Every day we face constant disruptions, whether it be the pinging of our phone, the ringing of the doorbell, or the never-ending to-do list that hangs over our heads. With so many competing tasks and distractions we encounter throughout the day, maintaining focus becomes increasingly difficult. However, research shows that entering a "flow state" and maintaining focus for an extended period can help you accomplish more things.
While there are pharmaceutical options to treat inattention, several natural supplements for focus and attention are also available. These include ingredients such as Ashwagandha, maca root, lion's mane, and more, all of which demonstrate the potential to improve concentration. Wild and Organic offer several types of focus gummies for this reason. This article will discuss the herbal remedies available and how they can help.
Best supplements to support brain and memory
Ashwagandha is a natural ingredient in India's traditional medicinal practice of Ayurveda. Ashwagandha has been integral to herbal medicine for centuries because of its antioxidant, anti-anxiety, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties. It also has the potential to provide neuroprotective effects, making it a great supplement to help with focus (1).
One study evaluated 125 healthy individuals receiving Ashwagandha root at 300 milligrams (mg). Ashwagandha treatment improved recall memory and psychological wellbeing compared to the placebo. It also enhanced other cognitive parameters such as stress, happiness, wellbeing, and sleep quality (2). Therefore, it can be a natural focus supplement.
Ginkgo biloba is a type of tree that has demonstrated effects in treating heart disease, headache, tinnitus, and mood disorders. Ginkgo biloba also has several neurocognitive effects, as it increases blood flow, thus improving neuroplasticity and brain edema while providing neuroprotection (3).
Several studies indicate that ginkgo biloba induces clinically relevant effects. Ginkgo biloba can decrease symptoms of cognitive impairment but can also increase working memory in healthy adults. Administration of 120 mg of ginkgo biloba to young participants for 30 days improved working memory speed (4). Likewise, treatment with ginkgo biloba can enhance focus and productivity by allowing for better recall, making it a supplement for concentration.
Maca, known as Lepidium meyenii, belongs to the mustard family and originates from the Andes. For more than 2,000 years, Maca has been used to enhance sexual function, provide neuroprotection, and elicit antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. It is also a potential supplement for concentration, as it has demonstrated memory enhancement (5).
Maca elicits its neuroprotective effects by improving mitochondrial function and the synthesis of specific proteins in the brain. Via these mechanisms, mouse models show that Maca increases cognitive function, endurance, cognitive decline, and motor coordination (6). The endurance, clarity, and cognitive enhancements due to Maca make it a tremendous herbal supplement for focus and concentration.
Panax ginseng, or ginseng, originates from Korea, China, Russia, and Japan. Ginseng plays a role in oriental medicine as it is an adaptogen, meaning it supports the body's response to stress. Its adaptogenic properties make it a potential concentration supplement.
Several studies have investigated ginseng and its impact on cognition. Such studies in humans indicated that ginseng improves:
- The quality and quantity of mental work
- Reaction times
- Work output
In addition to its effects on the brain, ginseng can also improve physical work capacity. Ginseng treatment increased endurance during physical activity in mice (7).
Lion's mane, formally known as Hericium ericaceous, is a type of mushroom with medicinal properties. Its two main components, hericenones and erinacines, elicit therapeutic activity. Research in the lab shows that lion's mane promotes brain cell development through nerve growth factor (NGF). It enables neuron projections, connecting neurons to other neurons and allowing for increased messaging across the brain (8).
Lion's mane also increases blood flow and lowers inflammation, giving your brain more oxygen and promoting optimal brain functioning. As a result, lion's mane elevates cognitive performance, making it an excellent supplement for mental focus.
Tyrosine is an amino acid that produces neurotransmitters, your brain's chemical messengers. Tyrosine helps to create dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. These neurotransmitters affect motivation, blood flow, focus, and mood.
Supplementation with tyrosine helps to replenish these neurotransmitters, thus enhancing your cognition in several ways. One study in animals suggests that tyrosine treatment can increase memory and performance when under psychological stress. Another human study found that tyrosine improved working memory in a multi-tasking environment versus a placebo. Thus, L-tyrosine can be a supplement that improves focus, keeping you sharp and helping you to maintain your attention while working on tasks (9, 10).
Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) can increase energy, improve muscle strength, protect against neurotoxicity, and induce antidepressant effects. In mouse models, ALCAR influences energy metabolism and maintains brain energy homeostasis by modulating certain substance levels in the brain. Thus, researchers hypothesize that ALCAR may have clinical effects in humans on energy and neurotransmitter levels (11). Because energy and neurotransmitters are implicated in focus, ALCAR could improve concentration.
5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is the building block of serotonin, an essential neurotransmitter in the brain. Serotonin helps communicate neural messages throughout your brain, contributing to sleep, anxiety, mood, appetite, and pain.
A study evaluated how 5-HTP performed against selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in improving mood in patients with depression. 5-HTP demonstrated similar clinical results to SSRIs in terms of mood improvements. By improving mood, 5-HTP gummies for focus could improve attention (12,13).
Folate is a precursor to several monoamine neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Researchers hypothesize that supplements with folate could increase levels of these catecholamines in the brain, thus influencing cognitive function. One study even evaluated how L-methylfolate impacted executive function and attention compared to methylphenidate, a common attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication, for treating ADHD symptoms. Thus, L-methylfolate represents a potential mental focus supplement for adults.
When it comes time to crack down and do your work, it can be challenging to tune out the distractions of everyday life. That is why incorporating herbal supplements for focus and concentration can be particularly helpful in maintaining productivity and checking off your to-do list. If you want to purchase gummies to help focus, consider our wide range of natural supplements for focus and attention.