HOME HERBALIST SERIES: 3 Essential "Brain-boost" Herbs
"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you." -Frank Lloyd Wright
Welcome! The Home Herbalist series focuses on anything and everything related to natural medicine. It's quite a vast topic as the amount of plants used by humans for various purposes from the dawn of (human) time is a bit too big to even consider listing here; as no single plant would get the amount of literary focus it deserves. For this reason we will keep the information of these posts compressed and direct, dealing with specific sub-topics and contexts within the broad scope of plant medicine.
3 Essential Herbs That Improve Cognition
- Rhodiola Rosea
Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, this is a powerful herb that effectively counteracts mental and physical fatigue. Rhodiola facilitates learning, concentration, and information retention, and its roots and rhizomes increase serotonin levels; thereby improving mood and motivation. Additionally, the herb is an adaptogen and has many benefits for physical health. Rhodiola improves the immune system and has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
For me, Rhodiola's effects can be described as a clear-headed mental freshness, without any caffeine-like stimulation. I have personally consumed it along with magnesium as a single stack and have definately experienced its mental-fog clearing effects.
- Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)
Ashwagandha is a herb with a long tradition of use in Ayurvedic medicine. It has a wide scope of benefits, which includes neuro-protection, anxiety- and stress-reduction, and various adaptogenic health benefits. The name translates to "smell of a horse" due to the plant's distinctive smell and the traditional belief that its use increases health and vitality to that of a horse. Though not a cancer treatment, it is also traditionally recommended for cancer patients as it reduces immunosuppression as well as cancer-related anxiety and stress.
In all honesty, I LOVE Ashwagandha. Its effects to me feel like a natural boost of 'zen'. Whenever I supplement Ashwagandha I generally feel a bit more patient, a bit less "rushed ", etc. The ability to simply be present in the present moment is facilitated by this herb, and I would recommend it to anyone who could use a little bit of 'slowing down.'
- Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
Eleutherococcus senticosus, commonly known as Siberian ginseng, is an herb used in traditional medicine to combat fatigue. It is a powerful adapotgen, significantly improving mental and physical capacity to deal with stress, while simultaneously significantly improving the immune system. It's properties according to traditional Chinese medicine are "invigorating QI and strengthening the spleen, tonifying kidneys to relieve mental strain."
When I supplemented Siberian Ginseng daily for 2 weeks straight, I felt indestructible. I literally felt no strain from being in the cold (this was during the winter) and maintained perfect health even after situations where a cold or fever seemed inevitable. This herbs is quite strong in its immediate effects- which is a strong stimulation that lasts for about 4 hours. It can definitely substitute caffeine if that's what someone would be looking for.
That's it for today! Thanks for reading :) Stay tuned for more.
(photo source- Wikipedia)