The brain is arguably the most important organ we have and we need to learn how to take care of it and keep it healthy. Our brains tell us when something feels off by either having headaches or feeling down. So, to combat that, I’ll tell you the best herbs to eat or drink to keep your brain healthy and feeling great!
First on the list is Sage! Sage is considered one of the most essential herbs in cooking along with parsley, rosemary and thyme. It has a savoury, slightly peppery flavour. It appears in many European cuisines, especially Italian, Middle Eastern cuisine and many others! Sage contains rosmarinic acid, which is thought to be one of the main compounds that makes sage great for brain health. Sage might also improve cognition and aid in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, a research review published in 2017, suggests sage contains compounds that may be beneficial for cognitive and neurological function. Sage can be consumed by adding it to your favourite dishes and you can steep it as a tea!
Second on the list is Rosemary! Sage’s distant cousin and also a very essential herb in cooking. Rosemary leaves are used as a flavouring in foods, such as stuffing and roast lamb, chicken, and turkey. Fresh or dried leaves are used in traditional Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. They have a bitter, astringent taste and a characteristic aroma which complements many cooked foods. Studies so far back up rosemary’s potential for brain health and shows in one study that low doses of the herb help to slow or stop cognitive decline in an elderly population. Taking or inhaling the herb has also been shown to boost memory, alertness, and mood.
Next on the list is Turmeric! Turmeric is one of the oldest and most popular plants in herbal medicine. Turmeric is a spice long used as it contains a compound called curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. According to a review published in 2010, preliminary research suggests that turmeric may help boosting brain health and staving off Alzheimer’s disease by clearing the brain of beta-amyloid (a type of protein). The build-up of beta-amyloid is known to form Alzheimer’s-related brain plaques. In addition, turmeric may shield brain health by inhibiting the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Turmeric is usually consumed as a powder and is a key ingredient in many curry powder mixes cause of its great colour and mild spicey flavour and sometimes it is steep as a tea.
Last on our list is Lemon Balm! Lemon Balm is a distant cousin to peppermint and has similar flavours, however it has been shown that it has a very good effect on the brain and the nervous system. It is said that it is calming and supports the mood while also increasing alertness and it helps to increase cognitive speed. Lemon Balm is usually consumed as a tea but it is also found in many syrups and capsules.
In conclusion, there is still a lot of research happening on the effects of certain other herbs on mental health and brain health in general. However, the 3 that we outlined here do usually work and have an overall good effect on you body especially turmeric and lemon balm and they are quite tasty!