August 05, 2020 at 08:45AM
A FUZZY BRAIN IS no fun when you have worlds to conquer and magic to make (or maybe babies to feed and deadlines to meet). While a shot of espresso might get things buzzing, a powerful way to clear brain fog and boost cognitive power is with herbs.
Our go-to herbalist and founder of modern apothecary Anima Mundi, Adriana Ayales, is sharing this plant wisdom for busting brain fog and rejuvenating brain health overall. The idea of using herbs to optimize our mental capacity, mood and overall ability to function on a high level is everything we’re about right now…
Common Cognitive Pitfalls That Trigger Brain Fog:
- Lack of proper mineralization (Are you eating the rainbow? Where and how are you mineralizing your body?)
- Low functioning microbiome (Digestive imbalances, weak gut flora)
- Dehydration (You might be dehydrated and you don’t even know it. Drink water!)
- Lack of movement (Sedentary lifestyle?)
- Stress + Inflammation
- Heavy Metals + Atmospheric Toxicity (Atmospheric contaminants can lead to biological and chemical stress, contributing to brain fog, and more.)
- Pharmaceutical Side-effects (One of the leading causes of diseases are pharmaceutical side-effects, be sure to balance with diet, and the right herbs)
State of mind supercedes everything. For example, meditation is one of the best-researched brain-boosting exercises ever found. Going deep and doing guided visualizations, future self projections, silencing the mind, etc., is one of the most efficient techniques to re-wire our “hardwired” programming.
At the same time, brain tonics improve “hardware” functioning by protecting from damage (oxidation, inflammation) and assisting in the delivery of nutrients and removal of waste. Nootropics (known as ‘smart drugs’), nervines (nervous system relaxers), and adaptogens (endocrine balancers/ anti stress /immune boosters) help revitalize neurotransmitters and general nerve function, which improves memory and cognition while uplifting the mind.
ADAPTOGENS + HERBS TO PREVENT MENTAL FATIGUE
Chronic and acute stress degrade your memory, especially if sleep deprivation enters the mix. So it’s not surprising that most of our stress-relieving adaptogens do double-duty as brain function tonics.
BACOPA In India, bacopa is locally known as brahmi after “Brahma,” the mythical creator of the Hindu pantheon, and is another Ayurvedic powerhouse used to improve cognition, memory and focus. It also has research on its use to help recover from brain trauma. Bacopa is adaptogenic, helping protect the body from stress, while being a revitalizing, relaxing (nervine), and mentally-stimulating herb that may support us in our healthspan extension quest. Bacopa is known to boost two key neurotransmitters, serotonin and GABA in the hippocampus, which is the brain’s hub for memory and emotions. Bacopa works best when taken consistently for longer periods of time, allow at least 1 month to feel the effects. The most common dosage for “faster” results, are about 5-10 grams of powder daily, or 350 mg extract per day.
ASHWAGANDHA. Yet another beloved Ayurvedic plant that has 3,000 years of recorded use, ashwagandha provides numerous benefits for the body and brain. Studies have shown it’s brain protective, improves learning and memory, lowers blood sugar and cortisol levels, and helps fight symptoms of anxiety and depression. Research on ashwagandha has found that it inhibits the formation of beta-amyloid plaques. These plaques, considered toxic to brain cells, accumulate in the brains of people with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
RHODIOLA is a classic adaptogen known as one of nature’s greatest “antidepressants” as its shown to greatly influence neurotransmitters that affect mood and emotion. Being an adaptogen, it is regulating to the endocrine system and protective against oxidative stress. Rhodiola also improves ATP synthesis, which boosts energy on a cellular level, and it increases stamina while decreasing mental and physical fatigue.
LION’S MANE. This exquisite mushroom has received very impressive studies due to it containing NGF (nerve growth factor) which is known to stimulate nerve growth, heal nerve damage, improve brain function and cognition, and fight dementia. Components and extracts of Lion’s Mane have proven antibiotic, anticancer, neuroprotective, fat- and glucose-lowering effects. Lions Mane is also used to ease digestion, used against stomach ulcers in Chinese Medicine, improves anxiety, cognitive function, and depression, and has anti-fatigue and anti-aging properties. Studies also show lion’s mane enhanced both acetylcholine (Ach) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT, an enzyme that produces acetylcholine) concentrations in the blood and in the hypothalamus.
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.
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