We live in a busy world. Today’s fast-paced lifestyle is an incredible challenge to keep up with. The daily routines we endure of work, school, caring for family, commuting, and paying bills, is enough to cause an otherwise healthy individual to suffer from symptoms of mental exhaustion.
Mental fatigue manifests differently for each person. Common symptoms include difficulty concentrating, anxiety, irritability, headache, insomnia, laziness, a loss of passion for work, as well as irritability and frustration while performing mental activities such as math. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t able to take a relaxing vacation whenever we’re feeling stressed, so instead we power through the weakening tension and fatigue. Suffer no More! Once again, abundant and generous mother nature has gifted us with healing plant medicine. Check out these four herbs traditionally used to enhance brain function.
ROSEMARY Rosmarinus officinalis
It may be surprising to discover that common rosemary is an effective tonic for brain function. Traditionally, rosemary was used for its ability to improve memory. A compound found in rosemary (rosmarinic acid) improves blood circulation, increasing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. This aids concentration, alertness and promotes relaxation.It reduces age-related memory loss. Rosemary is also thought to stimulate the adrenal glands to provide energy while uplifting the mood and relieving stress.
Enjoy rosemary as a tea by adding one teaspoon of organic dried rosemary leaf to one cup of boiled water. Steep 5 minutes, strain, and add honey as desired. Also available as a tincture (alcohol extract) or as an essential oil. The essential oil can be mixed with a carrier oil (olive oil, coconut, etc.) and rubbed onto the temples for headaches and to enhance concentration.
Gingko Gingko biloba
Gingko biloba is a tree with fan shaped leaves originating in Asia. It is popularly used in landscaping and has been cultivated in Europe and the United States since the 1700s. You may have heard of gingko, as it is one of the most popular herbs on the market today. Gingko leaf is often taken for memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It is beneficial for all conditions caused by a reduction of blood flow to the brain, especially in older people. This includes dizziness, ringing in the ears, vertigo, hearing disorders, sinusitis, difficulty concentrating, and sluggishness. May also reverse damage to the retina of the eye. Studies have also confirmed its value in the treatment of depression in elderly people. Gingko can protect brain cells and repair nerve tissue damage resulting from low blood flow to the brain.
Gingko biloba may be taken as tea, tincture (dose: 1 ml up to 3x per day), and is also available as a spagyric. Spagyrics are whole plant extracts using distillation and mineral salts from the ash of the plant.
Brahmi Bacopa monnieri
Brahmi is a popular ayurvedic herb that has been revered in India for over 3,000 years. It is bitter in taste. This herb assists with mental activity, proper brain function, and overcoming feelings of nervousness or restlessness. Brahmi is useful for improving mental clarity, confidence and memory recall. For these uses of Brahmi, it has been widely used by students.
Brahmi is also used for the treatment of epilepsy, insomnia, asthma, rheumatism, bronchitis, hoarseness, arthritis ,backache, constipation, hair loss, fevers, digestive problems, eczema and psoriasis. Brahmi is said to stimulate the growth of skin, hair and nails.
Brahmi may be taken as a tea, tincture, spagyric, or capsules. A concentrated tea of Brahmi can be used as a hair rinse to stimulate follicle growth.
Gotu Kola Centella asiatica
Gotu Kola is perhaps one of the most spiritual herbs in all of India, taken by yogis in the Himalayas to improve meditation. It is said to balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Gotu kola is said to fortify the immune system, both cleansing and nourishing it, while strengthening the adrenals. It has been used as a purifying blood tonic and for skin health. It has also been used to promote restful sleep. Gotu kola is also used for fatigue, anxiety, depression, psychiatric disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and improving memory and intelligence. Other uses include wound healing, trauma, and circulation problems including varicose veins, and blood clots in the legs.
Try Gotu kola as a tea, tincture, spagyric, or as capsules.
*As always, consult a licensed health care professional before taking any new herbs or supplements.