It's no secret that herbs are winners for your waistline because they're calorie-free, fat-free, junk-free flavour additions. But did you know that they offer big benefits for your brain, too?
It's true - dashes and pinches of certain herbs can help reduce anxiety, sharpen your memory and even protect against brain tumours. Keep reading to learn about four of the best brain-boosting herbs…
Four herbs that offer brain health benefits
Research presented at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference revealed that peppermint tea is more than just a nausea remedy – it can also improve long-term and working memory in healthy adults. The study, which looked at 180 participants split into three groups – peppermint tea, chamomile tea or hot water – found that peppermint tea drinkers had drastically improved long-term memory, working memory and alertness after 20 minutes compared to those who drank chamomile tea and hot water, which actually showed memory and attention speed.
Chamomile is a tried-and-tested sleep
inducer and stress
destroyer. It’s also handy for reducing symptoms of anxiety
and preventing anxiety
attacks. In one study that looked at humans, researchers randomised a small group of people with generalised anxiety disorder to either take chamomile extract or a placebo. After eight weeks, those in the chamomile extract group reported a greater drop in their anxiety.
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Appropriately named for the cause, sage appears to enhance memory. In two small studies, researchers found that sage extract improved people’s performance on memory tests compared with placebo after hours of popping the pill. Animal studies have found sage essential oil and extracts block the activity of an enzyme that degrades the neurotransmitter involved in a number of brain functions.
Who would’ve guessed that this spice drawer staple has memory-boosting benefits? More research presented at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference unveiled that the scent of rosemary essential oil can improve the prospective memory – the ability to remember specific events and tasks that will happen in the future, like a doctor’s appointment or your partner’s birthday – of people over age 65.
Add these herbs to your favourite recipes for better brain health!
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