Memory is essential for learning, problem-solving, and everyday functioning. It is your individual ability to encode, store, retain, and recall information. Unfortunately, stress and fatigue can have a significant impact on these processes, making them less efficient. Additionally, as we age, the hormones and growth proteins that facilitate memory begin to decline, further hindering our ability to remember information.
Incorporating nootropic herbs into your diet or supplement regimen can offer a natural and effective way to boost brainpower and support optimal cognitive function, allowing you to maintain your mental edge, even in the face of these challenges.
These herbs increase circulation to the brain, providing precursors to neurotransmitters, improving neuron functioning, protecting the brain from free radicals and oxidative stress, and providing usable energy to the brain.
5 Herbs That Support Healthy Brain Function
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
A herb commonly used in cooking, but its potential goes beyond its aromatic flavour. It is considered one of the most beloved nootropic herbs in the western world, known for its ability to improve short term memory and cognitive performance.
Rosemary contains compounds that increase the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is crucial for the treatment and management of neurological disorders like Alzheimer's and Dementia. Inhaling the scent of Rosemary has been shown to be an effective way to get these volatile compounds directly into the brain. This herb also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and supports healthy circulation and digestion.
Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
An incredible mushroom with numerous nootropic benefits, making it a valuable addition to any brain-boosting regimen. One of its primary benefits is its ability to enhance cognitive function, including focus, memory, recall, and overall brain function. This is due to Lion's Mane's ability to increase the amount of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the brain, which is essential for optimal cognitive function.
Lion’s Mane has also been shown to contribute to nerve regrowth and regeneration, making it a valuable remedy for those who have experienced cerebral nerve damage from stroke or injury. Additionally, this mushroom has significant anti-anxiety and mood-elevating benefits, making it even easier to think sharper and feel better.
Lion’s Mane is a tonic herb, meaning that it should be taken regularly over time to experience its myriad benefits. Not only does it rejuvenate the brain, but it also supports the immune system and is nutritive to various organs in the body, including the nervous system, liver, lungs, spleen, heart, and kidneys. Whether cooked and eaten as a food (it's protein-rich and delicious!), consumed as a powder, or taken as a tincture, this tasty edible medicinal mushroom is an excellent way to support your brain health and overall wellbeing.
Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri)
A highly regarded herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic practice, known for its powerful nootropic properties that aid in sustaining focus and concentration.
This herb has calming, adaptogenic effects that can repair damaged neurons, improve brain function and neural communication, and protect brain cells from free radicals, toxins, and oxidative stress linked to cognitive and memory decline. Bacopa has shown neuroprotective action in the hippocampus, which is the brain's memory center. Bacopa is also anti-inflammatory, promotes healthy circulation, and can heal liver and skin cells.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
One of the most studied nootropic herbs and has the longest recorded history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Ginkgo supports brain function and circulation through its ability to increase blood supply and improve circulation in the brain and throughout the body. This can help improve the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, which in turn can enhance memory and cognitive function.
Additionally, Ginkgo has been shown to remove plaque buildup from the arteries and thin the blood, which can improve blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clots. The combination of improved circulation and antioxidant protection make Ginkgo a valuable herb for supporting brain function and health.