If you practice meditation or yoga, you may wonder if there are ways you can enhance your meditation experience. Are there meditation supplements that can support a calm, steady mind? Can herbal supports help us achieve a deeper, richer experience?
Nervines For Mental Clarity and Calm
While you cannot put happiness in a bottle, pill, or tincture, there are indeed herbs that support nervous system balance and mental clarity. Taking care of your nervous system off the yoga mat or meditation cushion can support your mindfulness practices. Let’s look at some herbs, known as nervines, that may be considered meditation supplements. These herbs cannot support the time spent in a contemplative practice. However, they can support your efforts.
Gotu Kola is a cooling nervine and nervous system rasayana that is tridoshic, but especially balancing for Pitta dosha (1). This leafy green herb tastes a bit like bitter spinach. It clears the mind and energy channels and supports memory, making it a fitting choice as a meditation supplement.
Brahmi, also known as bacopa, is also tridoshic, but has a more heating energy than gotu kola (1). In Ayurveda, this herb is a premier choice for rejuvenating the mind and nervous system. It has many indications, including ADHD, premature aging, skin rashes, headaches, mental disorders, and adrenal insufficiency (1).
Brahmi’s ability to rejuvenate the mind makes it a good choice if you are looking for meditation supplements. Also, this powerful and versatile herb is an ingredient in the famous Ayurvedic herbal jam, Chyawanprash.
Tulsi, or holy basil, is another well-respected, versatile Ayurvedic herb. This leaf also has a sattvic quality and helps clear the mind and support the nervous system. In addition, tulsi is helpful for coughs, colds, stress, and even arthritis (1). Western herbalists consider tulsi an adaptogen. This pleasant-tasting plant ally can be enjoyed as a tea, tincture, or capsule. Also, it is an ingredient in Chyawanprash.
Rasayanas To Supplement Your Meditation Practice
In addition to nervines, rasayanas may be helpful as meditation supplements. Rasayanas are a deeply rejuvenating Ayurvedic category of herbs. Western herbalists consider many rasayanas to be adaptogens. These highly nourishing herbs tend to restore depleted tissues and will help you deal with and recover from the effects of stress. There are a plethora of rasayanas to choose from to support your meditation practice. Here are just a couple that you may want to try out.
Amla berry, or amalaki, is incredibly rich in vitamin C and is a well-respected Pitta rasayana in Ayurveda. Furthermore, it is useful for other doshas, but its cool energy makes it especially balancing for Pitta dosha.
It is hard to speak of rasayanas without mentioning ashwagandha. This starchy root is one of the number one herbs for any type of Vata imbalance. It supports healthy sleep cycles, tonifies the nervous system, and has broad applications as a rejuvenating herb.
As the foremost rasayana, Chyawanprash has been revered for thousands of years as a rejuvenation formula that contains dozens of powerful herbs which nourish all aspects of wellbeing. It may also help elevate and enhance yoga practice.
Though herbs cannot replace a meditation practice, you can work with plant allies and supplements to support meditation and mental clarity. This is a broad and deep topic, but if you are looking for mediation supplements, the above are a few time-tested options to get you started!
(1) Dass, V. (2013). Ayurvedic Herbology: East & West: A Practical Guide to Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine. Lotus Press.