These 11 Herbs Help Boost Focus, Memory & Mental Energy
You take another look at your schedule. It’s filling up fast.
Gosh, you think, how am I going to get it all done?
You do your best to prioritize tasks, but before you know it you’re off doing something that wasn’t on the list, and you can’t even remember how you got there!
This may sound like a comical scenario, but many of us can relate to having difficulty focusing, remembering things, or feeling mentally wiped out. We weren’t built for the 21st century, with endless distractions bidding for our attention.
Even with all the noise and stimulation that comes with modern living, your brain is doing its best to process, interpret, and retain information. But it can only take so much, and when too much is happening at once, an interesting phenomenon called information overload, or cognitive overload, can occur.
Information overload is becoming more common and can leave you feeling:
- Unable to think clearly
- Mentally paralyzed
- Unable to make decisions
In a world where multi-tasking is the norm, frequently dealing with information overload can trigger stress hormones, which lead to several negative health consequences (1).
How Herbs Affect Your Mind
We talked a bit about how your brain processes information. Part of that information travels through your olfactory system, or sense of smell.
Plants and herbs are designed to produce and emit fragrances, pheromones, and other chemical interactions that your body picks up all the time --- and many times there is a good exchange going on inside!
Over the years, scientists have observed how the compounds in herbs stimulate and protect neurotransmitters in the brain, which affect several aspects of memory, clarity, and decision-making (2).
Best Herbs for Mental Clarity and Focus
Most people don’t want to waste time trying random things and hoping for the best. This is especially true when you’re trying to protect your brain. These 11 herbs lead the way in supporting mental alertness, energy levels, and clarity.
Also known as Holy Basil, this adaptogenic plant protects your mind from stressors with its potent antioxidant properties. Studies show its compounds enhance memory and other cognitive function (3). You can drink Tulsi tea or take supplements.
The bark of the Amazonian Trichilia catigua (Catauba) tree has been used for centuries to help fight the effects of stress, ease feelings of fatigue, improve low libido and increase memory function (4).
Often called the “man root” for its human-like shape, Ginseng has been used for centuries as a source of natural energy, cognitive enhancement, and improved mental performance. Studies have shown that taking 200 mg can considerably improve levels of concentration, mood, and energy levels after hours (5, 6).
Green tea is a delicious way to fight oxidative stress and keep your mind feeling young. Matcha is a type of green tea that contains the amino acid L-theanine, an antioxidant that helps increase mental alertness (7).
A flowering shrub native to Mediterranean areas, sage has been shown to enhance alertness, memory, and mood in adults. One of its hidden superpowers seems to be a compound that inhibits acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitters needed to maintain a sharp memory, longer attention spans, and overall brain function (8, 9).
This spiny green herb makes a great dinner garnish, and the terpene compounds inside have also been shown to boost cognitive abilities. In one study, 8 adults drank water infused with rosemary extract and outperformed those who only drank mineral water. Rosemary essential oils also provide cognitive benefits when inhaled (10, 16).
This marsh-loving plant is high in triterpenoid saponins, which not only improves cognitive function but can also help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. One review noted that taking 300mg of Bacopa mannieri extract improved processing speeds when it came to taking in new information (11, 12).
Need someone to increase physical endurance, sharpen your memory and make you more alert? This plant has proved to be quite beneficial in enhancing brain function. It also elevates your mood and can help with feelings of burnout and lack of motivation, according to some studies (18, 19).
An ancient herb with modern benefits, Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola) can help boost alertness and mood. A study of 33 people found that Gotu Kola helped reduce anxiety and feelings of mental fatigue (17).
In addition to easing digestive issues and calming anxieties, peppermint is famous for enhancing focus, attention and alertness. In fact, a study of 144 people found that peppermint essential oils improved memory and increased alertness overall (14, 15).
Don’t let this hairy, white mushroom fool you. Lion’s mane holds the impressive potential to help protect brain pathways in improve overall function. One clinical trial showed that adults experience heightened cognitive performance when given 3.2 g of Lion’s mane every day for at least three months (20, 21).
Risks and Safety Precautions
While many natural compounds can be incredibly helpful, it’s important to remember that interactions can occur. This is especially true if you’re taking medication. Talk with your healthcare provider about which herbs you’d like to try to rule out any potential risks.
Another area of concern is the possibility of reactions, which do happen from time to time. Sensitivities and allergic reactions can show up as (13):
- Dry mouth
- Asthma or trouble breathing
- Feeling dizzy
- Acute fatigue
- Rapid heartbeat
- Digestive upset
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, also consult with your physician. There is little research on how natural remedies affect the growing baby, so caution is always advised.
Today’s world is filled with information. Some of it is helpful, while many times it’s just white noise.
Being able to focus is becoming increasingly difficult, but there are natural ways to help you think clearly and process information more effectively.
When it comes to herbs, there are several that offer powerful memory-enhancing abilities. Our signature Focus 365 (22) is formulated with a proprietary blend of herbs that support a healthy focus, empowering you to prioritize tasks and get things done!
Improve your focus naturally by trying a bottle today!
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author