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Memory Boosters: These Herbs Won’t Let You Forget

by Ariel Tilson

Tags: Memory Enhancement, Herbal Supplements, Ginkgo, Bacopa, Rhodiola, Medicine Cabinet, Tips, Memory, Health, Herbal Remedies,


I tend to go through obsessive routines with food. See, once I’ve found a relatively easy meal that’s tasty and healthy, I make it repetitively until the thought of it nauseates me – then I know it’s time to move on.

About this time last year I made shrimp and veggie stir fry almost daily, but I haven’t made it since. It just seems easier to buy the same groceries, instead of wasting food for meals that I don’t get around to making. This habit drives my friends and family crazy, “How can you eat that again?!”

(Click here to learn how to reel in runaway costs the bistro way.)

My latest addiction is eggs. I had to cut back on my boiled eggs when I realized that the amount of cholesterol in one egg, 213 milligrams, is almost as much as the recommended daily total of cholesterol, 300 milligrams. And now I’ve found another reason to be concerned – excess cholesterol could contribute to weakened memory.

Finger Knot
Photo by meonomous/Courtesy Flickr

For the past few years my short-term memory has been horrible. I remember things from my childhood that no one else seems to and I memorize study-material just fine. However, I struggle with questions like, “What’s the last movie you saw?”

Although I doubt the eggs are a major contributor to my weak short-term memory, I’ve realized that I need to take better care of my brain and find some solutions. Especially when in a recent conversation I was stuck trying to remember the name of the daily supplement I take to improve my memory – oh, yeah, ginkgo biloba. 

La derniere feuille
Photo by fabdebaz/Courtesy Flickr

In a study from The Journal of American Medical Association last fall, ginkgo biloba was proven to prevent the spread of existing dementia attributed to Alzheimer’s Disease, but if you have a more casually weak memory, like mine, it may not be the best herbal solution.

Instead try rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea), which can improve memory by stimulating the immune system, or bacopa (Bacopa monnieri), which works to ease anxiety and decrease blood pressure. The best way to improve memory retention is to reduce stress, but sometimes stress just isn’t avoidable. So if you want additional help, take a look at the list of alternative herbs I’ve compiled below.

Maybe, with the help of these herbs, my conversations will finally stop including, “I’m sure you’ve already told me about it, but could you tell me one more time?” or “You never told me that!” – Only to be proven wrong once again.

Brain Power
Photo by Lorianne DiSabato/Courtesy Flickr

Herbs to magnify your memory:



Why it works

Bacopa monnieri

200-400 mg divided in daily doses, standardized to 20% bacosides A and B

Decreases blood pressure to reduce anxiety and stimulates production of neurotransmitter, GABA.

Dragon’s blood
(Croton lechleri)

1-1.5 g capsule

Prevents breakdown of enzyme compounds in acetylcholine used to store memories.

Gotu kula
(Centella asiatica)

1,000 mg daily

Generally increases mental function.

Huperzine A
(Huperzia serrata)

50-400 mg daily, depending on quality

Inhibits breakdown of acetylcholine, an enzyme essential to memory function.

(Lepidium meyenii)

Recommended as an extract, dosage depending on quality

Enhances body’s endocrine system, increasing hormone efficiency.

Rhodiola rosea)

100 mg daily, standardized to 3% rosavin

Adaptogen qualities stimulate immune system, enhance concentration and improve memory.


10 mg twice daily

A blood thinner that enhances brain circulation, improves oxygen use and has antioxidant properties.