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Herbs that affect the brain/ cognition — The Grow Network Community
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Herbs that affect the brain/ cognition

CorneliusCornelius Posts: 370 ✭✭✭

Hello Everyone, I am trying to pick a topic for a project for my Psychology class. My question is are there any herbs that affect the brain and/or cognition?



  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,555 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rosemary is sometimes referred to as "Remember Me."

    I'm sure you are trying to find herbs that improve the brain, unlike drugs, etc.

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,073 admin
    edited February 15

    I forgot to mention all the brain boosting foods. Foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids, foods high in antioxidants and beta-carotenes, foods high in beta-sitosterol.

    I know that for some individuals who are becoming more forgetful, when they are under stress it exacerbates the condition. Adaptogens are very helpful for maintaining cognition as well, particularly when under stress.

  • stephanie447stephanie447 Ayurvedic Practitioner Annapolis, MDPosts: 337 ✭✭✭

    Many good herbs have already been mentioned. Is there a specific area that you are looking to focus on? Such as improved memory or mental health support?

  • marjstrattonmarjstratton Posts: 390 ✭✭✭

    Yes, there are many. I have found that devil's club has fairly profound effects. It it the North American answer to Ginseng.

  • JodieDownUnderJodieDownUnder Moderator Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 897 admin

    @Cornelius I’m assuming you mean positive affects for brain function? I grow and or use gotu kola, lemon balm, sage, turmeric, ashwaganda and rosemary. The ones I grow, I either graze when I’m in the garden or use in cooking. I also use essential oils such as frankincense, peppermint, citrus to inhale to wake me up in the morning, to focus and to feel good! I also drink mushroom tea, Chaga, Lions Mane and Reishi for the same reason. Gut/ brain health go hand in hand. Thanks for posting this interesting thread.

  • jowitt.europejowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 610 admin

    I would add Gynostemma pentaphyllum, also called Jiaogulan, Sellerie, Basil... and then dark chocolate 😊

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 370 ✭✭✭

    Thank you everyone! I was just doing a broad perspective currently and will narrow in as I continue to work on my project, but beneficial effects are probably the best to focus on.

    @torey A study on rosemary would be amazing!

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,073 admin


    Hope this helps.

    Effects of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer's Disease. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1479-8301.2009.00299.x#:~:text=Although%20no%20significant%20differences%20were,for%20patients%20with%20moderate%20AD.

    Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognitive function and mood in healthy adults. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12690999/

    Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2045125312436573

  • SharieSharie Posts: 216 ✭✭✭

    Rhodiola and Holy Basil are a couple more good ones. I really like Jiogulan when I can get it. Oddly enough, grapefruit seems to have some cognitive benefits. I read that Chinese students eat it before studying or exams. I've been doing that ever since I read it whenever I feel a little foggy. And don't forget about cannabis!

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 370 ✭✭✭

    Thanks again everyone!

    @torey These studies are great!

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,073 admin

    @Cornelius Let me know if you need any info about any of the other herbs that have been mentioned.

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 370 ✭✭✭

    @torey Will do. Thanks again!

  • aprilbbrinkmanaprilbbrinkman Posts: 258 ✭✭✭

    @Cornelius you heard it here first: the interactions between cannabis and turmeric!!! Seriously amazing reduction in inflammation of the brain and brain fog. Also just generally awesome the alchemy there.

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 875 ✭✭✭✭

    My nutritionist told me vanilla is good for brain function. And the popular MCT oil, they say, is good for brain function as well.

  • OwlOwl Posts: 244 ✭✭✭

    I realize that this isn’t exactly what you asked but I had severe cognition problems that lasted several years and stopping processed sugar and inorganic wheat made all the difference. I have almost no memories of those lost years but I seem to be back to (at least) functional levels now after 3 years of following a whole foods, plant based diet with (mostly) organics.

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 581 ✭✭✭✭

    What a cool topic @Cornelius. I for one would love to have a peek at your paper when it's done.

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 581 ✭✭✭✭

    I am a bit like you, @Owl, and am so glad you are doing better. It requires a lifestyle change and lots of discipline, but it's so worth it. My issues were gluten; even now I take significant amounts of omega 3 oils and if I don't I can tell within a day or two.

  • annbeck62annbeck62 Posts: 459 ✭✭✭

    Years ago I read about a doctor using coconut oil to reverse her husband's alzheimers. I just did a quick search and found this


  • tilathehunntilathehunn Posts: 156 ✭✭✭

    That is interesting...maybe that is why certain blood pressure medicines cannot be combined w/grapefruit

  • tilathehunntilathehunn Posts: 156 ✭✭✭

    I love Rosemary...it brightens the mood, uplifting. Improves memory. Can be inhaled, ingested as a tea, easy to obtain, plus so much more. It is multifunctional.

  • OwlOwl Posts: 244 ✭✭✭

    No one really knows what happened to me or why I had the cognitive problems but I think sugar was my primary problem. I have found that I can eat some organic flour without much difficulty and I definitely can’t handle much inorganic flour but I had/have systemic yeast and craved sugar constantly when I was “down the rabbit hole” but there’s really no way to know. I did a couple of elimination diets without anything conclusive other than too many eggs causes my neuropathy to get really angry.

    My entire team of doctors simply blew off my complete loss of the ability to even remember enough of a movie to continue watching it the next day to “normal effects of aging” so I’m not terribly trusting of any doctors anymore. If they truly believe that the brain is supposed to behave that way in late 40s, early 50s then what does that say about their own cognitive function!

  • kfotokfoto Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    I know we’re talking about herbs. But learning about essential oils is important also. Rosemary EO is one of the few oils that passes through the brain blood barrier and that’s why it is so amazing. I love making dynamic blend with herbs and EOs.

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,073 admin

    @kfoto Many of the studies done on Rosemary for cognition are done using the EO as opposed to the herb.

  • Nancy CarterNancy Carter Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    I like to use Ashwaganda it helps relax me.

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 635 ✭✭✭✭

    I LOVE Ashwaganda @Nancy Carter . I swear it's the reason my kids are still alive. I tell people that you'll never feel like putting your kids in the microwave again after taking Ashwaganda. People, I'm joking, but it does get the Adrenals back up to snuff.

  • DurwardPlessDurwardPless Posts: 163 ✭✭✭

    Thank you for researching the effects of herbs on the brain. I am sure there are many who will benefit.

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 370 ✭✭✭

    @Owl I am very sorry to hear that that happened to you. Those Docs were definitely off base. People should not have complete memory loss every 24 hrs. This is real life and not the 50 First Date with Adam Sandler.

    @annbeck62 I have heard that Alzheimer's is reversible to a certain point with intervention (but I do not know the required treatment on hand). This is due to neuroplasticity which is the brains ability to repair damage. Scientist use to believe that only children possess this trait, but it turns out humans have it life long! (but I believe it works best in children)

    For my project I am focusing on homeopathic remedies so herbal preparations or essential oils will definitely work! Thank you all again!

  • stephanie447stephanie447 Ayurvedic Practitioner Annapolis, MDPosts: 337 ✭✭✭

    Another good Ayurvedic herb for the brain is shankapushpi, which is considered to be a rejuvenative.

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,073 admin

    @Cornelius I hope you will let us read your paper when it is finished. I would be interested to see how you have incorporated homeopathic remedies into the discussion.

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