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Best Teas for Brain Health

By Dr. Usmarah Hussain

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Best Teas for Brain Health

Did you know that there are certain types of tea that promote your brain health? You could be sitting in your backyard, enjoying the pleasant weather and sipping on a cup of tea that continues to work in silence to support your sleep, memory, concentration, awareness, and other essential brain duties. A cup of tea can also be your best friend through a tough exam or a nerve-wracking office project, especially if you are tired of gulping down coffee and experiencing caffeine crashes.

With hundreds of different types of teas known to mankind, which ones can you choose to support your brain? Keep reading the article to find out.

Teas for Memory and Focus: An Overview

The steeping of plants, particularly their flowers, roots, and leaves, has been commonly used by humans for centuries to rejuvenate, relax, and promote wellness. Herbal tea is, in fact, considered the most popular drink after water.

The history of tea goes back over 3000 years or so when it was first discovered in China.[1] Soon after its discovery, herbal tea made its name in Chinese Medicine as an important regulator of health. Ayurvedic Medicine practiced widely in India, has been using different types of herbal teas for their health benefits. Today, modern science has successfully unmasked many of these tea types that particularly influence cognition while improving concentration and memory.

Brewing the Perfect Tea for Brain: 6 Decoctions to Try Today

It is no coincidence that tea is a universal beverage, equally famous in all parts of the world. Not only is it a treat for your taste buds but also a great way to improve brain health which, in turn, contributes to longevity. Here are some of the best teas for brain health to try:

Matcha Tea

Matcha comes from shade-grown green tea leaves that are ground into a fine powder. This powder can be used on its own by simply whisking it with hot water. Alternatively, you can also add this powder to smoothies, baked goods, and lattes. Because of a high concentration, matcha has higher levels of caffeine that are easily comparable to the caffeine content in a cup of coffee.

Matcha tea also offers a good quantity of L-theanine, a unique compound that controls stress by producing a state of calm and focus.[2] Together with caffeine, this compound work to improve clarity and cognition, making matcha the perfect way to boost brainpower.  


Yerba Mate

As a caffeinated beverage made using a holly plant species, this tea is particularly famous throughout South America. Traditionally, Yerba Mate tea is drunk from hollow gourds using filtered straws and contains very high levels of caffeine to boost your brain’s energy. The caffeine in mate tea can exert slightly different effects on the brain compared to other caffeine types that are more sustained and do not lead to crashes.


Peppermint Tea

Peppermint is a common medicinal herb that can be easily converted into a refreshing herbal tea or added to other blends. Studies have shown that peppermint can increase alertness and enhance memory, which makes its tea a perfect option to sip on when you need to be on your mental A-game.[3]

Peppermint-based infusions are usually free from caffeine, a plus for those who are sensitive to this chemical or are aiming to cut it down. However, you can also get caffeinated versions of this relaxing too for the extra kick.

Ginger Tea

Ginger is routinely added to many tea blends to add a sweet-spicy flavor to them. But most people do not know this herb has much more to offer in addition to its characteristic taste. Studies suggest that ginger helps increase cognitive function and attention, along with providing a wealth of other benefits, including pain relief, inflammation management, and digestive support.[4]

As a bonus, sipping on a cup of ginger tea can provide antimicrobial properties to ward off common ailments like sore throats and colds.


Turmeric Tea

Just like ginger, turmeric is a beneficial spice celebrated for its potent health effects. It has been shown to boost cognition, improve memory formation, and provide support to people fighting Alzheimer’s disease.[5]

With a bright orange-gold hue and a subtle flavor, you can use it to prepare a cup of tea or simply add a pinch of it to your regular tea blends for a boost in brain health.

Green Tea

Extracted from the Camellia Sinensis plant, green tea is one of the most potent and popular tea blends across the world. Similar to matcha, green tea provides a potent combination of L-theanine and caffeine, making it the best study aid that induces a state of calm and focuses while boosting brainpower. Additionally, green tea also contains catechin, such as EGCG, which enhances memory and learning.[6]

Conclusion: Make Tea Your Brain’s Best Friend

Whether you are looking to pull an all-nighter to ace an exam or simply wish to give your brain a bit of boost, tea can be your best friend in improving mental focus and cognitive functioning. Loose leaf tea made with peppermint, ginger, or turmeric can help increase focus, boost memory, and make your mind as sharp as possible. Consuming these teas can even help you keep your brain in a top-notch state, and if you adopt it as a habit, you can enter into old age with a perfectly intact and well-protected brain with minimal risk of neurogenerative diseases.

So what are you waiting for? Turn on the burners, take out your tea leaves and start simmering right now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I simply use an energy drink to boost brain function?

Compared to most types of teas and coffee, an energy drink definitely wins the game in providing a higher energy boost as it has more caffeine content. However, caffeine along is not able to improve concentration and requires a combination with L-theanine, something that only tea can provide. Furthermore, many popular energy drinks are loaded with high amounts of sugar that can actually mildly impair your cognitive abilities through inflammation and a compromised blood-brain barrier. Hence, an energy drink is a big n0-no if you wish to ace an exam or excel in a project.

Which is better: coffee or tea?

Both tea and coffee provide multiple benefits to its users, such as weight loss, energy boost, and improved focus. There is no conclusive answer as to which one is better than the other, but tea wins the battle as far as the antioxidant content is concerned. The high caffeine content in a cup of coffee might be able to provide you with a quick energy boost but an incredible combination of L-theanine and caffeine that tea offers can make this energy boost gradual and more persistent with better results. In the end, it is really a matter of personal choice.

What else can I do to improve my cognition?

Herbal teas are indeed a great way to prevent and manage cognitive issues. Whether you wish to reduce daily migraines, clear the midday brain fog, or support more efficient study sessions, teas can help you achieve your cognitive goals more easily. But at the end of the day, lifestyle changes do make a difference. Habits like eating healthier, sleeping earlier, and exercising frequently can all make a difference, too. After all, herbs work best when your body is in balance.


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