Alphabet Soup #1: Herbs for Concentration

As a child, I loved soup. Heck, as an adult, I still love soup. When I lived with my sister-friend Kai, a friend of ours would always say that the only things that we did in that house was merely eat soup and break hearts (we had a lot of fun in that house). Though I love most how it makes me feel, with no doubt, I’m a soup girl.

Soup-making is super simple as you can make soup out of anything, but you feel like a chef chopping things ups, laying ingredients out, and taste-testing to perfection. It’s relaxing to make and to eat. Soup gives me warm, inviting feelings in the pit of my stomach, like a hug from my granny or my favorite winter socks. It makes me feel good, physically and emotionally, and I never feel bad about eating it. I love soup and all that it stands for, just like this new segment that we’re introducing. With tips centered around soup, soul, and self-care for the body, FTS’ Alphabet Soup is meant to make you feel just like your favorite soup does, good from the inside out. As Scribes, we sometimes get so caught up in our writing that we forget to take care of ourselves. That’s what this is here to do. Think of me as your grandma who hasn’t seen you in awhile and baby, you look thin. Sharing some herbs to help you concentrate today, do have some Alphabet Soup, and stay awhile.


Herbs For Concentration

1. Peppermint/Spearmint/Eucalyptus: In elementary school, during standardized state testing, they would always give us peppermint beforehand. Honestly, I always thought they just wanted to keep us quiet, but now I know better. Mint not only helps you focus, it helps you to remember things. To aid your memory, try cutting some eucalyptus (available at places like your local Trader Joe’s) and hanging it in your shower for a quick pick-me-up or drinking a cup of mint tea that before you settle in and start writing. (Ivy’s Tea Co., a great DC-based tea brand, has a great blend of peppermint and spearmint called C.R.E.A.M that’s definitely worth a try.) Slip a piece of mint gum in your mouth when you’re thinking of something and can’t quite write at that moment. When you finally get to the paper, pop another piece in, and I promise you’ll remember every word.

2. Cinnamon: Have you ever gotten a piece of Big Red and felt like your nose was going to tingle off? That’s the power of cinnamon. Cinnamon fights mental fatigue, helps you to rev your metabolism, and not to mention, smells amazing! (I’m a fall baby; anything that smells like leaves that are about to fall, I’m with it.) Cinnamon is also great for your skin, so drinking it in tea not only helps you stay focused, but you’ll be glowing when you stand up and perform that poem you’ve been slaving over for months.

3. Citrus: Scents like orange, lemon, and grapefruit are natural brain stimulators. The smell is so strong, you can’t help but stay awake. Your brain naturally associates citrus with a feeling of “clean,” so wiping down your workstation with lemon, or taking a shower with a grapefruit scrub will not only invigorate you but will motivate you to declutter whatever it is you need (your desk, your words, your mind, etc.). Not only that, but citrus is also great for your immune system, so you get a double dose of happiness. Find a good orange or lemon tea or a grapefruit facial wash to start your day, and you’ll be guaranteed to find a little extra pep in your step.

4. Rosemary: Hands down, this is one of my favorite herbs! Rosemary is one herb I always recommend to writers because not only has it been found to increase concentration and memory while lowering stress, it also has carnosic acid. Carnosic acid is an antioxidant abundant in rosemary that helps protect brain cells from age-related changes such as deteriorating verbal skills and increased difficulty in learning new information. On top of all that, it has stimulating properties that fight physical exhaustion, headaches, and mental fatigue. Rosemary is the holy grail. All it takes is one whiff and it triggers your brain to remember little things, like that deadline that’s in 4 hours or that email you never responded to. Grab a little rosemary plant (it’s cheap and low maintenance so you won’t forget to water it much), set it on your desk or in your workspace, and take a big whiff. Even if you don’t like the smell, it tastes great on potatoes!


  • 1 8 oz spray bottle
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 10 sprigs of rosemary
  • 7oz spring water

Combine all ingredients in the spray bottle. Shake. Spray around your room/work area whenever you need a little pick-me-up! Happy healing!

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