With everything going on around us these days, it’s important to have more brain power! Therefore, this post will focus on the best 7 herbs for memory and brain health. Without clear thinking, we can’t hope to stay on top of the complexities of today’s world….
I’ve been thinking a lot about what is going on in our world these days, and… it’s a lot to think about!
In this article, I won’t go into specifics, because we all have our own issues to deal with, and there is never a “one size fits all” solution for every problem.
Now, I am all for the power of positive thinking… it’s very important to keep a good attitude and to invite calm, peace and beauty into our lives…. but it can be difficult to remember to do all that if your brain gets overwhelmed by data and circumstances.
No matter how crazy, unprecedented, unexpected or seemingly insurmountable the problem is, it’s important keep our wits about us, regardless of what’s coming our way.
Sometimes, easier said than done, wouldn’t you say?
So, it also occurred to me that we might want to fortify our brain power and brain functioning, because after all, we so very much need our li’l ole brains to help us make our way in life.
This article is going to present to you seven (yes! seven choices!) of the most powerful brain regulating and memory supporting herbs available. You may have heard of some of them and others may be new to you. Don’t let something new put you off… it may be new to you, but herbs have been around for thousands of years and historically, people have been gaining benefit from them for.that.long.
If they worked for others, they could also work for you!
Are you up for helping your brain to help you? If the answer is ‘yes’, do please read on… these herbs are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of effectiveness or preference. As I mentioned, one or another herb may fit your specific needs, so stick with me, and let’s see what suits your circumstances.
Herbs For Memory and Brain Health
Bacopa, (Bacopa monniera) also known as Brahmi in Ayurvedic natural health care, is an adaptogenic herb. That means, Bacopa helps to counteract stress levels in the body. When used medicinally, this creeping ground cover plant works to correct a very wide spectrum of health issues relating to the mind. Most notable is its ability to regulate natural dopamine production in the brain. It is also useful in treating symptoms of Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, memory loss, and ADHD or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.
Another one of Bacopa’s powerful benefits is to enhance seratonin levels in the brain. Seratonin is responsible for reducing anxiety, for elevating moods and sustaining “happiness” levels. Bacopa, used as a natural anti-anxiety herb, is also excellent for aiding focus, mental clarity and learning capacity.
Note: Bacopa is very bitter, so we suggest taking Bacopa in capsule form ✓ with food. It takes several weeks for the benefits to be seen, so if you are impatient, this is not the herb for you. The benefits are seen to quantify after several weeks.
2. Ceylon Cinnamon
Aside from being a delicious culinary spice, cinnamon has numerous surprising health benefits. In particular, Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), which is different from the common cooking spice, cassia cinnamon, is one of the most powerful natural herbs for memory and brain health.
Certain phyto-nutrients (plant nutrients) in Ceylon cinnamon slow down neuro-degenerative diseases and help the brain to avoid the filament formation and “tangling” that is seen in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. A superfood for the brain, Ceylon cinnamon aids in both motor function and neurology, preventing memory loss and cognitive decline.
So, while your cooking cinnamon is also good for health, if you want more brain power, you’ll have to look for Ceylon cinnamon. It’s a bit more expensive, but… it helps the brain! You can buy Ceylon cinnamon in tablets ✓ and in little spice jars ✓. Or, if you use cinnamon often in cooking or want to mix it in regularly to your food or beverages (I sprinkle it wherever I can! coffee, yogurt, toast, etc.) you can (most economically) buy Ceylon cinnamon in a 1 lb. bag. ✓ But only if you plan to use it a lot, or it will lose its vital essential oils before you have a chance to use it. (I always put the bulk of a large amount into a glass jar with a tight seal, after removing some for daily use.)
3. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba (Salisburia adiantifolia) is a popular natural remedy that is made from the extract of the beautiful fan shaped leaves of the Ginkgo tree, also known as the Maidenhair tree.
For centuries, traditional Chinese healers have been using Ginkgo biloba for various treatments and now Ginkgo biloba ✓ is gaining even more fame internationally as a nootropic (cognitive functioning aid) or “smart drug” due to its cerebral-enhancing effects.
Ginkgo very effectively treats memory-related disorders. By improving blood flow to the brain, it can relieve symptoms of cognitive impairment, mood swings, lack of concentration, vertigo (dizziness) and memory loss.
Improved cognitive functions, increased energy, and positive mood are just a few of these benefits. Ginkgo also enhances alertness and focus.
4. Gotu Kola
Gotu kola, (Centella asiatica), also known as Indian Pennywort, is another important herb to boost memory and brain health.
An excellent neural antioxidant, gotu kola increases blood flow to the brain, which is key to keeping the brain functioning properly. Gotu kola aids in dopamine, seratonin and norepinephrine production, increasing the “happiness” neurotransmitter levels in the brain. At the same time, gotu kola helps to reduce levels of cortisol, known as the “stress hormone.”
Gotu kola ✓ stimulates the growth of new brain cells, while helping to eliminate stress, anxiety and depression. It also improves mood, memory and cognition.
Note: Gotu kola should not be taken along with any prescription medication for seizures or with anti-depressents. It is not related to the Kola Nut from which Coca-Cola originated.
Guduchi, (Tinospora cordifoliais) also known as Giloy, or Heart-Leaved Moonseed, is a powerful adaptogen, meaning that it functions to provide necessary changes in the brain’s behavior to create balance and health. Guduchi improves cognitive functions and memory, due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. This fortification helps us to resist anxiety, stress and illness.
With strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Guduchi is excellent for anti-aging, and also supports the immune and respiratory systems.
Guduchi’s calming abilities are important for people suffering from anxiety and stress caused by memory loss. This tea blend that contains guduchi, along with ginger and tulsi ✓(our #7 herb on this list), is an excellent way to get guduchi into your health regimen.
Guggulu, more commonly referred to as guggul, (Commiphora wighti) is a gum resin from the sap of the Guggul or Indian Bdellium tree and has been used over many centuries in Asian countries for health purposes.
One of the most significant uses of Guggul ✓ is to help the brain, as guggul functions as a nootropic substance, that is, acting on the mind.
With its powerful components that aid in preventing and treating the symptoms of dementia, Guggul reduces oxidative stress, eliminates free radicals that deteriorate brain functioning, and improves blood circulation.
Interestingly, Guggul is not always promoted or described as a brain aid. But we, in the Enchanted SpiceBox, recognize that it’s Guggul’s ability to improve blood circulation that is key here. Because the brain is so highly protected by the blood-brain barrier, (thankfully!) it is highly important that the herbs you take actually make it into the brain to do their work. Therefore, we suggest taking guggul along with other brain enhancing herbs.
Tulsi, (Ocimum tenuiflorum) also known as Holy Basil or as The Queen of Herbs, is one of the most highly acclaimed brain herbs known around the world.
Used extensively in Ayurveda from India for thousands of years, Tulsi is a very potent antioxidant, with powerful effects on brain neurochemistry. It’s ability to increase memory while lowering cortisol levels allows it to function much like an anti-depressant.
Known as an adaptogen, or substance that helps the body deal with stress, Tulsi works well to decrease anxiety, promote mental clarity and combat Alzheimer’s disease and mood disorders.
Tulsi can be taken in capsule form ✓ and tulsi tea ✓ is also very popular. It is highly aromatic, containing eugenol, rosmarinic acid and eucalyptol, which give it the subtle flavor of cloves, rosemary and eucalyptus; very refreshing and soothing.
These seven herbs are, each in their own way, so impressive for their abilities to boost memory and brain health. If you are feeling overwhelmed, confused or anxious, have a cup of Tulsi tea while you consider taking a natural herbal remedy to give yourself more fortitude and vitality.
It’s very empowering to learn about the abundant gifts of nature that are available… in light of the stress that many experience in today’s living, an extra boost to the brain could be timely.
Thank you for reading! If this post has piqued your interest… or if you find it useful, inspiring or otherwise magical, please pin it and share it… And we’re always happy to hear from you via the Contact page.
Image Source Attribution
The featured image graphic brain vector is courtesy of: Human Vectors by Vecteezy