Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena (Aloysia tryphilla; also called Lippia citriodora) is a flowering herb originally from South America with, as the name suggests, a citrus flavor. The leaves and flowers release their fragrance when bruised. Milder than other “lemony” herbs, the leaves blend easily into desserts, salad dressings, soups, jams, and drinks. But that’s not where itsContinue reading “Lemon Verbena”

Passionflower

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) leaves and roots are good for sleep. The herb’s flavonoids, particularly chrysin, a compound called maltol, and the amino acid GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) are likely at work here. GABA, also found in your brain, is a calming chemical that makes it easier for you to relax by not reacting to external stimuli.Continue reading “Passionflower”

Nutmeg

The warm, rich, and spicy flavor of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) can boost your appetite. But that’s not all. It also helps boost your mood by interacting with two nerve networks, the serotonergic and the dopaminergic system, and your memory by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine. It reduces the bad LDL cholesterol and fights the reactiveContinue reading “Nutmeg”

Lemongrass

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), a type of grass with a strong aroma of lemon, is used in many cuisines. It has a calming effect on your brain since it has compounds that mimic GABA, a natural nerve-relaxing chemical. This is how lemongrass could also help you sleep better. It also helps your liver by increasing theContinue reading “Lemongrass”

Lavender

The flower lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, also known as L. officinalis) doesn’t only lend its fragrance to the cosmetic industry. It has other benefits for the mind as well. Linalool in it reduces nerve activity by increasing a calming chemical called GABA. It also helps induce relaxing brain waves like alpha and theta waves – theContinue reading “Lavender”

Jatamansi

Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) is a herb for your mind. It increases the levels of the nerve-calming chemical GABA and happiness hormones like dopamine and serotonin, in effect improving your mood and anxiety. Since it also prevents the quick breakdown of acetylcholine, a memory-consolidating chemical, it could improve learning and memory. By nudging your GABA levelsContinue reading “Jatamansi”