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8 Ayurveda Tips for Brain Health

Updated: Apr 19

Have you ever gone into a room and forgot what you were looking for? Or found yourself in the middle of a conversation unable to find the right words? Difficulty thinking clearly and remembering is upsetting. Word search, forgetfulness, or unfocused, we don't feel like ourselves. Let's protect ourselves against cognitive changes with Ayurveda--the knowledge of life.

8 Ayurveda Tips for Brain Health image woman reading book outside

Explore more on the Saumya Blog, selected top Ayurveda blogs and websites to watch.

8 Ayurveda Tips for Brain Health

Have you ever gone into a room and forgot what you were looking for? Or found yourself in the middle of a conversation unable to find the right words? It goes something like this: “You know, the guy — the guy with the brown hair, what’s his name?”

These experiences can be disconcerting, but they're more common than you might realize. More than 600 million people around the world suffer from forgetfulness, and if you’re among the millions, don’t worry. Decreased focus, word search, difficulty remembering, and inability to think clearly are highly treatable — so long as you’re willing to be proactive about your health and well-being!

According to Medical News Today, about about 40% of adults ages 65 and older experience memory loss.

In this article, we’ll explore the root causes of these concerning experiences, and how to boost your brainpower naturally with Ayurveda.


“Saumya Ayurveda has help me to become reborn. With the help of Veena, I have become more than ADHD. My entire body responds better to stress and relaxation. Being a molecular scientist, it was difficult to grasp the simplistic complexity of Ayurveda. The changes I experienced with Veena allowed me, not only a general understanding of health, but sparked a lifelong journey to use my knowledge to advance the acceptance of Ayurveda as a needed modality of health. This is a feat, considering I had difficulty focusing and digestive issues only four short years ago. Veena’s evaluation and treatment is so individualized that it was easy to adjust my life which spawned health. Veena is a skilled healer with a solution to fit all.” --Dr. Jessica B., Seattle, Washington

What are cognitive changes?

Cognitive changes are typically characterized by poor concentration, decreased focus, issues with memory, alertness, and frequent, uncomfortable word retrieval challenges.

Essentially, it means your brain and mind are not functioning at an optimal level, typically due to some underlying factors such as stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance, and food habits.

"By age 60, more than half of adults have concerns about their memory. However, minor memory lapses that occur with age are not usually signs of a serious problem, such as Alzheimer’s disease, but rather the result of normal changes in the structure and function of the brain." Read more from Harvard University Medical School.

"...people with greater cognitive reserve are better able to stave off symptoms of degenerative brain changes associated with dementia or other brain diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, or a stroke" according to Harvard Medical School's recent publication, "A Guide to Cognitive Fitness."

8 Ayurveda Tips for Brain Health image cartoon drawing of head with train your brain sign

Ayurveda's 5,000-year-old lifestyle tools are now being discovered by allopathic (Western) medicine. What tools does Ayurveda offer to help our brains remain fit?

5 Ayurvedic Quick Guide for Brain Fitness

1. Meditation: Use our free Daily Guided Practices. Eleven minutes in the morning, and eleven minutes in the evening as part of your morning and evening routine.

“I feel greatly improved. Stress fell off like an old hairy coat. I’m just not anxious. Depression is way decreased. I was haunted by anxiety my whole life, and it’s just gone. The mudra, mantra...WOW. This is so cool! I have regained hope. Something wonderful is taking place. You and your knowledge come to me after a lifetime of searching and prayer. I am forever grateful.” -- Mark Hughes, Minnesota

2. Quality Sleep: Read Sleep Soundly: 11 Ayurvedic Tips to Help You Drift Off into Dreamland. Set yourself up for successful restorative sleep. Combine these tips and take inspiration from our 10 Ayurvedic Evening Rituals for a Calming Night and you will feel the difference.

3. Let Go of Stress: "People often downplay the impact of stress saying, 'Oh, it's just stress,' yet, it is stress that causes diseases and conditions in the body and mind. Stress is a killer. When we learn how to move from flight-fight-freeze side of our nervous system, to the rest-restore-relax mode, we have changed our lives, and physical and mental health at the deepest levels." - Veena | Saumya Ayurveda

Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life. Change my breath and it changes my life? It may seem an overly dramatic claim, yet it is not. Breath is the one link between the body and mind. When we breathing diaphragmatically, we are in the relaxed side of your nervous system. Breath work, or pranayama is working directly our prana, or vital force.

bowl of carrot ginger soup

4. Food is Medicine: We are overwhelmed and confused by information. Most people are scratching their heads or pulling out their hair. It is indeed frustrating. Ayurveda offers a clear path by customizing your food specifically to you and this means, in most cases, eating a wider variety of enjoyable foods. Through consulting with a seasoned Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, you can learn how to turn all your food into medicine. Book your free discovery call to learn more.

5. Movement: Move and Breathe


Yog-asana refers to the physical postures of yogic practice. Morning yog-asana stimulates the digestive fire and prepares your body for a healthy breakfast. It also releases stress and tension and energizes the body and mind.

Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) is the chief morning yog-asana. This series of 12 gentle poses opens you to greet and internalize the sun into your own system.

Take a peaceful nature walk after dinner to calm your mind and aid digestion. It’s a simple activity with huge benefits. Studies show regular strolls can help prevent issues like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even depression.

woman walking in the woods

Download Walking for Health by Harvard Medical School to learn more about the power in your own two feet.

Gentle stretching is another powerful Ayurvedic evening ritual. These simple yoga poses help relieve stress, soothe nerves, and calm busy minds:

Viparita Karani (Legs Up Wall)

  • Viparita Karani (Legs Up Wall)

Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)

  • Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)

 Balasana (Child’s Pose)

  • Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Savasana (Corpse Pose)

  • Savasana (Corpse Pose)

As you sink into these resting poses, practice diaphragmatic breathing or listen to a guided meditation.

8 Ayurveda Tips for Brain Health image women walking in the woods

What causes cognitive changes?

There are various issues that can cause cognitive changes such as diet, stress, poor sleep, medications, anxiety, stress, and depression.

If impaired memory or forgetfulness becomes a chronic condition, make sure you consult with a professional who can help you get to the root cause of your symptoms.

Harvard University School of Medicine: "Normal aging leads to gradual changes in many skills associated with thinking and memory. For example, you might find it harder to focus your attention and absorb information quickly."

How to to Protect Your Brain's Cognitive Functions with Ayurveda

The vast majority of brain and mind-related changes we face are related to our lifestyle choices. In this section, we’ll cover proactive ways you can boost your brain power with Ayurveda and ultimately improve your memory, focus, and brain health as a result.

What are steps you can take now to reduce your risk of dementia and cognitive changes?

Ayurvedic brain cognition boosting tip #1: Stay away from processed foods

In Ayurveda, food is medicine used to nourish the mind and body. Unfortunately, much of modern society doesn’t share this same perspective.

As a result, ultra-processed foods such as microwaveable meals, instant soup, candy, chips, sweetened cereal, white bread, fast food, and heavily processed meats (bacon, sausage, hotdogs) have become a staple in many households. These options are touted as more convenient because they’re quick and easy to make — but they lack nutritional value and end up negatively affecting your health and well-being over time.

According to a Harvard study conducted on 100,000 adults, people who consume a diet containing 10% or more of ultra-processed foods have an increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and cerebrovascular disorders. Furthermore, these foods deprive your brain of important nutrients needed to function properly.

"Eat food as nature made them. Simple and whole." - Veena | Saumya Ayurveda

Ayurvedic brain cognition boosting tip #2: Eat antioxidant-rich foods

8 Ayurveda Tips for Brain Health image antioxidant foods

One of the best ways you can nourish your brain and protect yourself from chronic stress and depression is by eating antioxidant-rich foods. Wholesome fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants keep your brain cells healthy and help them avoid oxidative stress - which is a rusting of the cells that leads to depression.

Knowing how to eat correctly for YOU, your stage of life, the seasonal, your location and your symptoms, makes a world of difference. It sounds complicated but it's not, with the help of an experienced Certified Ayurveda Practitioner.

The best antioxidant foods for your brain will depend on your dominant dosha. To learn more about the 3 doshas and how they impact your life, click here.

Pitta dosha

Antioxidant-rich foods for the Pitta dosha include cooked and appropriately spiced broccoli, spinach, and carrots.

Kapha dosha

Antioxidant-rich foods for the Kapha dosha include apples, cherries, cranberries, grapefruit, pomegranate, artichoke, asparagus, and green beans.

Vata dosha

Antioxidant-rich foods for the Vata dosha include well cooked, well spiced beetroot, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, and winter squashes.

These antioxidant-rich foods will help your body fight free radicals, thereby protecting your brain from damage.

Ayurvedic brain cognition boosting tip #3: Use herbal remedies to enhance mental cognition

Herbs are plant nutrition targeted to a specific tissue, channel, organ, or issue. If you’re looking for ways to improve your intellect, enhance your memory, and increase your creativity, Medhya Rasayana Ayurvedic herbs can help.

The term Medhya Rasayana comes from two Ayurvedic words:

  1. ‘Medhya’ meaning intellect or cognitive power

  2. ‘Rasayana’ meaning rejuvenative ability

Medhya Rasayana herbs are nootropic, meaning they enhance cognitive functioning. These herbs are often used to improve memory, intelligence, creativity, consciousness, retention, and so forth. They work by supplying your brain with essential nutrients needed to function properly.

Ayurvedic brain cognition boosting tip #4: Use our free and popular guided practices daily

Read Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life. Breathing links us both to the mind and the body. And the more we pay attention to breathing by way of a gentle awareness, the more we can relax and find our mind concentrated. That’s where diaphragmatic breathing exercises come in.

Change my breath and it changes my life? It may seem an overly dramatic claim, yet it is not. Without breath, where is life? There are many sayings in English about breath, we lost our breath, we catch it, we hold it, we take a deep breath--yet the breath of life--meaning something one depends on, is among the most profound. Breath is not something we tend to connect with consciously yet is foundational in Ayurveda and to life itself.

8 Ayurveda Tips for Brain Health aimage women diaphragmatic breathing

Ayurvedic brain cognition boosting tip #5: Improve focus and concentration by giving up the illusion of multi-tasking.

It seems like we are doing more than one thing at a time, but truth is--we're not. We may be doing several things quickly, but pause for a moment and pay attention, meditatively. When we think we are multi-tasking, we are merely sped up, less aware and going from one micro-experience to the next rapidly. Fact is, at any given moment, we can, and thankfully so, only be doing one thing.

If you're looking at your phone while in the car, at the moment you're focused on the phone-your attention is not on task of driving. We've all had the experience.

8 Ayurveda Tips for Brain Health image man on cell phone while driving

Here's the message and please hear the message--please slow down. The world may spin faster than we can keep up, but we need to reclaim and maintain our center, our focus to boost our concentration and take good care of our body, brain, and mind.

1. Really focus on one thing at a time and this supports a healthy memory and mood. When someone talks to you, look at them, put your phone down when your child, partner, co-worker, or dog comes to you for attention. Connect. Really feel it and be present.

2. We're all familiar with active listening skills. This also helps increase mental focus. Say back what you heard so your understanding is clear, so the other person feels heard, and to reinforce the information into integration.

3. If you're an introvert, have social anxiety, or get distracted in busy environments, switch it up. Meet at someone's house, or sit outside at the coffee shop at a table situated away from commotion and the ear splitting espresso machines.

These simple tips improve focus and concentration and produce a postive side effect of feeling less stressed and increased calm. We live in world that expects us to be, or at least look busy all the time, to be a top performing multi-tasker.

Start boosting your brain power with Ayurveda using our 2 minute meditations and guided practices and you'll see, you're really doing one thing at a time--be present to that one thing in that moment, and then the next thing that rises in the next moment--this is meditation in action.

woman on the front porch taking a break

Give yourself and your brain a break and let go of the illuison of multi-tasking--slow down, be present. It doesn't mean we have the luxury of always setting the pace, but we do have the choice to connect to each moment.

Rememer the relief of stress you feel, when things slow down--as though every cell in your being sighs, "ahhh...." or, as a child, being one with whatever we were doing. If we were drawing, we were aware of the feel the crayon, the smell, the colors, the movement of our hand. Most of us recall these states of union (yoga) as a distant memory of the past, but it is time for that to change for us.

"Even if we need to operate quickly externally, by remaining aware of one moment at a time, our inner experience is one of stillness not matter how fast the world seems to be spinning. Learn our two-minute meditation technique and live a life of applied meditation." - Veena | Saumya Ayurveda

"Veena has helped me so much! I had been struggling with fatigue for many years. I tried many things, read lots of books, advice, etc. Nothing worked, or very slight positive change over the years, but I was still struggling with the everyday. Then a couple months with Veena, I was stunned at how Ayurveda and her customized approach worked! Not only did the fatigue go away, but I actually have renewed energy and feel so physically and mentally energetic! I am so grateful. I feel like I got living my life back." --Michelle Cheuk

Ayurvedic brain congnition boosting tip #6: Manage your stress

Stress and anxiety, especially if they become chronic conditions, can wreak havoc on your well-being and brain health. Studies show chronic stress impairs brain function, causes brain cells to die, and can even shrink the size of your brain!

Most of us are chronically pushed to hard. Whether it's our boss or ouselves, we are burning out and burning up. To learn more please read Pitta | Burning Out and Quiet Quitting and Hot List of Common Pitta Imbalances.

Here are a handful of ways to manage the stress in your life:

8 Ways to Protect Your Brain's Cognitive Functions with Ayurveda image of tidy relaxing room

  1. Be mindful of your environment: Are you surrounded by chaos and clutter, or does your environment feel orderly and clean? Your environment has a huge impact on your stress levels. By keeping your house organized, you’ll reduce environment-induced stress and overwhelm. (If you are interested in our Vastu consultations – the ancient guide to creating positive home and work spaces, click here.)

  2. Take inventory of your relationships: Are there certain people causing you undue stress? Consider which relationships are serving your highest good, and which are hindering you from feeling at peace. How to Detox Emotionally | 8 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing.

  3. Maintain a consistent routine: Known as dinacharya in Ayurveda, a routine specific to you, helps to balance your doshas and work in harmony with your biological clock. Dinacharya creates ease in you and for you as you move through your day. You are less stressed, enjoying more, and increasing your sense of satisfaction. Learn how to build an Ayurvedic Morning Routine | 6 Rituals for a Calm and Centered Day and 10 Ayurvedic Evening Rituals for a Calming Night

  4. Develop a regular meditation practice: Consistent meditation is proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Give yourself eleven minutes in the morning and 11 at night to make use of our free guided meditations "Loving the daily guided practices, a routine that feels EMBODYING." - M.F., USA

  5. If you’re short on time, here is a quick de-stress meditation that can be done in less than 5 minutes:

Ayurvedic brain cognition boosting tip #7: Get quality restorative sleep

What's restorative sleep? When you wake up and tell the first people you see, "I slept so great last night, I feel like a new person." When your body is sleep deprived, it makes it harder for your brain to function — as a result, you may experience decreased memory and impaired decision-making abilities, and increased anxiety and stress. What’s more, lack of sleep also impairs how your immune system functions, thereby making you more susceptible to illness.

Make it a mental and physical health priority to get quality sleep night. This means following a supportive morning and evening routine, unplugging from the world before dinner time, reclaiming your after work time as "away from it all," shutting of the screens, playing a board game with the family, reading an inspiring book, doing your 11 minute guided practice. You get the picture. When you get quality sleep, your body will rejuvenate itself and your brain will function better.

Here are a few Ayurvedic suggestions for achieving quality sleep:

  1. Aim to be in bed before 10 pm every night

  2. Stay away from screens (TV, phone, iPad, etc.) after dinner

  3. Finish your daily meals 2 to 3 hours before bed

  4. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants after 1 pm

  5. Enjoy Saumya Sweet Latte and Calming Night Milk

  6. Pair #5 with our free guided practices.

sign on kitchen counter saying your daily routine matters

Ayurvedic brain cognition boosting tip #8: Dinacharya, following the natural rhythms of the day

When we flow with the natural energies present and dominate in the universe at different times of the day, we're working with nature and not against it. Read our two articles and create a simple morning and evening routine that will provide you the calm, focused energy you want and need. "It's time we reclaim our calm. Call it "quiet quitting' and social media fasting, what we're talking about is the anciety wisdom of Ayurveda. It's time we save ourselves. If not us, who? If not now, when? Ayurveda provides the needed perpsective and tools to reclaim and rebalance. Are you ready to get your life back?" - Veena|Saumya Ayurveda

8 Ayurveda Tips for Brain Health

notepad with client testimonials

"Veena has helped me so much! I had been struggling with fatigue for many years. I tried many things, read lots of books, advice, etc. Nothing worked, or very slight positive change over the years, but I was still struggling with the everyday.

Then a couple months with Veena, I was stunned at how Ayurveda and her customized approach worked! Not only did the fatigue go away, but I actually have renewed energy and feel so physically and mentally energetic! I am so grateful. I feel like I got living my life back."

-Michele Cheuk


“It is with great pleasure that I write this review! Working with Veena has remarkably changed my life – even in the places I was unaware that it demanded to be changed! Throughout the course of four months,

Veena’s gentle and succinct approach allowed me to easily refine my routines into a more structured foundation that left me feeling more in graceful governance with myself – emotionally and physically.

Not only had she brought forth awareness in how I prepare/ relate to the food I eat, but she also prescribed me wonderful herbs to help calm my anxiety, detox my liver, and heal the ugly night sweats I’ve been experiencing due to hormonal imbalances.

Lastly, her guided meditations are a great grounding force, and I have since continued to explore the euphoric benefits of Yoga Nidra.

Veena is a well of divine knowledge, and her humor and light will be eternally appreciated!”

--Rachel Monson, Wisconsin

Saumya Ayurveda's 3 steps for transforming your daily life with image of a woman meditating by a lake

There is a saying, "The mind is more in the body, than the body is in the mind." The Saumya 3 step meditation process shifts us from fight-flight-freeze mode, to rest-restore-relax mode. Give it a try for forty days and observe the changes. The more grounded and relaxed we are, the smoother life flows.

"The breath is the connection between the mind and body, so by training the breath, we become calm, focused, and grounded, we slow down the aging process by decreasing stress. These practices are so simple and easy to have as part of our daily life. We actually feel and look younger."

- Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

1. Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life. When we re-learn to breath diaphragmatically, we move from the flight-fight-freeze mode, to rest, restore, relaxation mode from where we want and need to live.

2. Daily Guided Practices: 11 minutes in the morning and in the evening, as anchors of your daily Ayurveda routine.

"Choose a couple of practices from the routines that provide you with the greatest support. Perform them while applying our two minute meditation technique and your mundane tasks, just transformed into a mellifluous meditation. This is meditation applied to daily life." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

"Veena was able to help me regain my energy in just a few months and I’m feeling like my “young” self again! I love the food plan she designed for me, and all the supporting practices (am/pm routines, breathing techniques, herbs, and spice mixes) are so enjoyable to incorporate into my day. I highly recommend Saumya Ayurveda if you want to feel better and have more vitality.”

-Molly Rossini, Minnesota

8 Ayurveda Tips for Brain Health image antique map and compass

Discover the Saumya Ayurveda Way

We all want to be heard, understood, and cared for as whole beings, not a set of isolated symptoms. True health is more than the absence of disease, which is why Western medicine so often leaves us feeling hopeless and unseen.

Deep down, you already know what you’re searching for: a new framework for living – one that brings your entire being back into balance. With Saumya Ayurveda, you’ll receive individualized guidance to create the physically, mentally, and spiritually vibrant life you crave.

Saumya Ayurveda provides concierge, top-notch, award-winning Ayurveda care. We strive to keep it simple, so you can focus on you! Opt for virtual consultations and we'll come to you.

Our practice model is client focused, we’re not in the retail herb business. We’ll guide you where to order herbs directly online. Our top-shelf Ayurveda oils and herbalized ghees are the best in the land and we’ll ship your care package right to your doorstep.

Our effective multi-appointment consultation packages provide you with experienced Ayurveda care, enthusiastic guidance, and inspiring support.

Explore our personalized services and book your FREE discovery call today. Psst! Our clients say it best – so read and watch our client's stories.

8 Ways to Protect Your Brain's Cognitive Functions with Ayurveda image Veena

Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.

She is President Emeritus and teaching faculty of the Meditation Center.

Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home, learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee.

These childhood experiences were the seeds of a lifelong passion. For over 30 years, Veena has dedicated her life to the world’s oldest healing system: Ayurveda.

She draws on this ancient wisdom to help others find their compass to a healthy life – and support those left wanting by Western medicine.

An experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Veena’s deep, intuitive knowledge of Ayurveda empowers her clients to reclaim their fullest, most vibrant lives –mentally, physically, and spiritually. Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven in your lifestyle, naturally.

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