Find Your Focus: Herbal Teas for Mental Agility
You don’t have to knock back a cup of Joe to get your mental cylinders pumping. There are plenty of herbs and teas out there that promote elevated cognition, mental clarity, and focus. Some of these delicious, brain-building drinks are completely free of caffeine: others (like Matcha green tea) have slow-release caffeine to buck your focus slowly and surely. Grab a pre-blended cup (you’ll find some suggestions at the end of this blog) or make your own. With the power of these legendary ingredients on your side, you’ll be entering the brainbox Olympics in no time.
Mental health, herbal wealth
Nettle, gingko, and sage are the big names on campus when it comes to increasing those IQ points. But they’re not the only herbs in the box that have a positive mental effect. Bilberry, turmeric, clover, and rosemary are also likely to sharpen up your cognitive powers thanks to stress-relieving, circulation-enhancing, and nerve-protecting properties.
Matcha Green Tea offers a great alternative to traditional caffeinated drinks. It contains roughly one third of the caffeine you get in coffee, and it’s chock-full of other good stuff that actually slows down the caffeine release. All of which means you can drink Matcha for a concentration boost that won’t get you wired.
It’s important to note that a loss of focus or change in cognitive patterns can be indicators of developing health conditions: if you’re experiencing severe, persistent, or recurring episodes of mental fog (memory loss, for example), you should consult your doctor.
What do they do?
Nettle: brain function. Nettle leaves (the darker the better) are jam-packed with iron, which is responsible for delivering oxygen from red blood cells to the working parts of your body. And that includes the brain. (Low iron levels can result in fatigue, faintness, and poor concentration.)
Gingko: memory improvement. The flavonoids and isoprenoids in gingko leaves are thought to promote better memory thanks to their ability to protect nerve cells.
Sage: memory improvement. Since the 16th century, sage has been thought to protect against memory loss. We now believe this is because sage protects the chemical pathways that carry information in the brain.
Bilberry: brain function. Full of flavonoids, bilberry is believed to improve circulation—delivering extra blood to the brain.
Turmeric: brain function and memory improvement. The very definition of a brainpower superfood, turmeric is thought to tune, tone, and support the brain in five key ways. It’s a neuroprotector (meaning it prevents nerve degeneration), it promotes the formation of new nerve cells, it supercharges signal transmission, it reduces inflammation, and it shields the brain from oxidative stress. In other words: it makes you think faster and remember better.
Clover: stress reduction. Red Clover is used to ease anxiety and fear. Its calming properties are thought in some complementary therapies to enable the left and right sides of the brain to communicate better, marrying logic with intuition for increased creative ability.
Rosemary: stress reduction. Rosemary is thought to diminish cortisol levels, defusing the ‘stress hormone’ and preventing it from causing a loss of focus.
Matcha: relaxation and focus. The slow-release caffeine in Matcha works alongside antioxidants, amino acids, and plant nutrients to create an extended period of focus with none of the jitters usually associated with caffeinated drinks.
Bulgarian Nettle Leaves: Bulgarian nettles deliver a rich herbal brew packed with iron. Sink a cup and gain IQ points.
More Zest Herbal Tea: A proper mental pick-me-up. More Zest includes Green Mate, a plant from the holly family that contains a mild stimulant, plus a wealth of energising and focusing herbs including ginseng and gingko.
Harmony Herbal Tea: Rebalance your body with this warming and revitalising blend of herbs and spices. Nettle, raspberry, anise, rosehip, and liquorice all make their way into Harmony Herbal Tea—as do cloves and cardamom.
Mighty Matcha Tea: Power up your day with a cup of this super-tea. Quality Sencha Green Tea is finely powdered for whisking into hot or cold water, adding to smoothies, or sprinkling on your salads. With a clean grassy flavour and fruity finish, it tastes awesome and packs a serious nutritional punch.
Please consult your doctor or nutritionist before using herbal teas for treating specific conditions, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medication, or have any existing health conditions.