Supplements for Concussion Recovery

Nutritional supplements will aid recovery. But which ones? It’s expensive and impractical to take everything that’s recommended. The list needs to be short, and must include beneficial supplements that are affordable and easily available.

Of course, in addition to supplements you need to feed your brain with a healthy diet that includes protein, fruit, and vegetables. Share this post with your physician so he or she can test your vitamin and mineral levels and customize a recovery diet and supplement plan for you.

This Quick List of four “can’t go wrong” essential supplements gets you started. It describes what to take, quantity (how much and how often) and benefits based on research studies. These four supplements have no known side effects when taken in moderation.


Omega 3s

Buy liquid EPA and DHA fish oil with the IFOS symbol on the label. The symbol confirms that the oil is free of contaminants and meets the International Fish Oil Standard. Buy Omega 3 fish oil supplements in triglyceride form only. It should not contain ester alcohol.  

Quantity: 1 teaspoon (5 ml) daily, or per the Michael Lewis, MD Omega-3 Protocol for Brain Injury.

Benefits: Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, neuroprotective.


DHA is very important for brain health and is only found naturally in fish. Good sources include wild salmon, anchovies, sardines packaged in water, and cod.

Quantity: Eat at least two (2) servings of fish per week.

Benefits: Brain axon repair, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, neuroprotective.

Curcumin (component of Tumeric)

Use this popular spice in smoothies, Golden Milk or stir frys. Curcumin crosses the blood-brain barrier.

Quantity: minimum of 1/8 teaspoon (0.6 ml) daily with pepper, which activates curcumin.

Benefits: Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, neuroprotective, decreases neuroinflammation and swelling (edema).


Resveratrol also crosses the blood-brain barrier. Organic grapes are an excellent source.

Quantity: Eat a handful of grapes at least two (2) times per week.

Benefits: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective.

Inflammation can continue for months or even years after a concussion. You can take the four supplements above indefinitely for the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective benefits. They will help protect your brain from another concussion.

Other Supplement Options

The big question is: How important is each of these supplements to your recovery?

1.      Creatine

2.      Green Tea

3.      Caffeine

4.      Vitamins C & E

5.      Progesterone & Vitamin D

6.      Scutellaria Baicalensis (Chinese medicine plant)

7.      Ginseng

8.      Salvia miltiorrhiza (the dried root of Salvia miltiorrhiza is used in Chinese medicine)

9.       Pycnogenol (derived from pine tree bark)

Research studies report that the above supplements may be beneficial in cases of mTBI. Make your physician aware of these published papers so that he or she can develop a supplement plan for you.

Stuck at the bench: Potential natural neuroprotective compounds for concussion

Supplements, nutrition and alternative therapies for the treatment of traumatic brain injury

Potential for use of creatine supplementation following mild traumatic brain injury 

Progesterone and vitamin D combination therapy modulates inflammatory response after traumatic brain injury

Scutellaria Baicalensis, the golden herb from the garden of Chinese medicinal plants

Pharmacological effects of Salvia miltiorrhiza (Danshen) on cerebral infarction