Brain-Boosting Botanicals

One of my favourite books of 2018 is ‘Botanical Brain Balms’ by Nicolette Perry and Elaine Perry. It is a well designed and well illustrated book which explores the ways that plants can have positive effects on our mental health. I like how the authors explain the science.

The book includes recipes, folklore and feel-good tips. There are so many things to try. One thing that I am definitely going to do is to plant lemon balm in the spring. This herb’s beneficial effects include improved mood and memory and better sleep. There is a delicious recipe for a lemon balm drink.

The Dilston Physic Garden, which features in the book, is near where I live and a great place to visit. I can be reasonably certain that if a plant is growing well at Dilston, it will grow well in our garden at home.

Dilston Physic Garden
Dilston Physic Garden

The book has changed how I think about some plants. Wild garlic grows in part of our garden. As a result of reading about its health-giving properties, I think of it as a wild herb and not a weed.

I was interested to discover that in clinical studies those who have consumed citrus fruits have enhanced blood flow to the brain. This may reduce the risk of strokes and Parkinson’s Disease, as well as possibly improving cognition. It is a very easy thing to have some fresh citrus fruit each day and to give your brain a boost!

‘Botanical Brain Balms’ is an amazing book and full of useful ideas. Well worth reading!


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