Cognitive health is one of the key components to living a happy and fulfilling human life. Having good cognitive health is essentially the ability to learn, remember, and think clearly. Cognitive brain health is important because a variety of functions we carry out day to day rely upon healthy brain function. Activities such as decision-making, language, and even judgement can all be tied back to cognitive health. The quality of our cognitive health depends on a variety of factors in our lives such as exercise, diet, sleep, stress, social interaction, and more! Although our environments are an extremely important aspect for impacting our cognitive health, what we consume can also make a difference. In this blog post we are going to share some of the best herbs for the brain and cognition.
Turmeric, also known as the Golden Spice, is a herb with a wide variety of incredible and medicinal benefits. Turmeric dates back it’s use to over 4000 years ago within the Vedic culture in India. Turmeric can be used in recipes such as stews, curries, and condiments. It also has uses in warm beverages and can even be taken in supplementation form. When it comes to cognitive health, turmeric has been studied and shown to be effective in increasing brain levels of BDNF. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a role in neuronal survival and growth within the brain and body. Turmeric has also been shown to fight inflammation within the body.
Used for thousands of years and one of the most revered herbs in ancient times throughout China and other countries, ginseng is a herb that almost does it all. Not only is it an adaptogen which helps bring balance to the body, but it is also shown to be an energy booster, sexual health booster, and offers a wide range of cognitive benefits. Here are just some of the many brain benefits which ginseng provides:
- Ginseng improves memory and mental performance
- It protects against neurodegenerative diseases
- It increases blood flow to the brain
- It increases important brain chemicals
- It boosts mood and mental well-being
There are many ways in which ginseng can be used and consumed: eaten raw, made into a tea, consumed as a powder, consumed as capsules through supplementation.
3. Lion’s Mane
Did you know that buddhist monks used Lion’s Mane mushrooms to increase brain focus in meditation? This powerful mushroom has actually been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for years and is supposedly amazing for multiple organs in the body. The mushroom is also hailed to help combat the deficiency of “Qi” or life force in the body. Cognitively, studies on lion’s mane mushroom have shown that they contain two main compounds, hericenones and erinacines, which work to stimulate the growth of brain cells.
One of the oldest holistic health systems, Ayuerveda with its roots in India, used Ashwagandha medicinally. It was used to relieve stress, alleviate anxieties, and promote overall wellness. More recent studies have now shown that Ashwagandha intake can impact cognitive performance in healthy adults! Ashwagandha’s roots and leaves also contain bioactive compounds which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents to protect the brain.
When it comes to protecting our cognitive health and brain health there are a multitude of things we can do, but consuming healthy and helpful herbs is way that can have fantastic impacts. Before starting any new supplements or herbs we always recommend consulting with your healthcare practitioner.