What do elephants and sacred religious texts have to do with plant based nootropics in Australia?
Turns out, quite a bit.
In my last blog we covered the most popular pharmaceutical ‘smart drugs’ that have been repurposed for use as nootropics. They include Adderall and Modafinil.
Fortunately, mother nature has given us an array of plants or herbs that have been in constant use as effective 'brain tonics' or nootropics for thousands of years.
So, let’s look at three plants that offer exciting developments in cognitive enhancement that are unknown in Australia.
The cool thing is, two of these plants are native to Australia and are likely to have been used as traditional bush medicine in Australia.
1. Bacopa Monniera, aka Brahmi, Herb of Grace
Bacopa is a herb that is used in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It has been in constant use in India for 3000 years.
According to legend, the long life and memory of elephants is attributed to their healthy appetite for the herb.
Bacopa or Brahmi is a small creeping succulent herb that thrives in swampy, wet areas. The plant is native to Australia, and tropical regions around the world.
Bacopa has anti oxidant properties and has been used as a nervous system restorative, is said to be adaptogenic that enhances vitality and promote longevity.
In addition, Bacopa is said to provide a diverse range of benefits including;
- Memory enhancement
- Neuroprotective agent
- Wound healing
- Nervine tonic.
Add in clinical trials supporting Bacopa’s ability to assist with work related mental fatigue, epilepsy, insomnia, headache, depression, palpitations and irritability and you can see whyBacopa is one of the most exciting plants for use in herbal based nootropics.
Gotu Kola, aka Centella Asiatica, Golden Herb, Indian Pennywort
Gotu Kola is a perennial ground cover found in Asia, the Pacific and is native to Australia.
Although viewed as a weed in Australia, in Asia, the medicinal properties of Gotu Kola are legendary. Buddhist monks ate Gotu Kola to help them memorise vast religious texts.
Gotu Kola is one of my favourite plants for cognitive enhancement. Like Brahmi, I grow Gotu Kola and eat the leaves daily for the health benefits that the plants bring.
The potential range of health benefits are staggering.
Recent scientific investigations of Gotu Kola are confirming its effectiveness for neuro-protective purposes to protect memory and anti-aging protection for your brain.
Scientific studies are underway to determine if Gotu Kola may help with the prevention of neuro-degenerative brain diseases like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. Two diseases that conventional medicine has few solutions to offer.
Other health benefits of Gotu Kola may include;
- Cognitive enhancement - memory, focus and concentration
- Wound healing
- Preventing stretch marks, ageing and wrinkles
- Cardiovascular support
The list of potential therapeutic benefits from Gotu Kola is extensive. Modern science is just staring to unlock Gotu Kola's secrets.
Rhodiola Rosea aka Golden Root
Rhodiola Rosea is found in alpine regions of Europe and Asia, particularly the Altai mountains in Siberia, Russia bordering China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.
Like Bacopa and Gotu Kola, Rhodiola has a long history of use, with the Greek physician Dioscorides mentioning the herb 2000 years ago.
Rhodiola may provide a range of health benefits, including enhancement of energy, endurance, strength and mental capacity.
Vikings consumed Rhodiola to give them strength and endurance.
Rhodiola is purported to be an adaptogen. Adaptogens are natural substances that work with your body to adapt to stress.
Bacopa, Gotu Kola and Rhodiola as the next generation of cognitive enhancers
Bacopa, Gotu Kola and Rhodiola have a long history of use in traditional medicine promoting or protecting brain health and cognitive ability. Science is confirming many of these benefits.
One of the defining attributes of these plants is that the range of health benefits that they may assist with.
Pharmaceutical drugs do not offer the same level of health benefits as plant based medicines.
Stay tuned for future blogs were we go into detail about each of these plants and what makes them so special for promoting brain health and enhancement.