Ever feel like your brain is trapped in a dense fog? If so, you might be surprised to know that this phenomenon, commonly referred to as “brain fog”, is a symptom often linked with various health issues. It is often a good indicator that your brain isn’t getting the nutrients it needs due to your digestive system not being able to properly absorb them. If you find yourself feeling lost in the fog, consider trying one of these five herbal supplements to boost your brain’s productivity.
Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for a long time. Its name translates to “smell of horse”, although you shouldn’t let this name fool you. This adaptogenic herb is often worked into various herbal complexes. Ashwagandha’s root is not toxic, so the herb is safe for consumption in moderate dosages. We recommend you you buy a trademarked version like Sensoril or KSM-66 Ashwagandha, as both come from companies that utilize high quality control standards
Research has found that Ashwagandha, since it is an adaptogen, is able to reduce stress and calm anxiety by lowering the secretion of cortisol from your adrenal glands. Additionally, it has been found to help lower Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, enhance memory functions in the brain, and lower immunosuppression in cancer patients. Further studies are being conducted to see just how effective Ashwagandha might be in helping to treat symptoms of and even prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Bacopa monnieri
Bacopa monnieri is another popular Ayurvedic herb. Otherwise known as water hyssop, Bacopa monnieri interacts with specific neurochemicals (serotonin and dopamine, to be precise) and boosts communication between neurons in the brain. Bacopa monnieri has been found to elongate dendrites, which are the nerve endings found in each cell. This allows neurons to communicate more rapidly. Like with Ashwagandha, we recommend you supplement with a branded/trademarked version of Bacopa like Bacognize for the same reasons as using a branded Ashwagandha (mainly quality control).
Since Bacopa monnieri targets chemical interactions in the brain, it is effective at enhancing cognitive abilities, including memory functions. Also, since it is an adaptogenic herb, Bacopa monnieri is able to reduce stress levels by slowing the secretion of cortisol. Studies have shown that Bacopa monnieri is effective over time and should always be taken with food.
- Rhodiola rosea
Rhodiola rosea has been used in Scandinavian and Chinese medicine for hundreds of years due to its multiple abilitis. It appears that extracts that are taken from Rhodiola work as neuroprotectants, meaning that they protect cells from damage by invading free radicals. While its effects haven’t been thoroughly studied, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support some of these claims. Although there is not a branded version of Rhodiola available, we suggest using a company that offers third party testing for purity and heavy metals analysis. Pure Nootropics’ Rhodiola capsules are priced well and tested for purity.
Those who take Rhodiola rosea find that it helps them feel more energized, able to build more stamina and endurance, and improves their overall body strength. Of course, Rhodiola rosea is also known to be a nootropic and has been used to treat symptoms of fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Like Ashwagandha, it has the ability to lower high levels of LDL cholesterol and potentially treat cancer.
- Ginkgo biloba
Another popular herbal supplement that you will find on the shelf at your local pharmacy is Ginkgo biloba. This herb comes from one of the oldest known living species of trees and is used as a nootropic, antioxidant, and to help with symptoms of macular degeneration in the eyes. This herb is often added to nutrition bars and powdered formulas for its vast abilities.
Studies have shown that an average of 240 mg of Ginkgo biloba taken daily is effective in treating symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Additionally, it seems capable of improving memory and cognition abilities in younger to middle-aged adults. Since it is rich in antioxidants, Ginkgo biloba is able to rid your body of free radicals, keeping your cells protected from damage as you get older. This could potentially decrease your chances of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s as an older adult.
Finally, we have one of the most popular herbs in use, Ginseng. Ginseng has been extensively researched over time and found to be effective at many functions. In fact, it is difficult to think of a part of the body that Ginseng is not said to positively impact on even a minor scale.
There is strong evidence to suggest that Ginseng plays a role in increasing cognitive abilities since it seems to be able to reduce fatigue. Those who take Ginseng on a regular basis report feeling happier while taking it. Ginseng is also able to stimulate blood flow throughout the body, reduce inflammatory responses, and even reduce the overall risk of getting cancer.
All of these herbs are available in over-the-counter supplement form and are considered relatively safe for adults to consume. Of course, you should consult your doctor before taking these herbs so that you are aware of the recommended dosage. If you want to step out of your brain fog and be able to think more clearly, give these herbs a try. They might just protect your brain from damage and decline in the long-run.