In the quest for improving brain health and preventing neurodegenerative diseases, I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the best herbs for brain health. There are some great herbs you can add to your cooking and some are available in supplement form. And some you might not have guessed are great for brain health.
Let’s get into it.
You probably know of sage as a savory herb for poultry dishes and soups. It is also known as Salvia officinalis, common sage, and garden sage. A study in 2003 (WebMD) showed sage also helps brain health and memory.
There are over 160 polyphenols packed into sage, giving it its powerful antioxidant properties (Raman, 2018), helping to reduce free radicals, and reducing inflammation and damage to cells.
Another great feature of sage is it helps to halt the breakdown of acetylcholine (ACH), which is needed for memory functions. Alzheimer’s (AD) patients seem to have lower levels of ACH. It’s important to supplement it as well as maintain levels for better brain function.
2. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba is used to treat AD and other brain issues. It has long been known to help memory and cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. In 2018, nine countries, including China, Germany, and Singapore included Ginkgo Biloba in their clinical guideline for treating mild cognitive disorder (Liu, Ye, and Guo, 2020).
These authors also state that Ginkgolide B, a major active ingredient in Ginkgo, also helps reduce neurotoxicity of amyloid beta plaques in the brain with Alzheimer’s disease. They also recommend taking Ginkgo Biloba for at least 24 weeks before deciding how effective it is for you.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic remedy used for improving memory. From my article on Ashwagandha here, human studies have shown that this herb significantly improved memory, task performance and attention. It can even regenerate damaged nerve cells. This herb shows great promise in helping treat neurocognitive diseases. And if you have stress or anxiety, as most people do these days, it can help with that too.
Related Article: The Health Benefits of Ashwagandha