The 5 Best Plant-Based Supplements for Brain Health

by Simona Galant

We know you’re an overachiever when it comes to living life to the fullest. We’re talking exceeding your quarterly goals, staying on top of your fitness game and making it to every happy hour and brunch you have. But we also know that keeping up with all of that good stuff while remembering to check in on your mental wellness can get overwhelming. And all of that overachieving can cause some serious mental fatigue. Doing it all is never easy — and that’s exactly where nootropics come in.

Maybe you’ve heard your hippy cousin raving about them (and their Ayurvedic lifestyle) at the last Christmas dinner while sipping their Valerian Root tea, but you haven’t given it much thought otherwise, so we’ll break it down for you: Nootropics are substances used to enhance memory and other cognitive functions — plus clearing brain fog (get the full rundown of nootropics here). We’re highlighting five plant-based herbs and ingredients that all fall into the nootropics category, and discussing how adding them to your daily wellness routine can help enhance cognitive ability, mental clarity, memory and more. Maybe your cousin wasn’t so crazy, after all.  

1. Rhodiola Rosea

Though it’s small and sweet when growing, Rhodiola Rosea packs a serious punch. Which isn’t all that surprising when you consider the adaptogenic herb only grows in the high mountainous and wild arctic areas of Asia and Europe. According to a study on Healthline, people who took Rhodiola Rosea picked up a bit of it’s tough spirit and showed “significant improvements in symptoms of stress.” Rhodiola Rosea is also known to support mental alertness and concentration, helping you climb whatever mountain your day has thrown your way. 

2. Lion's Mane Mushroom

 Lion’s Mane Mushroom is the equivalent of gifting your brain a full-day spa treatment – complete with a massage that really gets all those synapses firing. This little mushroom is fantastic at clearing up the brain fog that can’t be shaken after that third cup of cold brew. Another popular adaptogen, Lion’s Mane Mushrooms have been noted in a few studies to help with: 

  • Inflammation and oxidation
  • Immune function and digestive health
  • Nervous system function

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms are especially helpful when it comes to bringing your body and brain into balance during stressful times.

3. Bacopa Monnieri

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine (like the kind your cousin was touting at the family holiday party), Bacopa Monnieri is dubbed “brahmi” for short, and it’s still often labeled as such in supplements and tea. Full of powerful antioxidants, this little guy will come to your rescue when you’re going cross eyed at just the thought of looking at another spreadsheet. Studies have shown that Bacopa Monnieri supports improved memory and concentration in healthy older adults, and promises to keep those still in their prime nice and focused. Meaning that it’s not quite so hard to remember that long list of to-dos your boss rattled off in your last meeting. 

4. L-Theanine (Green Tea)

You’ve likely heard of L-theanine or possibly seen it on your favorite green tea label: This plant-based vitamin is an awesome amino acid that gives your cup of green tea it’s oomph. With many studies under its proverbial belt, L-theanine has shown to support higher mental focus and increase your cognitive performance by reducing the physiological effects of stress on our brains. If coffee is a rocketship that burns out after liftoff, L-theanine is a high speed train: It gives you a smooth and easy sense of energy and focus, allowing you to power through your to-do list and still have energy left over once you get home. 

5. Ashwagandha

Think of Ashwagandha as a post-workout smoothie for your brain (complete with muscle-boosting protein powder). When dried, this adaptogen usually resembles a tiny little ginger root. A few studies point out that this herb — which resembles a tiny ginger root when dried — is effective in helping to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, ultimately boosting brain function while promoting a calm body and mind. A few reports also show that Ashwagandha, in a few instances, has had the ability to “enhance strength performance, improve glucose metabolism, and increase testosterone levels.” 

Bye-Bye Brain Fog!

FOCL has carefully chosen these nootropics and consulted with the best chemists and doctors to create formulas that are brain-boosting for increased performance during the day and better recovery at night. Take care of your brain with these one-of-a-kind wellness stacks. Nootropics can be your brain’s new BFF.