Best Herbs and Spices for Brain Health

According to some research, eating the right spices and herbs might be good for your brain health. You might be surprised to know that some of them might already be in your cabinets. A number of those spices and herbs can possibly fight against Alzheimer's disease while others might be helpful for overall cognition.

The following are some of the beneficial herbs and spices for your brain health.

1. Sage 

  • In 2003, a small study was published about sage1 as this spice is thought to possess properties that will help enhance your memory.
  • The benefits may be toward those who have Alzheimer's disease. Another review, found in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine2 says that sage is one of a number of herbs that can help3. Other herb options include lemon balm and yi-gan san, a Chinese herb.
  • You can add sage to soups as well as turkey, chicken and tomato sauce. Some people enjoy a nice cup of sage tea.

2. Turmeric 

  • This is a spice that contains curcumin and has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • According to some research, you will have better health and fewer chances for Alzheimer's disease when you add turmeric in your diet4.
  • Another benefit of turmeric may be its ability to stop nerve cells in the brain from breaking down.
  • You will find turmeric in curry powder along with other spices, such as cumin and coriander. Add curry powder to stir-fries, vegetables, and soups. if you add a little black pepper, your body will absorb it easier.

3. Ginkgo Biloba 

  • This herb is often used for treating dementia and is a popular option in traditional Chinese medicine5. Using Ginkgo Biloba may stimulate circulation in the brain, helping to get more blood into the area.
  • There has been some research on Ginkgo Biloba but the results are not consistent. Some say that it may help with cognitive function and help build up the memory.

4. Ashwagandha 

  • This is another Ayurvedic herb that may help inhibit beta-amyloid plaque formation according to some research.
  • Some other studies have shown the benefits of ashwagandha on the brain due to reducing oxidative stress6.

5. Ginseng

  • This is one of the more popular herbal medicinal plants. It contains ginsenosides, an anti-inflammatory chemical. 
  • Preliminary studies have shown that ginsenosides may reduce beta-amyloid in the brain. 
  • Ginseng is sometimes used by Alzheimer's patients.