The modern world is an exciting place to be in and for many individuals, an optimally-functioning brain and a reliable memory are needed to fully harness one's abilities to be the best that one can be. Unfortunately, many adults suffer from memory lapses, deficiency in concentration, and accessibility to focus.
The brain is a highly complex organ that needs to be nourished and cared for so that it can function properly. However, the accumulation of toxins in the body from pollutants, drugs, and other sources restrain the proper circulation of blood and inhibit its flow to the brain.
Consequently, the brain receives progressively less of the vital nutrients and antioxidants needs to function properly. When the brain does not function and perform properly, memory loss and a whole host of problems result.
For centuries, some herbs and infusions have been generally recognized as possessing properties that may help support brain and memory functions. Here are 5 of them.
Ginkgo Biloba Tea
Ginkgo Biloba is an herb derived from the ginkgo tree that grows in the Zhejiang region of Eastern China. This tree has a history that dates back to over 200 million years and is in fact considered one of the oldest in the world. Ginkgo biloba tea is made by placing either cut or whole leaves of the ginkgo plant in a cup of newly-boiled water and allowed to steep for about 5 to 7 minutes.
The phytochemicals found in ginkgo biloba are said to help facilitate better flow of blood to the brain, so allowing for the improved use of oxygen, and better cell protection from free radicals.
In addition, some scientists have said that ginkgo biloba has been shown to increase the ability of the brain to use glucose and to improve short-term memory by increasing the speed of nerve impulses.
Persons taking MAOI for depression and those taking blood thinners should avoid drinking ginkgo biloba tea.
Gotu Kola Tea
Gotu Kola, also known as Indian Pennywort, is commonly used as a green leafy food item in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Thailand.
The gotu kola herb has a long history of supporting brain functions. It is believed to help improve neural activity, blood circulation, and membrane protection. It is also thought to help restore serotonin receptors. Gotu kola has also been used in early states of macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Gotu Kola mainly consist of triterpenoid saponins and sapogenins.
Gotu kola is a mild adaptogen, is mildly antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerogenic, anxiolytic, a cerebral tonic, a circulatory stimulant, a diuretic, nervine and vulnerary.
To prepare gotu kola tea, boil about 200 mg (about te teaspoon) of dried gotu kola herbs in about one cup of water for a few minutes. Then strain out the solid particles.
Brahmi is a perennial creeping herb with small white flowers. Also known by its official name of bacopa monnieri and by its nickname of water hyssop, it is an aquatic plant that grows on marshlands and muddy shores. It is commonly found in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China and Vietnam.
Brahmi has been used for nearly 3,000 years as a tonic for improving memory and enhancing learning. Phytochemicals such as hersaponin, brahmine, herpestine and bacosides found in the brahmi herb apparently help contribute to improving people's ability to absorb and retain new information.
Other constituents of the brahmi herb like its sulfhydryl and polyphenol components have likewise been found to combat oxidative stress damage by scavenging and collecting reactive oxygen species, thus inhibiting certain chemical activities that contribute to reduced mental functions. This mechanism in turn has been used to explain the appropriate beneficial properties of this herb on sufferers of Alzheimer's Disease, amnesia and other degenerative ailments of the mind and the nerves.
Brahmi has also been used as a nerve tonic for anxiety or epilepsy, and a cardiac and respiratory aid for a long time.
Brahmi tea can be made by immersing te teaspoon of dried brahmi herbs into one cup of boiling water. Let soak and steep for about 5 minutes then drink.
Rosemary is an evergreen shrub that grows in many locales. Officially known as rosmarinus officinalis, this is an aromatic and tangy herb that has long been used as flavoring for all kinds of foods and dishes. It has a pungent, woody and camphor-like scent. Medicinally, rosemary has been used to achieve a balancing, invigorating, antiseptic, revitalizing, warming and regenerating effect.
Rosemary has been observed to help stimulate the central nervous system, thus helping to strengthen mental clarity, concentration, awareness, and memory. A group of scientists has isolated a chemical found in rosemary herb called carnosic acid that may help fight off free radical damage in the brain. The researchers have said that the carnosic acid seems to activate a signaling pathway that may help isolate brain cells from damage from free radicals. Occasionally, they say that drugs and medications to help with neurological diseases may be developed using carnosic acid as the active ingredient.
Rosemary tea is typically made by placing some dried rosemary leaves in a cup of newly-boiled water and left to steep for about 5 minutes.
Sage is a perennial shrub that can typically found in its natural growing areas of Europe and the Mediterranean. The plant consistors of square and finely hairy sterns that are woody at the base and has oblong leaves. It also has oval floral leaves that are blue, purple or white in color. This herb has a strong aroma and imparts a warming energy to those who make use of it. Sage is widely-used as a spice, an additive to savory dishes.
Sage has been found to help improve brain and other neurological functions. In-vitro research conducted on sage has revealed its ability to help prolong the activity of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine participates in transmitting signal in an area of the brain called the basal forebrain. It appears that this area of the central nervous system declines and degrades as people age, and this leads to memory loss and cognitive disadvantage. Active ingredients in the sage herb may thus help extend the life of the aphasoid neurotransmitter and consequentially may help impede the progress of mental degeneration.
A small serving of sage tea can be made by infusing about 20 grams of sage leaves in about 50 ml of newly-boiled water. Let it stand for about 4 to 5 minutes.
The brain is the repository of all knowledge, information and wisdom gleaned through one's life. For its part, the memory is the mechanism upon which these are drawn out and applied in day-to-day activities. As such, it is important that these tools remain in their optimal functioning state for as long as possible. The five herbal teas and infusions mentioned above are some of the implementations that nature has provided to potentially help individuals achieve that goal.