Do you ever suffer from brain fog or simply wish that your mental focus could be a little sharper?
Our brains play a massive role in how we deal with life - right from the start of each day and all the way to the time we shut our eyes at night. The brain even plays a part in how we sleep, so this amazing organ is truly working around the clock for us.
Discover 11 natural herbs that can power-up your productivity, improve mental focus and boost your total brain power!
Native to South East Asia, Australia and India, Gotu Kola is typically used as a tonic to balance overall brain function. It is famously recognized for its ability to enhance blood circulation and support memory function. More specifically, this herb is also an adaptogen, meaning that it can help your body to ‘adapt’ to stress more effectively… Something that also helps with mental clarity!
This lovely herb isn’t just a star in Mediterranean cooking! Rosemary is also a brain-booster, particularly when used as an essential oil in aromatherapy. Smelling rosemary essential oil is believed to improve efficiency and proficiency at mental tasks. Furthermore, rosemary essential oil may also help with memory retention. Super beneficial for students or anybody learning a new skill!
This herb has been traditionally used to help treat nervous system disorders. It may further assist with clear-thinking, focus and mental concentration. Some people who use vacha report that it has a lightly stimulating effect and is therefore often recommended to people with low mood or ‘sluggish thinking’. Vacha is also popularly believed to help with the detoxification of brain tissue.
Feeling overworked? Strung out? Overwhelmed and burned out? If so, ashwaghanda may be the right herb for you! It has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to rejuvenate and enhance brain function. In fact, more recent studies suggest it may even help the nerve cells within the hippocampus to branch correctly.
This herb is believed to help treat nervous exhaustion and prevent the deterioration of brain cells. Ashwaghanda may offer the additional benefit of supporting your immune system, which is likely to be a little run down if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends! Like most of the other brain-boosting herbs, ashwaghanda may assist with mental clarity, information processing and overall cognitive performance.
BACOPA (bacopa monnieri)
This Ayurvedic herb has been hailed as an effective overall brain-boosting aid. In particular, bacopa may enhance memory, reduce stress, increase learning ability and improve mental function. Of note, Bacopa has also been recognized for providing protection against Alzheimer’s Disease. This may be due to its potential ability to reduce beta-amyloid in the brain and lower inflammation.
RHODIOLA (rhodiola rosea)
Technically a root, this ancient plant has been used for centuries within traditional natural healing therapies. Rhodiola is believed to be particularly helpful during periods of stress and may help to improve both brain and physical performance when we are feeling burned out. Furthermore, rhodiola may also help to modulate our mood by reducing anxiety and depression. It may also help with mental fatigue and memory retention.
A derivative of a unique Chinese moss, Huperzine-A has received attention as a potential preventative measure Alzheimer’s Disease. Early research suggests that it may block an enzyme within the brain that destroys acetylcholine; a neurotransmitter that transmits information between brain cells. Even within healthy individuals, Huperzine-A may boost brain function and enhance memory.
This herb has been used for many centuries within ancient healing practices and is believed to offer numerous cognitive benefits. Some research suggests that ginkgo biloba may help to heal and regenerate the cells in your brain, which is clearly good news for your mental function, especially as we age! Further studies suggest that this potent plant may also enhance memory, attention and even intelligence.
Important: Ginkgo is a recognized blood thinner and should not be used in conjunction with NSAIDs, ibuprofen, aspirin, warfarin or any other blood-thinning medications.
Our brain is a vascular organ and cannot function optimally without an adequate blood supply. Tulsi has been found to help oxygenate the brain and boost circulation, which may provide many benefits to our overall cognitive function. Some people who use tulsi also report that it lifts their overall sense of well-being, so it may be helpful for mood as well!
No brain-boosting article would be complete without an honorable mention of this popular herb! Ginseng is famously used to increase vitality and improve all-around mental function. It is also a recognized adaptogen, meaning that it can also help your body and brain to better cope with the effects of stress. Furthermore, ginseng may even protect brain cells against toxins and beta-amyloid, which is integral to prevent age-related mental decline.
Brahmi is believed to work by supporting the nervous system and brain. In particular, brahmi may help the left and right spheres of our brain to work together more synergistically. This has been found to increase memory, intelligence, focus and capacity for learning. Brahmi may also offer a secondary benefit of reducing stress. It is believed to provide adrenal support, alleviate anxiety, treat insomnia and help with emotional resilience.
Please note: Some herbal therapies may interact with medications, or are contraindicated in certain health conditions. Please consult your trusted health care provider before using herbal therapies.