October 23


In the fall, everyone slows down a bit. On these gloomy, rainy days we feel like it is getting harder to get out of bed, and we cannot always get the most out of ourselves at work either.

Brain fog can be a symptom of a nutrient deficiency, sleep disorder, bacterial overgrowth from overconsumption of sugar, depression, or even a thyroid condition. Other common brain fog causes include eating too much and too often, inactivity, not getting enough sleep, chronic stress, and a poor diet. Brain fog involves feelings of confusion and disorientation. Brain fog can make a person feel as if the processes of thinking, understanding, and remembering are not working as they should.

Whether you are looking to improve focus and concentration, enhance memory or protect your brain from decline, herbal medicine has a lot to offer. These are herbs or nutraceutical agents that help to improve memory, concentration, focus and learning while mitigating and protecting against cognitive decline.

It is widely known that GINKGO BILOBA has been used for thousands of years to improve cognitive function or GOTU KOLA (Centella asiatica) which has a long history of use in Ayurveda and is considered to be a rejuvenating tonic for vitality and memory. Also, RHODIOLA ROSEA is believed to be especially helpful in improving mind and body performance during times of stress or when feeling burned out. Not to mention GINSENG (Panax ginseng), the adaptogenic herb, known to help your mind and body cope with stress and to boost all around mental function.

HOWEVER, this time I would like to introduce spices which we use in the kitchen and that stimulate brain function. Several herbs and spices which look promising with respect to brain health based on the existing research are black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, lemon balm, nutmeg, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, saffron, sage, tea leaves, turmeric, thyme and the list continues.

Here are 5 spices that may help improve brain function that you can begin adding to your diet today:

BLACK PEPPER (Piper nigrum, family Piperaceae)

Parts Used: dried peppercorns

Black pepper contains moderate amounts of vitamin K, iron and manganese with trace amounts of other essential nutrients, protein, volatile essential oil containing the alkaloid piperine and dietary fibre.

Black pepper is regarded as “King of spices” but can also be considered as part of the kingdom of medicinal agents. It has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anticonvulsant, and neuroprotective effects.

Black pepper may have health benefits, particularly in enhancing digestive tract function.

There is suggestive evidence that black pepper piperine may have nervous system benefits

and may have quite a few brain-boosting effects. Studies have shown that piperine, the primary component in black pepper, can help improve brain function and lower depression symptoms.

CINNAMON (Cinnamomum zeylanicum, family Lauraceae)

Parts Used: Dried bark, Essential oil

Main constituents in cinnamon are volatile oil, eugenol, tannins, resin, mucilage, trace coumarin and complex sugars

One study has shown that cinnamon can increase cognitive functioning, even just through smell alone, and it is being considered as a possible treatment to enhance cognition in the elderly and people with symptoms of dementia.

Ingredients in cinnamon, mainly epicatechin and cinnamaldehyde, play an important role in the fight against Alzheimer's disease, prevent abnormal swelling of brain cells (this phenomenon has been linked to complications following brain injuries and stroke), and neurological problems associated with aging. they can also provide protection against In addition to having an extremely good effect on our brain, cinnamon essential oil soothes and reduces anxiety.

GINGER (Zingiber officinale, family of Zingiberaceae)

Main constituents of ginger are volatile oil, (mainly zingiberone and bisabolene), oleoresin (containing the pungent principles gingerols, shogaols and zingerone), fats, protein, starch, vitamins a and b, minerals and amino acids.

Ginger boasts innumerable benefits to health. It is great for digestion, fighting inflammation, and arthritis. The antioxidant effects of ginger root are thought to safeguard the neurons (nerve cells) of the brain against the oxidative stress that is common in many neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.

According to Arabian folklore, ginger has been claimed to improve memory. The studies showed that ginger rhizomes extract could enhance memory and protect against brain damage. Ginger extract enhances both attention and cognitive processing capabilities of healthy, middle-aged women, with no side effects reported.

GARLIC (Allium sativa, family of Amaryllidaceae)

Constituents: allicin, citral, geraniol, linalool, phellandrene, s-methyl-1-cysteine sulfoxide

Parts Used: bulb

Main constituents of garlic are allicin, citral, geraniol, linalool, phellandrene, s-methyl-1-cysteine sulfoxide

Garlic and its preparations have been widely recognized as agents for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and other metabolic diseases, atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, thrombosis, hypertension, dementia, cancer and diabetes.

Protection afforded by garlic may be extended to its neuroprotective action, helping reduce the risk for cerebrovascular disease and dementia. Experimental evidence has shown that some garlic-derived products have a protective effect against ischemic brain injury. Studies have demonstrated that Aged garlic extract (AGE) can exert neuroprotective effects against neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.

Researchers has discovered that carbohydrate derivative of garlic known as FruArg offers the brain protection against aging and may prevent age-related neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

PARSLEY (Petroselinum crispum, family Apiaceae)

Parts Used: roots, leaves, seeds

Parsley is a source of flavonoids and antioxidants, especially luteolin, apigenin, folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

Parsley contains flavonoid called apigenin, which strengthens the connection between nerve cells and promotes communication between nerve cells. This, in turn, can help prevent depression and, according to some research, even reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

If we consume these regularly, not only will we be able to do our job perfectly, but we will still have our strength and energy for our favourite hobbies. Not only do they have a good effect on our memory, but they can also help us overcome our anxiety.

Use them with confidence and enjoy!

by Helena Szollosy

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