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The Best Chinese Herbs for Memory and Concentration

It’s normal to experience some forgetfulness or have trouble focusing or learning new information as you age. But when you are consistently unable to remember new information or are forgetting your past memories, you may be experiencing memory loss.

Thankfully there are ways to restore your memory and boost your focus when you use Chinese herbs for memory and concentration. Let’s dive into memory loss and explore our top herbal remedies to protect your brain health so you can live a healthy, focused life. 

What Causes Memory Loss?

Memory loss is an unusual forgetfulness that can interfere with your daily life. There are many different causes that vary person to person. Here are some of the most common causes of general memory loss:

  • Medical Events
    Sometimes memory loss happens after an extreme medical event such as a brain tumor, brain infection, cancer treatment, or head trauma.

  • Cognitive Disorders
    Diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are known to cause severe forgetfulness and memory loss.

  • Stress and Mood Disorders
    Your mental health plays a big role in your ability to retain information. Chronic stress, adrenal fatigue, depression, anxiety, emotional traumas, and other mood disorders may cause temporary or permanent memory loss. Managing your moods naturally can help.

  • Poor Sleep
    Sleep is necessary for the brain to absorb new information and solidify memories. If you are skipping sleep or tossing and turning through the night, your brain won’t be able to create these neural connections. Poor sleep also leaves your brain running on empty the next day, which means it will be harder for you to focus and concentrate. A key step to improving your memory is improving your sleep routine.

  • Low Energy
    Your brain requires a large amount of energy to function. If you are run-down and fatigued, your brain will not have enough energy to do its necessary functions (like keeping your heart beating) and create new connections or store memories. Boosting your energy through Chinese medicine can help your brain function at its best.

How Chinese Medicine Improves Memory and Concentration

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses a range of natural therapies to combat memory loss and poor concentration. 

In TCM, poor brain function is often seen as a deficiency in the organ systems that nourish and support the brain: the Kidney, Heart, Liver, and Spleen systems. When these systems are deficient, the brain doesn’t get the proper Qi and nourishment it needs to function at its best.

A lack of focus can also be caused by a buildup of what Chinese medicine practitioners call phlegm. Phlegm can cloud our clear thinking and lead to brain fog, forgetfulness, and lack of concentration.

Through evidence-based acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, we can also encourage more blood flow to the brain and clear away any issues leading to brain fog. This not only balances the nervous system, but improves focus, memory, and overall brain function. 

Chinese Herbs for Memory and Concentration 

There are many different herbal formulas that can be used to improve memory, sharpen your focus, and protect your brain health. 

Best Chinese Herbs for Focus and Concentration 

  • Bai Zi Yang Xin Wan
    This formula nourishes the Heart and Kidney systems, which in turn supports the brain and nervous system. It is a good choice if imbalances in the Heart and Kidney are leading to anxiety, forgetfulness, poor concentration, brain fog, and mental fatigue.

  • Shou Wu Pian
    Shou Wu Pian works to improve cognition through enhancing sleep. Quality sleep has protective effects on the brain. But if we struggle with insomnia or disturbed sleep, the brain is unable to function at its best and we suffer from lack of focus, poor concentration, and memory loss. Shou Wu Pian supports the brain by calming the mind and promoting restorative sleep.

Best Chinese Herbs for Energy and Focus 

  • Bu Nao Pian
    Bu Nao Pian is a go-to formula for students – it supports memory, increases focus, relieves anxiety, and promotes restful sleep. Using the formula regularly during exam time, when taking a new course, or when you feel overwhelmed by brain fog can help you keep your energy and your focus sharp.

  • Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan
    Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, or Emperor’s Teapills, is a well-known Chinese Herbal Medicine formula that is best known for supporting heart health. However, in Chinese Medicine, the heart and brain are intricately connected. For this reason, this formula can also support the brain and improve concentration. Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan is particularly helpful to calm nervous tension, relieve sleepiness, and promote mental clarity and alertness.

  • Jiao Gu Lan
    Jiao gu lan is a Chinese herb and single-herb formula that tonifies qi to improve brain health. It promotes energy and vitality while fighting memory loss, poor focus, and signs of early aging.

Best Chinese Herbs for Memory and Brain Health 

  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom Powder
    Lion’s mane is a medicinal mushroom known for its brain-boosting effects. It is an anti-inflammatory mushroom that protects the brain against oxidative stress and damage. Some studies show that this mushroom may be one of the best herbal memory boosters, helping to prevent diseases of cognitive function, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Lion’s mane can also help with mild cognitive impairment, or as a general brain health tonic for improved concentration.

  • Healthy Brain Pills
    Healthy Brain Pills help the brain function at its best by addressing a range of issues that contribute to memory loss and brain fog. This formula contains some of the best herbs for memory retention (such as wu wei zi) as well as herbs that relieve mental fatigue, restlessness, and insomnia.

FAQ: Chinese Herbs for Memory and Concentration 

Curious about using Chinese herbs to improve your concentration and memory, but still have questions? Here are answers to some of our most commonly asked questions about brain health formulas: 

  1. Are there side effects of herbs for memory?
    Many people are curious about the side effects of different herbal medicines. Thankfully, there are few risks to taking them or interactions with other herbs and medications. That being said, it is always a good idea to speak with your doctor about the supplements and medications you take to ensure there are no interactions.

  2. How often do you take them (frequency)?
    Because herbs are natural substances, they are less potent than chemical extracts (like medications) and we have to take them more frequently. In most cases, 2-3 pills are taken 2-3 times per day. But, the dosage may differ with each herbal formula. Follow the recommendations on your chosen formula to get the best results.

  3. Is there an age limit? Only above a certain age can use or take them?
    Most herbal formulas are meant for children or adults. Do not give to babies unless under the supervision of an herbalist or doctor. All doses and recommendations on your herbal formula will be for an adult. Smaller doses are used for children, depending on age and weight. Talk to your child’s pediatrician before using Chinese herbs or any other supplement. 

Sharpen Your Focus and Boost Your Memory with Chinese Herbs 

If you’re struggling to focus, or you’ve noticed that your memory isn’t what it used to be, your brain is calling out for extra support. Chinese herbs for memory and focus can help you restore your brain function and stay sharp. Shop our collection of brain health formulas today! 

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About the Author

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kate Downes is a Chinese medicine practitioner with a passion for herbal medicine. In fact, it was her love for plant and earth medicine that first drew her to study Chinese medicine.

Kate has a MSAOM (Master of Science, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) certification and practiced acupuncture in Indianapolis, IN for five years before packing her bags to roam the world. In order to stay in touch with the wellness community and continue to help others thrive with herbal medicine, she transformed her work from face-to-face patient care to spreading wellness through words. Her life as a remote herbalist and writer has allowed her to work with a variety of wellness brands, health pioneers, and her wonderful clients. She has a special interest in working with women’s health.

Kate thoroughly enjoys writing educational and useful pieces for Best Chinese Medicine. Her goal is to help the public gain a better understanding of the wonders of Chinese herbal medicine so they can be empowered in their own quest for natural, vibrant health.

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