Your brain is constantly processing information even when you sleep or aren’t consciously thinking. Yet, it might not always get the nourishment it needs for you to effectively concentrate, learn, remember, and solve problems.
Hopefully, you’re eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and other foods that are good for your brain. Scientific evidence also suggests certain herbs contain ingredients that promote brain health.
I created this guide to help you find the best teas for focus, memory, and brain function.
Here is a summary of the teas included in this article:
- Yerba Mate Tea: Gives a natural boost to your focus, energy levels, and physical performance.
- Gingko Biloba Tea: Can help with staying alert, improving memory, and protecting the brain.
- Spearmint Tea: May improve sleep, mood, and overall cognitive performance.
- Gotu Kola Tea: Can be used to prevent oxidative stress and age-related decline in brain function.
- Ginseng Tea: Good for boosting energy, performance, and mental focus.
- Green Tea and Matcha: Improves mental clarity and enhances overall cognitive function.
- Rosemary Tea: Contains carnosic acid that can protect the brain from degeneration.
- Ginger Tea: Rich in antioxidants that are good for brain health.
You can easily prepare these healthy herbal drinks at home and your brain will thank you!
But let’s start by discussing the brain health in general, and assessing how we can improve our cognitive function naturally.
What Exactly is Brain Health
A healthy brain matters from birth to your senior years. Brain health refers to how well your brain performs mental activities and it has a profound impact on your overall well-being.
It has a great effect on how you think, focus, feel, react, make decisions, and interact with others. These functions require the ability to learn, process information, understand, and remember.
People over the age of 60 often start experiencing a slow decline in these cognitive functions, which puts them at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
How Focus Works in Our Brain
Focusing refers to our ability to pay “attention” amidst distractions.
There are three different types of attention that help us focus and concentrate:
- Selective attention: The brain focuses on one thing and disregards others.
- Divided attention: The brain is processing information from multiple sources at the same time and switches attention back and forth, as needed.
- Sustained attention: The brain stays focused on one thing for a long time despite the distractions.
How well you focus depends on the external and internal things that your brain allows to disrupt your attention. Loud noises, flashing lights, cellphones, thoughts, and emotions are common distractions.
Luckily, our brain has the ability to put the “brakes” on things that interrupt your focus.
How Our Memory Works
Memory is a brain function that involves acquiring (encoding), storing, and retaining information, which you can retrieve later. The efficiency of your short and long-term memory depends on how well your brain conducts all of these processes and how many details it recalls later on.
To accurately remember something the brain must first encode and store the information.
Otherwise, you will misremember things or forget some or all of the details.
It can be something as simple as forgetting where you left your car keys.
How Can You Improve Focus and Memory Naturally
Eating high-quality foods containing lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants helps to nourish the brain. Doing so also protects brain cells from damage that leads to reduced brain functions.
Consider eating fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, lean meats, dairy, and unprocessed grains while cutting back on processed and refined foods.
And don’t forget to supplement your diet with the herbal teas introduced in this article.
Other ways to improve focus and memory include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eliminating environmental distractions during work
- Avoiding multitasking
- Practicing mindfulness
You can also train your brain with exercises and games. A study from 2017 found that playing brain games can improve memory in people with mild cognitive impairment such as those with mild Alzheimer’s disease.
Best Teas for Focus, Memory, and Brain Function
Based on scientific research, the following herbal teas may help improve focus, memory, and overall cognitive function.
Yerba Mate Tea
Naturally increase energy, focus, and work or sports performance with yerba mate tea, instead of grabbing an energy drink packed with artificial ingredients.
This tea contains plenty of caffeine and 2 other natural stimulants, theobromine, and theophylline.
It is also considered a healthy alternative to coffee minus the jitters and lethargy that comes with the coffee crash.
Mate tea is traditionally brewed from the dried leaves and twigs of yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis), a native South American plant. The herb is used in folk medicine for weight loss, relieving digestive problems, replenishing energy, and improving other ailments.
Research confirms that yerba mate boosts energy, focus, and mental alertness, thanks to caffeine and its other compounds.
Consuming this herb provides a promising natural way to enhance short and long-term learning and memory.
Yerba mate’s neuroprotection comes from the beneficial chemical compounds it contains. They include vitamins, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, and polyphenols, all of which help regulate metabolism and prevent brain damage from oxidative stress.
I have also put together a guide with reviews of some of the best yerba mate brands.
Gingko Biloba Tea
Gingko Biloba, also known as maidenhair, is a tree native to China.
Consuming herbal tea or extract made from this plant can help you stay alert, retain information, and avoid cognitive impairment related to aging.
And if you are looking for a tea that increases libido, Ginkgo Biloba is also a great option for that purpose.
A 1998 review confirms this herbal remedy has long been used to alleviate symptoms of cognitive deficits, such as decreased alertness and memory performance. The review reveals that the therapeutic effects of maidenhair on cognition are based on active compounds with vasoactive and antioxidant properties.
Another research review finds Ginkgo Biloba extract (GBE) may be useful for patients with cognitive impairment such as those with dementia. Chemical compounds in ginkgo demonstrated the ability to stabilize or slow decline in cognitive functions in participants of the study living with Alzheimer’s disease.
GBE has also shown to moderately enhance a variety of cognitive processes in elderly individuals with impaired working memory such as those with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
Moreover, a gingko biloba/panex Ginseng combination proves to have memory-enhancing effects on healthy middle-aged individuals.
If you want to try this natural brain remedy, I can warmly recommend Buddha Teas Organic Gingko Biloba Tea.
Spearmint tea can be a healthy addition to your herbal tea regimen if you’re looking to use it for better sleep. Besides, getting enough sleep is shown to improve focus, alertness, memory, and overall brain health.
The results of a study on the effects of sleep loss on memory suggest that even a moderate lack of sleep affected memory formation.
At the same time, memory lapses or mild forgetfulness is normal in aging adults.
Nevertheless, supplementing your diet with spearmint tea is a natural way to improve sleep, mood, and cognitive performance, particularly in individuals with age-associated memory impairment (AAMI).
This is according to the results of a study done on 90 participants with AAMI between the ages of 58 and 60.
Spearmint also enhanced their alertness after sleep and working memory. The therapeutic effects of the spearmint extract on cognitive function are connected to the activity of rosmarinic acid and other polyphenols found plentiful in the plant.
Young, active individuals may also benefit from the attention-enhancing properties of this herb.
You can find the best spearmint teas in this buyer’s guide.
Gotu Kola Tea
Gotu kola (Cantella asiatica) is a native Southern Asia herb that is good for cognitive function and working memory.
It is widely used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine as a herbal medicine for mental disorders and a brain tonic for enhancing memory.
The main active compounds are triterpene saponins including asiatic acid.
There is some evidence that gotu kola can also provide a natural way to manage cognitive decline in elderly individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). MCI is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
C. asiatica seems to prevent a decline in cognition and sharpen memory by acting as an antioxidant, thereby reducing the effects of oxidative stress. Thanks to its memory-enhancing abilities, gotu kola may slow age-related decline in memory and the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
You can find organic high-quality gotu kola tea on Buddha Teas Online Store.
Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) also called “true ginseng”, is a traditional Chinese medicinal herb.
Both Asian ginseng and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius, L.) tea are widely known for their abilities to boost energy, performance, and sharpen focus.
The herb is referred to as an “adaptogen,” meaning it helps the body reduce physical stress and fatigue while boosting energy, focus, stamina, and endurance. It does all this without causing a “sugar crash.”
In fact, a review of the anti-fatigue effects of ginseng concluded that it is a promising treatment for fatigue.
Ginseng health benefits are backed by research that suggests the main active ingredient in the root plant, ginsenosides, contain neuroprotective agents. Ginsenosides can play a role in the prevention and treatment of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Ginseng’s clinical application is owed to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiaging, and nerve growth action of ginsenosides in the brain and immune system.
Green Tea and Matcha
Enjoy a boost in energy and focus by drinking green tea (Camellia sinensis) or matcha (ground green leaves), without the, “crash down,” symptoms of coffee.
People all over the world have been drinking green tea for thousands of years. This herbal drink continues to be popular because of the health benefits and energy it provides.
The caffeine content of green tea and matcha converts them into natural metabolism stimulants.
Matcha, in particular, contains L-theanine a compound that helps keep the brain calm while improving mental clarity.
Speaking of calm, green tea is thought to reduce anxiety and enhance overall brain function.
A combination of caffeine and L-theanine in matcha green tea provides an extended increase in energy without the crash or jitters because L-theanine balances out the stimulant effects of caffeine. Moreover, this combination improved performance on tasks demanding heavy concentration and task-switching and continued to reduce mental distraction 90 minutes later.
If you’re a rosemary fan, you’re probably already enjoying its memory-enhancing abilities. The leaves and flowers of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) have been used in traditional medicine for an array of ailments.
The plant contains carnosic acid, a polyphenolic antioxidant that protects the brain from degeneration through its ability to regulate inflammation and scavenge free radicals.
A relatively recent study assessed the beneficial effects of rosemary extract (RE) on the brain using the animal model. The results suggest that RE is able to improve long-term memory.
The findings are significant in light of the search for natural ways to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in aging adults and those at risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
A study on participants over the age of 65, done by the Northumbria University, Department of Psychology, found that just smelling rosemary enhanced their memory and mood.
Another stunning discovery was the herb’s ability to help senior adults remember to do things in the future. This holds huge significance in terms of helping people with memory decline remember things, such as when to take their medication.
You can easily grow some rosemary in your garden or even indoors. Another great option is to order some organic rosemary tea from Buddha Teas.
I can’t ever get enough of fresh ginger tea because of the aroma, spiciness, and medicinal benefits it provides. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a root herb widely used as a spice and for treating many maladies including chronic inflammation, upset stomach, and nausea.
As it turns out, the herb is loaded with phenolic compounds (antioxidants), such as gingerols and shogaols that are good for the body and brain.
Natural antioxidants found in herbs, including ginger, can play an important role in enhancing cognitive functions. This was, again, proven in a study that concluded ginger enhanced working memory and cognitive functions in healthy middle-aged women.
Ginger may also be beneficial in fighting chronic inflammation of the brain known to cause Alzheimer’s.
Planning on buying some ginger tea? Check out this guide and find the best ginger teas available online.
Use Herbal Teas for a Healthier Brain
Maybe you were surprised to learn that these everyday herbs can protect your brain and enhance cognitive function?
Yet, their benefits have been utilized in traditional medicines for thousands of years and later confirmed by scientific studies.
The research findings are indeed promising. They confirm that consuming these herbal teas may boost mental performance and slow brain deterioration in young, middle-aged, and elderly adults.
Cognitive Performance and Brain Health FAQ
What is the best tea for improving focus and concentration?
According to research and my personal experience, ginseng tea and yerba mate tea are the best teas for improving focus and concentration. Other good options include matcha tea and spearmint tea.
Is there a natural way to improve memory and overall brain function?
Yes, you can improve memory and overall brain function by sleeping well, exercising regularly, and following a healthy diet with plenty of omega 3 fatty acids. You can also use herbs such as ginkgo biloba and gotu gola to enhance memory and protect your brain.
What is the best herbal tea for boosting energy?
Yerba mate tea is probably the best tea for increasing energy levels and improving both mental and physical performance. It contains natural stimulants such as caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline, which boost energy and focus without jitters. Green tea and matcha are also good for improving cognitive function.
I hope you found the information in this article useful. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.
Enjoy your herbal teas!
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