Written by Tara Boustany on
December 31, 2021
Written by Tara Boustany on:

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

You know, brain fog. It’s that heavy, brain-stuff-isn’t-working feeling you get after working all day or staying up way too late the night before. You can’t think straight, and it feels like your brain is made of sludge.

Luckily for us, there are natural brain fog remedies to help!

In this blog post, I’m going to give you 9 ways to combat brain fog naturally so you can power through those days where everything seems just a little bit more difficult than usual without resorting to popping pills or reaching for that coffee cup one time, too many.

So, let’s get started.

What exactly is brain fog?

Brain fog is a condition that can cause symptoms like brain fatigue, lack of focus and concentration, poor memory recall, mental confusion, or disorientation.

Symptoms may be temporary or long-term, depending on the type of brain fog you are experiencing.

If you find yourself asking, “do I have brain fog?” then it’s likely that you are experiencing at least some of the symptoms I just mentioned.

Common Brain Fog Causes

There are many things that can cause brain fog, including:

  • Lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Hormonal changes (e.g., pregnancy, menopause)
  • Dehydration
  • Poor diet or nutrition
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Heavy metal exposure
  • Medical conditions (e.g., anemia, depression, anxiety, covid, multiple sclerosis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, chemotherapy)

Each person’s experience with brain fog is unique so that brain fog can be caused by a number of different factors.

In this blog post, I am going to focus on natural brain fog remedies that have been shown scientifically to help with brain fatigue and other symptoms associated with brain fog, including poor concentration, mental confusion, and lack of memory recall.

It’s important to note that brain fog can be a symptom of other underlying health conditions.

So, if you are experiencing brain fog and it does not go away after trying some of the remedies listed below, it is important to see a doctor for further evaluation.

Common Brain Fog Symptoms

It can be hard to determine brain fog from other brain conditions, but brain fog often includes one or more of the following symptoms

  • brain fatigue and mental exhaustion
  • poor concentration and focus issues
  • lack of memory recall (e.g., forgetting things people tell you, what you need at the grocery store, appointments, etc.)
  • confusion and disorientation.

You might feel like everything around you is in a haze or that the brain fog has made it harder for your brain to function correctly.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then it’s likely that you are dealing with brain fog.

Natural Brain Fog Remedies

There are many things you can do when experiencing brain fog. Here are some of my favorite natural brain fog remedies:

Get Enough Sleep

If you are not getting enough sleep, your brain will be more susceptible to brain fog. Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep a night.

Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day so that your body can better regulate its natural sleep rhythm.

If you are struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, make sure your sleeping environment is dark, quiet, and cool.

Avoid using electronic devices in bed and do not watch television in the hours leading up to bedtime.

You might also want to try some relaxation techniques before bed, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation.

Reduce Stress

When you are stressed, your brain produces cortisol, a hormone that can interfere with focus and concentration. Cortisol can also cause brain fog by impairing the function of the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory recall.

There are many ways to reduce stress, including yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, journaling, and spending time in nature.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, it might be helpful to see a therapist or counselor who can help you find better ways to manage your stress.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can cause brain fog, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water each day (at least eight glasses). If you are not a fan of water, you can also drink tea, fruit juice, or milk.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol can both dehydrate the body, which can lead to brain fog. Try to avoid drinking coffee, energy drinks, soda, and alcohol if you are looking to improve brain function. 

Do Yoga

If you are experiencing brain fog symptoms, you may want to try some yoga.

A study published in the journal of Brain Plasticity found that practicing yoga improved cognitive function and brain connectivity among participants with brain fog symptoms.

Yoga has many brain-boosting benefits—it can relax your body, lower cortisol levels (relieving stress), and improve brain-blood flow.

You don’t need to be a yoga expert to reap the benefits—even beginner’s classes can help improve brain function.

Try Bright Lights

If brain fog is accompanied by feelings of fatigue and sleepiness, bright lights may help.

A study published in the journal of Frontiers in Psychology found that exposing participants to bright light for two hours improved cognitive function and reduced brain fog symptoms.

Bright light therapy is often used to treat people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter depression, but it may also help brain fog sufferers.

You can buy a lightbox that emits bright light at most health food stores or online.

Eat a Healthy Diet

When you eat processed foods, your brain may not be able to function as well.

Eating brain-healthy foods can improve focus and concentration while also increasing your energy levels. Some brain-healthy food choices include:

Fish

Omega-three fatty acids found in fish have been shown to help with brain fatigue and brain fog.

Avocado

Avocados contain healthy fats, which are suitable for brain function and memory recall. They also have antioxidant properties that can protect cells from damage caused by free radicals in the brain.

Whole Grains

B vitamins found in whole grains such as oats, brown rice, millet, quinoa, and barley are essential for brain health. They help to improve cognitive function and protect the brain from damage.

Nuts

Nuts are a good source of omega-three fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin E, and zinc, all of which are important for brain health.

Walnuts

If you’re looking for a brain-healthy snack, try walnuts.

A study published in the journal Nutrients found that walnuts may help improve cognitive function and memory recall in adults with brain fog.

Walnuts are high in antioxidants, omega-three fatty acids, and vitamin E, all of which are beneficial for brain health.

You can eat walnuts plain or add them to your favorite dishes.

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collards contain brain-healthy antioxidants.

They also have essential brain nutrients such as vitamin K, which helps to improve brain function, concentration, and memory recall.

Coconut Oil

If low energy is the reason you’re feeling brain-fogged, then coconut oil may be able to help.

Research has shown that medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are found in coconut oil, can help boost brain energy levels and even enhance brain function.

The body easily digests MCTs, so they do not require as much work for your digestive system as other fats such as long-chain triglycerides (LCTs).

You can find MCT oil in liquid form at health food stores, or you can add a spoonful of coconut oil to your morning smoothie.

Take Brain-Healthy Drinks

Here are some drinks that are known to be natural remedies for brain fog:

Tart Cherry Juice

When life gets busy and your brain is feeling frazzled, low energy levels often follow suit, which usually means you aren’t reaching for healthy foods or drinks either.

One brain-healthy drink to add to your repertoire is tart cherry juice.

A study published in the US National Library of Medicine found that participants who drank tart cherry juice daily for two weeks had improved attention span and cognitive function scores, likely due to the high levels of antioxidants present in tart cherries.

So, if you’re looking for brain fog home remedies, give tart cherry juice a try!

Mint Tea

Studies have shown that brain fog may be the result of too much cortisol in the body, which can happen when you are stressed out or anxious, causing brain fog symptoms like lack of concentration and mental confusion.

Luckily for us, researchers found that drinking mint tea can help lower cortisol levels and brain fog.

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that participants who drank two cups of spearmint tea daily for one week had improved brain function compared to those who did not drink any teas at all.

So, next time you’re feeling brain-fogged, try sipping on some mint tea to help clear your head.

Beetroot Juice

If brain fog is accompanied by feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness, beets may help.

A study published in the journal Nitric Oxide found that drinking beetroot juice daily for two weeks reduced brain fog symptoms in participants.

Beetroots are high in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps improve blood circulation and may help reduce brain fog symptoms.

You can drink beetroot juice fresh or you can find it pre-packaged at most health food stores.

Take Brain Fog Supplements

If you are looking for a more targeted approach to brain fog relief, you might want to consider using brain fog supplements.

There are a number of different supplements on the market that claim to improve cognitive function, including:

Fish Oils

If you are experiencing brain fog and have also been feeling down, brain fog may be due to depression.

In this case, fish oil supplements may help.

A study published in the journal PLOS One found that people with the major depressive disorder who were supplemented with omega-three fatty acids (the main component of fish oils) had improved brain function and mood scores after eight weeks.

Fish oils are also a good source of brain-healthy omega-three fatty acids, so if you’re looking for an all-around brain-boosting supplement, fish oil supplements may be the way to go.

Vitamin B12

B vitamins are brain-healthy nutrients that have been shown to improve brain function and memory recall.

Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential brain-healthy b vitamins because it helps with brain fatigue, focus, concentration, attention span, processing speed, mood regulation, mental clarity, sharpness, acuity, and brain cell protection.

Ginkgo Biloba

If brain fog is accompanied by poor memory recall, you may want to try taking Ginkgo biloba supplements.

A study published in the journal Nutrients found that Ginkgo biloba can improve cognitive function and memory recall in people with brain fog.

Ginkgo biloba is a natural herb that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to improve blood circulation and cognitive function.

You can find Ginkgo biloba supplements at most health food stores or online.

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is an extract from Chinese club moss that has been shown to improve cognitive function and protect the brain from damage.

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa monnieri is an herb that may help to improve brain function and memory recall.

Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is a brain nutrient found in high concentrations within the brain’s hippocampus, which is responsible for learning and memory functions. It has been shown to reduce stress levels while improving focus and concentration.  

Concluding Thoughts

There are a number of different natural remedies for brain fog that you can try to help reduce the symptoms and improve your overall cognitive function.

If you are experiencing brain fog, make sure to drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly.

You may also want to try using some of the brain fog supplements listed above or drinking teas that are known to help improve cognitive function, such as mint tea and beetroot juice. And remember to always consult with a doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.

If you want to learn more about how to get rid of brain fog and improve your overall brain health, check out these helpful resources and feel free to join the online community of mental health advocates and professionals.

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