Boost your brain with Ayurveda
Help those grey cells work at their best with this ancient Hindu system of medicine
Whether you’ve made it your mission to climb the career ladder this year or simply want to improve daily productivity, looking after your cognitive health will help you be a more effective version of yourself. The tiny cells that make up your grey matter are responsible for your decision making, thoughts, memories and experiences of the environment around you. It’s thought that following some key principles of the age-old Indian tradition of Ayurveda can help boost brain health by supporting its function. Here are some top Ayurvedic remedies to aid the brain:
1 TAKE A TONIC
The Ayurvedic tonic Brahmi is well known for improving the flow of blood to the brain to help support memory, focus and learning, and research shows it also helps regulate our brain’s response to stressful situations. Named after Brahma (the creator of the universe according to Ayurveda), it is made from an Asian plant. Buy in powder form and mix with liquid. Indigo Herbs Brahmi Powder, £8.99, indigo-herbs.co.uk
2 SIP GOLDEN MILK
The special ingredient in Ayurvedic golden milk, a delicious warming Indian beverage, is turmeric. This brightly-coloured Indian spice is thought to help balance energy in the body and mind. Turmeric contains an antioxidant called curcumin, which helps to combat inflammation in the brain. To make, warm a cup of milk and add 1tsp turmeric powder, a pinch each of cinnamon and black pepper, ¼tsp ghee and honey to taste.
3 DRINK HOLY BASIL TEA
Also known as tulsi, holy basil is an adaptagen, a substance that helps to regulate emotional and physical stressors. It is thought to help beat tension headaches and promotes focus and sharpness.
4 MAKE A SPICY INFUSION
Your gut and brain communicate via a nerve called the vagus nerve, and if your digestive system is suffering, so too will your cognitive health. Good gut health is a cornerstone of the Ayurvedic philosophy as it’s believed that when digestion is optimum, your cells have the fuel they need to function efficiently. For digestion and brain support, infuse 1tsp fennel seeds, ¼tsp coriander seeds and ¼tsp cumin seeds in a cup of hot water and sip half an hour before mealtimes.
5 TRY THE ELIXIR OF THE GODS
In Ayurvedic philosophy, soma is considered the nectar of the gods. This nourishing drink supports the body and enhances energy and focus. Add the following ingredients to a saucepan with a cup of milk: two pitted dates, 1tsp peeled almonds, ½tsp turmeric, 1 cardamom pod and 2 rosebuds. Heat, then drink to feel energised.
Turmeric contains antioxidants forbrain health