By Deserie Valloreo
Many herbs have been recognized for improving both short and long term memory, increasing reaction times and improving mental clarity. In addition, some of these same herbs have also been found to reduce tension, anxiety, and restore energy. Below are some herbs that you can use to boost your mental focus.
Gotu Kola is a brain tonic herb said to aid intelligence and memory. In India, Gotu kola is regarded as one of the most spiritual of all herbs. Growing in some areas of the Himalayas, gotu kola is used by yogis to improve meditation. The leaf, which resembles the shape of the brain, is said to develop the crown chakra, the energy center at the top of the head and to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain. It is regarded as one of the most important rejuvenating herbs in Ayurvedic Medicine. Sri Lankans noticed that elephants, renowned for their longevity, feed on the leaves of this plant. Gotus Kola is also said to fortify the immune system and to strengthen the adrenals making it a great choice for preventing stress-related illness.
Rosemary energizes the mind and is a memory stimulant. Rosemary naturally increases the body’s energy level. Calming affects are produced by Rosemary, benefiting stress and anxiety. Insomnia can be treated with Rosemary, greatly benefiting fatigue. Rosemary can reduce irritability as well.
Rosemary essential oil is an excellent brain and nerve tonic. It is often used by students during exam times as it increases concentration and helps in studying efficiently. It stimulates mental activity and is a good remedy for depression, mental fatigue and forgetfulness. Inhaling rosemary oil can lift your spirits and mental focus immediately. Whenever your brain is tired, inhale rosemary oil to remove boredom and get fresh mental energy.
Ginkgo biloba is another brain tonic herb that can be taken as a tea (1-3 cups a day) to help improve memory or as a tincture used as follows:
- Prevention: Put 1 dropper (0.7 mL) into 2 Oz. of water at room temperature. Drink once per day, preferably before bedtime.
- Mild Problems: Put 1 dropper (0.7 mL) into 2 Oz. of water at room temperature. Drink twice per day, preferably in the morning and before bedtime.
- Severe Problems: Put 2 droppers (1.4 mL) into 2 Oz. of water at room temperature. Drink twice per day, preferably in the morning and before bedtime.
- If you are taking any medication, use this remedy at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after your medication. Do not use on an empty stomach or immediately after a meal. Do not use for more than 4 consecutive weeks. Take a break for 1-2 weeks before repeated use.
- Contraindications: Ginkgo has blood-thinning properties and should not be taken with other blood-thinners. Use caution if pregnant or lactating.
Yerba Mate stimulates the mind and the nervous system. It is often used to improve memory and concentration. This herb contains caffeine; however, most people who find that caffeine impairs their sleep will not experience this effect with yerba mate’. Those suffering from anxiety, heart palpitations, or insomnia should use this herb cautiously.
Next time you find yourself struggling to focus or you experience frequent forgetfulness, try adding a cup of herbal tea to your daily routine.
Deserie Valloreo is a Natural Health Advisor and Clinical Herbalist. She holds a Bachelor of Science from USF and completed the Professional Herbalist Program at Acupuncture & Herbal Therapies. Deserie is the founder of HerbalWise, a company with the mission to empower people to take control of their health naturally. She works toward this goal by offering educational workshops, private consultations, and her own line of herbal remedies.
For more information visit, www.herbalwise.net