When it comes to brain health, most of us turn to superfoods such as berries and leafy greens, but the world of herbs also offers help in maintaining a healthy mind. Herbs contan antioxidants and other helpful properties that can improve memory, boost cognitive function and keep your brain in shape as you age. The best part? They're already part of your diet or daily routine!
Ginkgo biloba: Ginkgo, one of the best-known brain herbs, improves circulation to the brain and has been shown to help treat memory problems, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Ginkgo can also protect brain cells and repair nerve tissue damage resulting from low blood flow to the brain. Take 120 mg two to three times daily.
Gotu kola: This Ayurvedic herb has long been used in Indian medicine to boost memory and brain function as well as treat nervous disorders such as epilepsy. Take 120 mg daily.
Keep your brain in good health with these brain herbs! Photo By Prakhar Amba/Courtesy Flickr.
Turmeric: Commonly used in curry, this Indian herb contains a compound called curcumin that fights inflammation and plaque buildup in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Add the health benefits of turmeric to your diet with this recipe for a homemade curry blend.
Sage: Take some "sage advice" and add this savory herb to your brain-boosting regime. Sage contains volative oils and flavenoids that can enhance memory and cognitive function. Sage also shares common compounds with traditional drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s, making it an alternative treatment for this disease. Add sage to soups and chicken dishes, or try this recipe for braised farm sausage with garden fennel and sage.
Rosemary: Carnosic acid, the active ingredient in rosemary, protects the brain from neurodegenerative problems associated with aging. Rosemary can also increase blood flow to the brain, aiding concentration. Add rosemary to meats and baked goods, or try this recipe for rosemary mashed potatoes.
Susan Melgren is the Web Editor of Mother Earth Living. Find her on Google+.