Herbs have been playing an important role in people’s health for decades. They are the most potent natural drugs for treating various health conditions. However, herbs are capable of much more than treating common diseases. They provide countless benefits for the brain health and memory.
Problems such as short-term memory loss, mental fatigue, low concentration can be successfully treated with some herbs. They can also reverse memory loss and reduce cognitive decline.
In general terms, herbs are a much safer way of treatment rather than the use of conventional medications.
When it comes to memory improvement, these herbs are one of the most important and highly utilized:
10 Herbs for Better Memory
Brahmi or bacopa monniery is a popular herb in the Ayurvedic medicine because of the potent brain-boosting qualities. It is usually prescribed for some conditions including poor memory, brain fog, concentration and even depression.
It is also a brain tonic with potent neuroprotective and antioxidant properties.
The Neuropsychopharmacology published a study in 2002 which emphasized its benefits for memory and recall abilities.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published another study in 2008 which stated that this herb improves the word recall memory and reduces anxiety and depression.
The Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study in 2012 which reported that Brahmi could improve cognitive processing, attention and working memory by the suppression of AChE activity.
Extract some Brahmi leaves and drink one teaspoon of this juice 2-3 times per day. However, make sure you consult your doctor in case you take Brahmi as a supplement.
Also known as Indian ginseng or Withania somnifera, ashwagandha is an especially important herb for the brain health.
Ashwagandha breaks down the beta-amyloid proteins that produce plaque in the brain which affects the cognitive function. Also, it stimulates neurogenesis thus boosting the brain power. It can also increase both visual and spatial memory, prevent nerve cell degeneration and reduce oxidative brain stress.
The British Journal of Pharmacology published a study in 2005 which reports that ashwagandha can regenerate neurites and restore synapses in the seriously damaged neurons. Also, it can be used in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Another study in 2010, from the Phytotherapy Research, states that ashwagandha can effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease thanks to the compounds that promote the production of acetylcholine, the chemical responsible for neural signals. This improves many cognitive abilities such as concentration, thinking, and memory.
You can use this herb in the fresh, dried or powdered form.
This is a widely-celebrated herb and a potent memory-booster. It is high in antioxidants such as carnosic and rosmarinic acid which can increase acetylcholine, an important organic chemical that significantly improves memory. Also, it is responsible for transmission of neural signals.
According to a study in 2003, published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, the rosemary is an important memory-boosting herb. The study also found that the olfactory qualities of the rosemary oil can provide objective effects on the cognitive performance and subjective effects on the mood.
The Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology published a study in 2012 which points out that the most active chemical in this oil (1,8-cineole) correlates with increased cognitive functions.
According to the researchers, the rosemary oil can improve the speed of processing information, accuracy of memory and even mood.
Also, it can significantly increase the brain-wave abilities and protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Put 2-3 drops of rosemary oil on your handkerchief, breathe the aroma and you will boost your brain power. You can also make a rosemary tea out of fresh or dried rosemary leaves.
4. Gotu Kola
This popular herb can be found in South Africa, Asia, and South Pacific. It abounds with powerful nutrients such as vitamins B1, B2 and B6, needed for proper functioning of the brain. It also functions as a brain tonic, stimulates blood circulation and improves attention. Gotu kola can effectively treat many neurodegenerative disorders and improve memory.
According to a study published in 2012 in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Gotu kola abounds with powerful neuroprotective qualities that can treat diseases such as oxidative stress, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Another study published in Ayu: An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda in 2013 states that Gotu kola and other herbs from the Medhya Rasayana group can improve the short-term memory faster than yogic practices.
You can use 500 mg capsules of this herb 1-2 times a day or take it in the form of tea. However, make sure you consult your doctor before you take some Gotu kola supplements.
5. Ginko Biloba
This is one more highly effective herb which significantly improves memory and mental sharpness.
Ginkgo is a powerful source of active phytochemicals that can improve memory and prevent the production of beta-amyloid proteins which can further cause Alzheimer’s disease.
Psychopharmacology published a study in 2000 which emphasized the memory-improving effects of capsules with 60mg Ginkgo biloba extract and 100 mg extract of Panax ginseng on different cognitive functions in adult participants.
Also, the study pointed out improvements in the sphere of long-term memory.
Another study in 2014, published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology stated that ginkgo could improve memory in middle-aged people.
Additionally, in 2016, Toxicology and Industrial Health published a study which emphasized that ginkgo and vitamin C can improve the learning and mental deficits resulting from exposure to fluoride.
Sage is rich in thujone and cineole, active ingredients in this essential oil that improve the brain.
Its leaves are high in niacin, flavonoid glycosides, flavones, oleic and tannic acid, which are highly effective for the brain. It can significantly increase mental alertness and improve concentration.
The Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior in 2003 published a study which reports that sage essential oil plays a major importance in the improvement of immediate word recall.
Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics in 2003, sage extract can manage the mild and moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2006, Nutrition published a study which revealed the benefits of sage leaves on memory retention in rats.
For improved brainpower, consume sage in the form of tea, salads, stews or soups.
7. Green Oats
Green oats, wild oats or Avena sativa is one name for a highly brain-boosting herb.
Its nourishing and sedative properties affect the nervous system thus boosting concentration and attention.
According to a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 1600 mg of oat herb extract can acutely improve concentration and attention in older people with different levels of cognitive status.
A study in 2011 published in the same journal pointed out that those people who take green oats showed significant improvement in the cognitive performance.
The Nutritional Neuroscience published a study in 2017 which reported that 800 mg of this herb could improve delayed word recall, decreased thinking time and overall completion time.
Before using this herb, consult your doctor for the proper dosage.
8. Korean Red Ginseng
Among the different types of ginsengs, the Korean variety is the most famous for its brain-improving qualities.
It plays a significant role in the improvement of spatial memory by activating the neuronal activity in the hippocampus.
Additionally, it protects the nerve cells from beta-amyloid toxins and prevents dementia.
In 2011, the Journal of Ginseng Research published a study which analyzed the clinical effects of this herb on the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD in children.
The results have shown that it can effectively improve inattentiveness in these children, but it not confirmed whether it could improve the overall severity of this condition as well as anxiety personality, depression, and behavioral changes.
Another study from the same journal analyzed the effects this herb had on the motor and cognitive function, and it was found that the decreased latency was related to improved cognitive function.
Many other studies point out the clinical efficacy of this herb.
9. Holy Basil
Holy basil is a potent brain-boosting herb because it is considered an adaptogen. It adapts the body to stress and provides mental balance.
Its volatile oils can reduce brain damage resulting from decreased cerebral circulation. Also, it improves cognitive function, memory especially age-related memory decline and even mild dementia.
You can drink one cup of holy basil tea to boost your brain abilities or just chew some fresh basil leaves.
10. Green Tea
Green tea is widely celebrated for its numerous benefits, especially in brain-related conditions.
The potent antioxidant properties of green tea promote proper functioning of the brain. It also prevents the plaque growth in the brain that can cause Alzheimer’s of Parkinson’s disease.
The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published a study in 2011 which found that polyphenols can prevent neurodegenerative diseases and aging. Its healthy properties protect the brain and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study in 2012 which points out the effects of this herb on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a significant element for the memory processing.
The Behavioral Brain Research published a study in 2013 which emphasizes the importance of catechins on the spatial memory and hippocampal formation in aging rats.
To keep your brain sharp, drink 2-3 cups of green tea every day.