Improve your focus and cognition naturally
If you’re struggling with memory problems and your focus isn’t as sharp as it once was, don’t accept this as “normal”. There are some excellent herbs available to boost memory and support cognitive functions.
Your brain works tirelessly all day, every day – to process and analyse information, help with decision making and problem solving, regulate emotions and bodily functions, and control movement.
Supporting brain health is absolutely key to prevent neurodegenerative conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Here are 5 herbs to support brain health, memory and cognitive function.
Brain boosting herbs
Known as the ‘fountain of youth’ herb in China due to its anti-ageing and memory-enhancing properties. Gingko is a fantastic circulatory herb that aids blood flow to the brain and central nervous system. This is why it is particularly helpful for boosting memory and concentration, and is often indicated for those with dementia, dyslexia and certain types of depression. As a circulatory herb, gingko increases oxygen supply to tissues and heals damaged veins, arteries and capillaries which can slow down the ageing process. For a therapeutic dose, gingko is best taken as a liquid herbal/tincture or capsule. It can also be taken as a tea and drunk up to 3 times daily.
A popular herb in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine that is used to enhance memory and cognitive function. Known as the herb of longevity, Gotu kola has shown to be effective for those with Alzheimer’s disease due to its neuroprotective properties and ability to protect brain cells from damage. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and regenerative herb that promotes healing, especially in blood vessels and arteries which can support blood flow to the brain. Gotu kola can be taken as a tea using dried or powdered herbs (drink up to 3 cups daily), a liquid tincture or capsules.
(also known as Brahmi) is a nerve tonic herb that contains powerful anti-inflammatory and cognition-enhancing properties. It has shown to increase memory, alertness and thinking skills, reduce anxiety and stress, decrease ADHD symptoms by improving focus and attention, and balance the nervous system. Bacopa has also exhibited anti-cancer properties as it is rich in antioxidants (which prevent cell damage) and a compound called bacosides. Bacopa can be taken in various forms including capsules, a tincture/ liquid herbal or powdered form as a tea or added to ghee. Drink up to 3 cups of bacopa tea per day.
A circulatory stimulant, meaning it stimulates blood flow to and from tissues and organs. It contains a neuroprotective compound called carnosic acid that can protect the brain from free radical damage caused by chemicals and environmental toxins. The aroma of rosemary has shown to improve mood, concentration and performance. Add rosemary to cooking or drink it as a tea using the dried herbs. You can also use rosemary essential oil by adding a few drops to a vaporiser, in the bath, or to a carrier oil and applied to the skin. For a therapeutic dose, it’s best to take rosemary as a liquid tincture or capsule.
Well-known for its ability to efficiently get blood to the brain. By improving circulation and blood flow, cayenne pepper can help support the general detoxification of the blood system. This may reduce the build-up of toxins (such as free radicals) which can cause damage to healthy cells. Cayenne pepper is rich in vitamin A and E, both of which are important for repairing damaged tissues, slowing down the ageing process and reducing inflammation – especially in the brain and surrounding tissues. Add cayenne pepper to your food or drinks such as in soups, stews or salad dressings. It can also be taken as a liquid tincture or capsule form.
Speak to a qualified herbalist who can select the most appropriate herbs for your needs and advise you on dosage.
Diet is also extremely important for maintaining optimum memory and brain health. For example, consuming 20g of organic coconut oil per day has shown to improve cognitive performance (especially in those with Alzheimer’s disease) due to the high amount of medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil. These are a type of fatty acid that are easily absorbed by the body and utilised by the brain as a source of energy.
Discover what foods affect brain health, both positively and negatively.
Keep your brain healthy
Support your brain health naturally using herbs that have neuroprotective properties to improve memory and cognition, reduce the damaging effects of inflammation and toxins, and stimulate circulation to the brain and supporting tissues.
Learn more about Herbs for Everyday Living.