I have made a brain blend which is roughly equal parts of:
Saint John's Wort
Nettles gives Serotonin. Macuna Puriens gives Dopamine. Kava gives GABA. These three brain nutrients are necessary for biochemical sanity. Ginseng, Foti, and Gotu Kola are from a Taoist longevity formula with Ginseng being a very good general tonic that also helps the brain and Gotu Kola being an Aryurvedic brain tonic. Gingko helps the brain get the oxygen it needs and has been also considered a brain booster. I suspect that it is an "anapest" which means it helps to deliver nutrients to where they are needed inside us, especially to the brain. Saint John's Wort and Kava have a calming and balancing effect on mood. I suspect that they both help to regenerate the nervous system. Green Tea contains Theanine which is also a relaxant (which balances the caffeine in Green Tea) and also contains polyphenols which are antioxidants for the brain.
The blend has a Korea Ginseng powdered tea which rapidly dissolves in boiling water. I have been boiling an actual Ginseng root (Red Ginseng) with two cinnamon sticks in about 4 cups of water, then removing the root and sticks for re-use. I then add the brain blend, two tablespoons, and a little more water (if evaporation has reduced the amount). If I do add water, I now use double microclustered filtered well water. The mobile park that I live in has well water pumped, water softened, and tested for purity regularly (which it passes easily and is purer than the city water), then it passes through an inline Brita filter which takes out a lot of the clorine and other things. While the Brita filter is not as fine a filter as some water filters, it takes out large microscopic debris and chlorine well. I then spin the water in a Vitalizer which "hexaclusters" the water within a magnetic vortex. This means that six water molecules are magnetically linked together into a cluster. This is smaller than the usual microcluster (though I must admit, I do not have the equipment to verify this claim, yet the water does feel different and good from being vortex-ed). I then use a solid state high voltage arc device to run current across a thin glass of this water. My belief is that this ionized plasma field creates some beneficial ozone and also further breaks up the hexacluster to an even smaller cluster. With the smaller microcluster, the water molecules more easily pass through the cell membrane and can clear up more cellular debris. When I make tea with microclustered water, it usually is darker than tea made with regular water. It does seem to extract more potencies from the herbs. It seems that heating microclustered water may re-assemble the macroclusters, so rather than to pour microclustered water into a pot and boil it, I pour small amounts into the pot at intervals when the herbs are already present and stir.
After the brew has been made, I use a fine steel mesh strainer to remove the matter, and pour the liquid into a glass pitcher (I use old coffee pots which can be found very cheap at thrift stores and which are excellent). I sometimes go further and add:
Anise Essential Oil (1-2 drops)
Bergamot Essential Oil (1-2 drops)
Vanilla Extract (one dropper squirt)
Anise Extract (one dropper squirt)
Cardamom Essential Oil (1-2 drops)
Coconut Milk (four tablespoons)
Black Seed Oil (one small squirt)
Eucalyptus Essential Oil (1-2 drops)
I use a whisk and spin it by holding it between my palms and moving my hands in opposite directions back and forth. My belief is that the oils help extract further nutrients from the herbs and make them more bio-available.
The batch of brain blend that I made today had included some Cardamom powder (1 tablespoon). I may add this powder to the overall recipe, but at this point I have not yet decided. It seems to synergize very well with the formula and have a wide array of good healing effects. I suspect it combines well with the Eucalyptus Essential Oil to open up the lung/heart region and the sinuses. Cardamom seems to have most of the healing properties of Ginger (which belongs to the same herbal family) and more. I may also experiment with adding a very small amount of Ephedra. I put my Ephedra in spice shaker bottle and just spinkle a small amount into a brew. It would be equivalent to the amount delivered by shaking a salt shaker three times (one shake from a bottle with holes a little smaller than three ring binder paper).
Again, I am only sharing my herbal explorer notes and experience. The above recipe should not be construed as any kind of prescription or as a treatment for a specific illness. It is up to the reader to take care to make sure there are no contra-indications. For instance, Ephedra does not mix well with some Asthma prescription medications and could cause a heart shock. Having said this, the above herbs are generally very safe (Ephedra is the one that requires skill and if you are uncertain just skip it or keep it at the low dose I always use). One precaution is about the essential oils which need to be therapeutic grade and food grade. Some companies apparently do chemical extractions of the oils which may leave small amounts of toxic residues. These are usually labeled "for external use only" and often even admonish people to not even put them on their skin (at least not without cutting them with sesame oil or olive oil). Not all essential oils labeled this way are bad to take internally (always dilute), though, because some companies just play it safe legally by never saying that they have food grade or therapeutic grade. This way they cannot be legally liable. It is tricky, though, because many companies may buy different batches of essential oils from different sources, some being purer and better than others, and market them with the same label. Companies that play it safe and have a good purity will sometimes tell you on the phone that their products do have some potency and purity testing. They sometimes will also tell you their extraction method if they make their own essential oils. I like the CO2 extraction method and the steam distillation method. I would generally avoid chemical essential extraction oils.
I think it is also good to visualize your brewing pot as a magical cauldron and to invoke higher blessing energies from the Buddha worlds. I do often draw Reiki symbols over the brew and visualize light pouring into the brew. I activate sacred space and choose to brew the herbs within a meditative state and within conscious breathing. I do believe that this helps increase the potency of the herbs. I feel that herbs are more than chemical bundles and do have a living potency to them that does not reduce to a chemical action. By making the process conscious, intentional, and meditative, deeper subtle potencies can be brought out of the herbs. I think this also re-tunes are cells to receive the herbal blessings more deeply.