The modern world demands a lot from us —, particularly from our brains. Many people work mentally demanding jobs or push their minds to the limit studying complicated subjects for hours. Others are interested in enhancing creativity… and clearly a healthier, better performing mind produces better ideas, music, writing, etc. But no matter your area of work or hobbies, there’s likely a lot to be gained by boosting your cognition and brain health.
Whether you’re looking for an edge in your mental performance or looking to improve your overall mood and feelings of wellbeing, high-quality tonic herbs are a great way to boost your cognition and other aspects of your health without many of the side effects found in processed nootropics.
My favorite four herbs for improving cognitive performance are the following:
Mucuna is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries in India and Africa. It is an herb renowned for its restorative properties, particularly in the areas of brain health and sexual vibrancy. Use of mucuna has even carried over into modern medical practices due to the herb’s vast range of uses.
Mucuna is most famous for being a natural source of L-Dopa, an amino acid that converts into dopamine in the human brain. Dopamine is often called “the pleasure molecule,” as healthy dopamine levels are associated with feelings of well-being. Low dopamine levels, on the other hand, are often associated with depression. By potentially raising dopamine levels, mucuna has the potential to positively affect the multitude of bodily functions related to healthy dopamine levels.
These functions include:
- Experience of pleasure
- Overall functionality of the brain and nervous system
For college students or those on a budget, Gynostemma is probably the #1 herb I would recommend for all around benefits and coverage, if I were forced to pick just one. I recently wrote a whole article on why gynostemma is the supreme economical adaptogen.
Gynostemma is a potent adaptogenic tea that was discovered in China in the late 1960s. The herb was even nicknamed “miracle grass” because of the seemingly endless benefits it enables through regular use.
One of the unique things about Gynostemma is that because of its recent discovery date, most of the information we have on it is science-based rather than coming from traditional medicine. One study even showed that Gynostemma offers promising neuro-protective benefits for those suffering from cognitive impairments or Parkinsons.
Aside from the economic cognitive protection and bang-for-your-buck affordability, Gynostemma offers a wide range of other benefits, such as:
- Anti-stress effects
- Anti-aging effects
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Immune-regulating effects
- A respiratory tonic
- Digestive aid
- Being easy to use and tasting great!
No list of brain-boosting tonic herbs would be complete without mentioning lion’s mane mushroom. Lion’s mane is essentially a natural nootropic. The problem with most nootropic is that they tend to give you a big boost, followed by an equally powerful crash, crazy side effects, or a disappearance of effects and benefits altogether. A lot of processed nootropics tend to be destabilizing and over-excitatory if used over the long term.
This is where lion’s mane comes in. Not only will lion’s mane give your brain the boost it needs, but it is safe to use over long periods of time, providing nothing but physical health benefits in addition to its cognitive support. Unlike processed nootropics, lion’s mane has virtually no side effects, and actually soothes the nervous system, and can even aid in sleep.
Lion’s mane boosts mood and mental energy, increases blood flow to the brain, and can even regrow neurons and stimulate brain healing through the production of nerve growth factor. With all these brain benefits, it’s no surprise that lion’s mane is a favorite for supporting mental health and performance.
Do you have an overactive or racing mind? More thoughts than you can handle? Do you feel you’d be more productive if you were more centered and calm? If so, you’d probably enjoy a lot of benefits from taking reishi mushroom.
Reishi is famous for its anti-stress properties and its ability to “calm the spirit.” It is one of the most researched, studied, and popular herbs of all time, particularly in China, where it was known traditionally as “the mushroom of immortality.”
Reishi is a great herb to help calm the mind and center oneself, and achieve a more stable and one-pointed attention.
If you’d like to learn more about these amazing herbs and the many benefits they can bring to your brain and body, check out the all new Cognitive Support section in the Hyperion Herbs store. Thanks for reading!