When it comes to brain health and mental acuity, few people think of herbs. While Mother Nature’s herbal medicines humbly lay upon the earth in her rainforests, wilderness, and jungles devoid of any slick advertising campaigns, they show tremendous promise in the prevention of brain disease and in maintaining great brain health.
Remember: herbs are potent medicine so it is important to consult with your doctor before you start taking any herbs to prevent drug-herb interactions.
1. A Wise Sage
More than just seasoning for stuffing a turkey, recent research shows that sage is great brain food. A British research team conducted a study of sage’s therapeutic properties on a group of forty-four adults between the ages of eighteen and thirty-seven. Some participants were given capsules of sage oil while others were given a placebo of sunflower oil. Results showed that those who took the sage oil performed significantly better at memory tests than those who took the placebo. The people who were given sage as part of the study had improvements in both immediate and delayed word recall scores, as well as mood improvements. Additional research by the same scientific team led them to conclude that sage may also be helpful for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Fresh sage is an excellent addition to soups, stews, and chicken dishes.
2. The Curry Factor
Here’s another reason to enjoy your favorite Indian curry dishes: they typically contain the spice turmeric, a powerful food that helps protect your brain from disease. Research conducted by Greg Cole, PhD, associate director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of California in Los Angeles, showed that, curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, is a potent weapon against inflammation and plaque build up in the brain. Inflammation and plaque have been linked to serious brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. Additional studies are having similar positive results. The easiest way to enjoy the benefits of curcumin is by adding turmeric to your favorite curry dish.