The Best Brain Supplements for Memory and Focus

Bradley Keys · Mar 23 2023

Health tonics and herbal supplements are more than just a trend. Humans have been ingesting herbs to improve various mental and bodily functions for thousands of years. 

Recent interest in these ancient practices and the power of natural remedies has led to several scientific studies on the best brain supplements known to us. Researchers have found that several of these components may indeed help cognitive function, including improving memory and focus.

Of course, there isn't a silver bullet when it comes to supporting brain function. Health tonics must be supplemented with plenty of exercise for your body and mind, as well as a brain-healthy diet and regular check-ups with your primary care physician.

Still, incorporating top brain supplements into your diet can do a lot to dispel everyday brain fog, improve your memory and recall, and help you feel more connected to your surroundings.

Keep reading to learn more about how specially-formulated tonics may improve your cognition and support a healthier, happier mind.

Benefits of Taking Brain Supplements

Brain fog isn't just something people deal with as they get older. Anyone of any age can benefit from taking steps to invest in their long-term mental acuity and sharpness. 

Safeguarding in your mental health is more important than ever in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Research shows that infection with COVID-19 may increase the risk of memory problems by as much as 77%. 

Adding the best brain supplements to your diet can help improve your cognition and alacrity. Here are just a few of the many benefits you might notice after a few weeks or months of regularly ingesting the top brain supplements.

1. Improved Memory

Many of us deal with minor memory slips in our daily lives. We might forget where we put our car keys or leave home without the grocery list we put so much energy into making earlier that day.

While some amount of forgetfulness may be unavoidable, you can improve your mental clarity by switching up your nutrient intake. The positive connection between memory and eating right is well-documented, particularly when paired with regular exercise and mental activities like crossword puzzles.

The best brain supplements contain compounds and ingredients that can further enhance your memory-healthy diet. Talk to your doctor before committing to a new diet plan to ensure a smooth and safe transition for your body.

2. Better Focus

Do you often find yourself struggling to keep your mind fixed on a specific task? Have you ever paused in the middle of a sentence because you lost track of where you were going with the thought?

An inability to focus can be frustrating and embarrassing. It might impact our ability to connect and socialize with others or complete our jobs to our utmost satisfaction.

Making an effort to support your cognitive function can work wonders for your focusing power. This can mean training your mind through exercises like Sudoku and crossword puzzles as well as adding top brain supplements to your daily routine.

Having a hard time focusing can have many underlying causes, including conditions like ADHD or early-onset dementia. Talk to your doctor if you've experienced a long period of unusual brain fog or difficulty following through on simple tasks.

3. Positive Mood

A poorly-supported mind is hardly a bed of roses. Slow or foggy cognition can make us cranky, withdrawn, or depressed. Difficulty focusing makes it harder to do the things you enjoy, which can lead to a crabby mood.

Many of the top brain supplements include ingredients that can increase your dopamine levels. This in turn boosts your mood, giving you a more positive outlook and more energy to spend on enjoyable hobbies and activities.

4. Increased Energy and Creativity

When our brains feel slow or clouded, it doesn't just impact our ability to work and socialize. It also hampers our creative energy and imagination. This can be especially detrimental for writers, musicians, and other artists who thrive on generating new ideas and works of art.

When you add the best brain supplements to your diet, you may start to feel more energized and engaged in the world around you. This in turn can help inspire those creative juices that may have been dormant beneath the mental fog.

If you've recently felt a sustained lack of interest in hobbies or pursuits that once gave you joy, this could be a symptom of depression or another serious mental health issue. Talk to your doctor right away to ensure you're getting the help and support you need.

Components of the Top Brain Supplements

Because herbal supplements aren't regulated by the FDA, it can be a struggle to figure out which ones are actually beneficial and which are placebos at best. Not all supplement sellers have their customers' best interests at heart.

The best brain supplements come from companies with dedicated scientists and doctors on staff. They're formulated using sustainable practices and ethically-sourced ingredients, and they use components that have been shown in peer-reviewed studies to support brain health.

Finally, the best tonics and herbal remedies to support mental function undergo rigorous quality testing before they're put on the market. This ensures the product is 100% safe for consumption and contains nothing but mind-healthy nutrients to help your brain operate at maximum capacity.

In addition to vetting the manufacturer using the above guidelines, check the label for these five research-supported ingredients any time you're shopping for mental health tonics.

1. Lion's Mane Mushrooms

Also called “mountain priest” and “bearded tooth fungus,” the distinctive-looking lion's mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) has a rich history of use in traditional Chinese medicine. It was used by Buddhist monks to improve brain focus during meditation, and traditional medicine practitioners believe the mushroom helps support the heart, kidneys, lungs, and liver as well.

Recently, rising public interest in this fascinating fungus has inspired scientists to examine its properties for themselves. A pre-clinical study by researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute found that lion's mane may help boost nerve growth.

During the lab test, scientists observed that compounds from the mushroom helped facilitate new connections between neurons. These new neural pathways could help strengthen and improve memory formation.

Though preliminary, these results are promising enough to warrant further research. Professors at the Queensland Brain Institute hope their findings may one day lead to a treatment for memory-related illnesses like Alzheimer's and dementia.

1. Cognzin® Citicoline

Citicoline is a chemical found in the brain that the body produces naturally. It helps to synthesize the phospholipids that make up our cell membranes, and it may also help facilitate messages sent between the brain and the rest of the body.

A product of Kyowa Pharma Chemical Company, Cognzin® is a patented form of citicoline that has undergone clinical testing to ensure its efficacy.

The human brain is a challenging landscape to study, so our understanding of citicoline's purpose and properties is limited. However, its seeming ability to support and restore cellular structure and neurotransmitter functionality has precipitated its use to improve brain function and memory in patients who have suffered a stroke.

A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition found strong evidence that regularly ingesting citicoline supplements can improve overall memory performance. The participants – all healthy men and women with age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) – performed better on memory tests after taking citicoline every day for twelve weeks.

This study was small; only 99 participants completed the twelve-week regimen. Still, when you add in the results from several other studies on the use of citicoline to treat cognitive impairment, there is ample evidence to suggest this naturally-produced chemical may be among the top brain supplements for fighting memory loss and improving cognition.

3. Ginseng

Another cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine, ginseng can be found growing naturally all over the world, including in Japan, Korea, and North America. Folk medicine considers ginseng an “adaptogen,” meaning a substance that helps the brain and body cope with stress.

Wild American ginseng is thought to be one of the fundamental building blocks of the United States economy. The roots have been harvested here for centuries and are richly prized even today – wild ginseng root can fetch as much as $600 per pound.

Despite its economic significance and long history of use as a natural remedy, ginseng's efficacy as a treatment for cognitive impairment has not been subjected to large-scale study. 

A small survey by herbal medicine researchers uncovered evidence that some of ginseng's biological activities may help improve learning and memory. The scientists conclude that further study is required before any concrete conclusions may be drawn.

That said, this highly-prized root's long history of use in traditional medicine shouldn't be discounted. Ancient cultures in China, Japan, North America, and elsewhere have used ginseng for centuries, and there is ample anecdotal evidence to support its potency.

Note that ginseng can cause an upset stomach and other negative side effects when taken in large quantities. Talk to your doctor before taking a ginseng supplement, as it may react negatively with other medications.

4. Ginkgo

If you're familiar with ginkgo trees, you may be surprised to learn that their leaves and “berries” both enjoy a long history as natural remedies. These enormous, breathtaking organisms are often referred to as “living fossils” due to their famed longevity, not to mention the fact that they may be the planet's oldest living tree species.

If you're like many residents of cities and towns in the United States, you may be intimately familiar with the pungent, ubiquitous “fruits” these trees drop every fall. Indeed, many people see ginkgos as a nuisance, despite their impressive stature and the beauty of their fan-shaped leaves.

However, ginkgo leaves and seeds may have healing properties that elevate the plant beyond its aesthetic appeal or the mess it creates. 

Studies on the efficacy of ginkgo are limited, and researchers have expressed concerns that the leaves and seeds may be toxic if consumed in large quantities. That said, a 2017 review of several studies concerning the leaves' extract showed promising evidence that ginkgo may have neuroprotective properties.

Ginkgo leaf extract is also thought to contain antioxidants, which can help boost memory and mood by increasing blood flow to the brain.

5. Rhodiola

Native to the high, cold reaches of Europe and Asia, the herb commonly called rhodiola is a hardy plant with yellow flowers that has been used in folk medicine in Russia and Scandinavia for centuries.

Rhodiola's primary applications in natural medicine are to treat anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Many mountain cultures have long used the plant to help people recover from altitude sickness, and it's been used to treat neurodegenerative disorders as well. 

Rhodiola is a component of many of the best brain supplements due to its seeming ability to boost mental performance. A survey published in 2022 compiled multiple studies that point to rhodiola as an effective aid to combat mental stress.

Stress is one of the leading factors affecting the brain's ability to function normally. Prolonged periods of stress can cause or worsen symptoms of depression, fatigue, and anxiety, all of which dampen mental alacrity and focus.

As an added benefit, rhodiola has been shown to improve physical capacity as well as mental performance. Since regular exercise is a fundamental part of health and wellness – including mental health – this promising one-two punch makes rhodiola imminently worthy of further study as a potential brain supplement.

As with all natural remedies, it's crucial to vet the company before you decide to take rhodiola supplements. Unethical manufacturing practices can result in impure supplements with toxic ingredients. And, of course, you should talk to your doctor before adding rhodiola or any other herbal supplement to your diet.

What Forms Do Brain Supplements Take?

Top brain supplements come in a variety of forms. The best method for ingestion can vary depending on your needs and preferences.

For example, some people are sensitive to certain textures and may balk at consuming brain supplements in their natural form or as whole ingredients. Others really hate swallowing pills and will likely prefer an alternative to capsules.

Here's a rundown of some of the most common forms of brain supplements you'll come across.

Whole Ingredients

Some of the best brain supplements can be purchased as whole ingredients and eaten alone or with a meal. 

Lion's mane mushrooms, for instance, are often sold dried and can sometimes be found fresh. Ginseng can replace ginger in many recipes and is typically easy to find in Asian markets. Gingko leaves and seeds are popularly sourced in the wild by foragers; however, both can be toxic when consumed in large doses.

The downside to eating brain supplements in their whole form is that you won't necessarily get as many benefits as you would by consuming a more concentrated version. Additionally, many people find these ingredients unpalatable and deeply unpleasant to eat. 

Finally, buying enough whole-ingredient brain supplements to satisfy your daily intake requirements can be very costly.


Many people imagine large pills when they think about what the top brain supplements might look like. It's true that herbal supplements often come in capsule form. 

However, as mentioned above, many people have strong aversions to swallowing pills, and even those who don't are often loath to add yet another capsule to their daily routine. 

After gulping down your daily multivitamins, hair growth supplements, vitamin D pills, and prescription medication, you may wish to search for another method of ingesting your brain supplements for the day.

Drink Mixes

You're likely familiar with protein shakes and drinks, but did you know you can also consume the best brain supplements in a delicious liquid form?

Tasty drink mixes are among the best ways to ingest nutrients and compounds that boost your mental acuity. They're easy to throw together and add to your breakfast or lunch routine, and they don't require any special preparation; all you have to do is add water and stir.

At Nested Naturals, we're proud to offer a full spectrum of delicious and power-packed health tonics to make staying healthy as simple as possible. Our top brain supplements are formulated to taste good and boost your mental acuity with a potent combination of lion's mane mushroom, Cognizin® citicoline, ginseng, gingko, and rhodiola.

Forget about choking down yet another pill or scouring your local markets for whole ingredients – with our Brain Superfood Tonic, you can enjoy the benefits of all of the top brain supplements in one tasty, easy-drinking package.

Nested Naturals – Your Home for the Best Brain Supplements

A well-supported mind has the clarity and alertness to pilot you through anything life throws your way.

Our superfood tonics are formulated to boost your body's natural functions. Every product we sell goes through rigorous quality testing, and we only include ingredients with peer-reviewed scientific backing demonstrating their brain-healthy properties.

Click here to learn more or to purchase our Brain Superfood Tonic today!