The use of herbs, botanicals and aromatherapy has grown in tremendous popularity over the years. That’s because scientific studies have shown that herbs stimulate the activity of the neurotransmitters and have been proven to sharpen thinking, improve memory, and boost mood.
Below is a complete list of herbs that are proven to promote healthy memory, improve mood and stimulate optimal neurological function.
Herbs for Better Memory
Widely popular in India, this cerebral tonic contains calcium, phosphorus and the amino acid glutamine. It is used to treat amnesia, dementia, fatigue and senility, plus it also has a revitalizing effect on the brain cells and nerves.
Native in China, ginkgo biloba is one of the most prescribed herbs today. It enhances the brain’s ability to utilize oxygen and glucose through an improved peripheral blood flow. It works by thinning the blood, so oxygen can flow more freely to the brain. It is widely prescribed to treat dementia and senility, as well as promote recovery from stroke. Ginkgo biloba is also known for its potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related mental declines
The usage of rosemary dates back in ancient Greek history. Rosemary contains carnosic acid, an important antioxidant that improves the brain functioning by stimulating the pineal gland and stimulating the circulatory system. It also prevents the breakdown of neurotransmitters in the brain and calms down nerves.
Considered as one of the oldest known medicinal herbs in the world, ginseng has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine. Not only does it help improve focus and make your concentration sharper, it has also been proven to lower levels of stress.
This herb contains boasts of chemicals that greatly help prevent the depletion of cholinergic and noncholinergic neurons in the brain. If these neurons sound too foreign for you, all you need to know is this: when these neurons are depleted, they can lead to the build-up of amyloid plaques that are one of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease
This herb is widely used to boost brain function, improve concentration and enhance memory. It is also believed to protect the cells from free radical damage and prevent various forms of cancers and even Alzheimer’s disease
This mushroom helps release or activate a compound called beta-secretase 1 (BACE1) in the brain that breaks down beta-amyloid plaque associated with brain aging and Alzheimer’s.
Herbs to Improve Your Mood
St. John’s Wort
This herb contains natural chemicals that interact with the brain receptors to produce more serotonin and dopamine. These happy hormones help improve mood, and make people generally feel more balanced and calm.
This Ayurvedic herb is known to improve memory and mental function, while also relieving anxiety and depression. It contains saporins and bacosides that interact with the neurotransmitters in the brain, therefore raising the levels of hormones responsible for pleasure and happiness. Brahmi also reduces stress levels and improves overall cognitive function.
This soothing herb is often used as tea to help alleviate the symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety. Its efficacy is further increased when combined with other herbs such as chamomile and linden.
For those who have troubles sleeping, this flowering plant contains mild narcotic properties that help promote a good night’s sleep. On top of helping you get adequate sleep; this strong calming herb may also help minimize the symptoms of severe daytime anxiety.
Known for its sedative effects, valerian is a calming herb that has been used by many for centuries to treat sleeplessness and anxiety. It does not cure insomnia fully, but it seems to be very effective for people who have trouble falling asleep.
This herbal remedy is widely consumed as tea. Its main benefits include maintaining heart health and relieving symptoms inflammatory bowel disease, however it also a wonderful supplement for improving memory and cognitive abilities as well as inducing relaxation and stress relief.
Best known for its calming properties, lemon balm is widely used for treating mild to moderate cases of anxiety. It also improves cognitive performance and lengthens attention span, and blends well with other herbs such bacopa and milky oat seed to improve attention while decreasing hyperactivity in children and adults.
Incorporating Herbs Into Your Diet
As the health benefits of herbs are widely researched, the question that remains is how to make herbs a part of your daily diet. Below are two recipes that are easy-to-make and will surely give your brain the boost it needs:
Step 1: Combine one teaspoon of peppermint, one teaspoon of spearmint and one sprig of fresh rosemary in a saucepan.
Step 2: Pour two cups of boiling water over the herbs and let it steep, covered, for at least 10 minutes.
Step 3: Strain and sweeten with honey.
You can also add other types of herbs such as sage and lemon balm, if you like.
Almond Butter Bonbons
Step 1: In a bowl, combine 2/3 cup of almond butter, ½ cup honey and three teaspoons of powdered herbs including a combination of ashwagandha, maca, gotu kola, and cocoa powder.
Step 2: Mix well and roll into small balls about one teaspoon each.
Step 3: Roll them in your topping of choice until they are fully covered. You can either use toasted sesame seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes or cocoa powder.
Step 4: Store them in a tightly sealed container and put them in the fridge of freezer. They’ll keep for a few weeks, even at room temperature.
Just like any organ in our body, the brain relies on a constant stream of nutrients, blood sugar and oxygen to be able to function normally. As the food you eat provides your body with the raw materials it needs to allow your organs to work properly, what you eat and drink definitely play a significant role in improving brain function. Incorporating these herbs in your diet will surely be beneficial for your brain and your health as a whole!