashwagandha for 8 weeks demonstrated significant improvements in memory and cognitive performance compared to those who received placebo.
Several herbs have been confirmed by preliminary scientific research to be useful in boosting brain power and function. The above-listed herbs may help you reduce the risk of developing some neurological disorders while improving your cognitive health and ability. You can maintain optimal brain health by combining healthy herbs with a healthy lifestyle. When in doubt, make sure you consult with your doctor for a professional advice on the benefits and risks of specific supplements.