6 Herbs for Health Enhancement and Brain Function
Super herbs for health and healing to improve your cognition
Every day, there is real struggle to keep our focus and to accomplish our daily activities. Whenever we forget important scheduled calls and meetings, we tend to think that our mind is getting dull. Are our brains really losing its edge? Studies show that it is thanks to environmental stresses. And stress, especially when it reaches chronic levels, can actually damage the brain.
But with a little help, we could overcome the degeneration of our mental functions with a variety of solutions. Conventional alternatives include consumption of energy drinks, which could indeed give us the boost in our performance both mentally and physically. However, this approach has its fair share of consequences, such as negative effects on psychological health.
So what solution are we left with to improve cognition? Of course, a good night’s sleep, regular exercise, and healthy diet are a must. But aside from all those things, consuming these top herbs and spices may give you the desired benefits with little or no harmful side effects:
In medieval times, this herb was known as “salvia salvatrix,” which translates to “sage, the savior.” Sage was one of the ingredients of a tonic that can prevent people from being struck with the bubonic plague. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, which can heal ulcers and treat coughs. In addition, there are studies that highlights the cognitive enhancing benefits of sage, cementing its reputation as one of those herbs for health and healing. As one of the studies suggests, the essential oil and extracts of the herb help to enhance learning, memory, and attention. Despite the benefits, experts caution those that have hypertension to limit sage intake to avoid further increase of blood pressure.
One of those best herbs to take for health that also holds one of the best reputations in the culinary industry. Thought to have originated in the Mediterranean region, rosemary has been known to improve brain function. Scientists in a collaborative group from the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham Institute) in La Jolla, California, and in Japan reports that carnosic acid, an active ingredient in rosemary, combats free radical damage in the brain. That means consuming a substantial amount of rosemary protects our brain form neurological diseases, such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke.
A plant that grows about 8 to 16 inches and one of the herbs for health that is used to alleviate stress. Chamomile extracts contain compounds that reduces feelings of anxiety. Every portion of the plant that is above the ground can be used. The flowers can be eaten (especially best in salad garnishes) while the leaves can be used in aroma therapy to soothe and relax the mind and body.
An important herb in Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha is also known to reduces stress and anxiety. It is also known to have positive effects in managing depressive clinical conditions. In addition, Ashwagandha aids in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing oxidative stress, an imbalance which damages the brain and contributes to the progression of the disease.
Apigenin, a compound present in parsley, has been a subject of study for cancer researchers because of its ability to destroy cells that are unnecessary and dysfunctional (autophagy). While mainly known for its anti-cancer attributes, parsley has also something to offer to improve cognitive functioning. A study has shown that apigenin binds to estrogen receptors, delivering significant benefits in the development and maturation of the nervous system.
Hibiscus-If you go to PubMed.gov-which is the US National Library of Medicine-National Institute of Health data based web site- and type in Hibiscus hypertension. You will get at least 40 entries, many from research within the past decade. One such study highlights the effects of hibiscus tea on blood pressure among Nigerians with mild to moderate hypertension. Comparing 4 weeks of those taking the drug Lisinopril to those either drinking hibiscus tea or a placebo at the amount of 150 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. They concluded that the hibiscus tea produced equal blood pressure lowering results. They hypothesize that these effects are possibly due to the presence of anthocyanins in the extract. Research comparing the drug Captopril to hibiscus tea shows that the effective amount of tea would be the equivalent of 5 tea bags of hibiscus drank twice a day.
However, a little precaution must be exercised. These herbs for health and enhancement of brain function, how effective they maybe, should not be used in replacement for your current medication or treatment. Also, they may come from natural environments, but they may still bring side effects that can be harmful to our body. Therefore, a quick consultation from your health professional is important before partaking these wonder herbs.
These herbs on the list are just some that has helpful mental health benefits. If you have something that you want to add, feel free to leave a comment below. Also check out my book, New Jump Swing Healthy Aging and Athletic Nutrition Program, if you are interested on improving your health and wellness. For more content about health and living a healthy life, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Donald “Spiderman” Thomas is a 3 times Guinness record holder motivational speaker, fitness and healthy aging advocate.
One of his world record speeches was titled “The history of herbs in maintaining physical fitness”
Wong, Cathy. 2017. “7 Best Herbs and Spices for Brain Health.” Verywellmind, November 7. Accessed May 1, 2018. https://www.verywellmind.com/best-herbs-and-spices-for-brain-health-4047818
Colquhoun, James. 2016. “11 Herbs That Will Help Make Your Memory, Focus and Brain Work Better Than Ever.” FoodMatters, May 12. Accessed May 1, 2018. https://www.foodmatters.com/article/11-herbs-that-boost-your-brain-power
Klein, Sarah. 2016. “8 Best Herbs and Spices for Your Brain.” Prevention, January 28. Accessed May 1, 2018. https://www.prevention.com/health/best-herbs-spices-for-brain-health
Burnham Institute for Medical Research. 2007. “Rosemary Chicken Protects Your Brain from Free Radicals.” ScienceDaily, November 2. Accessed May 2, 2018. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071030102210.htm
Hurst, Nathan. 2015. “Can This Garlic Nutrient Keep Brains Healthy?” Futurity, March 30. Accessed May 2, 2018. https://www.futurity.org/garlic-brain-aging-886372/
Huang, Juan Wen, et al. 2016. “Role of Oxidative Stress in Alzheimer’s Disease.” BiomedicalReports, March 15. Accessed May 2, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4840676/
Mercola. 2018. “The Many Benefits of Sage, the ‘Savior’ Herb.” Last modified March 19. Accessed May 2, 2018. https://articles.mercola.com/herbs-spices/sage.aspx