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ind Boosters

Herbal Combination Enhance Memory and Speed Thinking

© Ray Sahelian MD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Mind Boosters by Ray Sahelian MD. View all columns in series
Ray Sahelian The combination ginkgo biloba and ginseng can promote fast, accurate thinking, improve short and long-term memory retention and reduce mental fatigue. The results were presented at a National Institute of Mental Health seminar in July.

Extracts from the leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree have been used therapeutically in China for millennia. According to fossil records, the ginkgo tree has been around for over 200 million years and is one of the oldest still existing tree species on earth. Individual trees live up to 1,000 years. Ginkgo, like ginseng, is mentioned in the traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia. Ginkgo extracts are among the most widely studied and prescribed drugs in Europe to alleviate symptoms associated with a wide range of conditions including the therapy of age related mental decline.

The 14-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, trial studied the cognitive effects of the herbal combination in 256 healthy volunteers between the ages of 38 and 66 years. The volunteers performed a battery of tests using the Computerized Cognitive Assessment System, a validated testing method accepted by the FDA and used to assess the effect of cognitive enhancing products. The study showed the group of volunteers receiving the active herbal combination had statistically significant improvements in cognitive function compared to the control group receiving placebo. The combination product was well tolerated by study volunteers.

While previous research has documented the effects of ginkgo biloba on memory in older people, this study clearly shows that this specific formulation of standardized Gingko biloba and Ginseng extracts enhanced mental performance in a younger healthy population.

Wesnes KA, Faleni RA, Hefting NR, Hoogsteen G, Houben JJ, Jenkins E, Jonkman JH, Leonard J, Petrini O, van Lier JJ. The cognitive, subjective, and physical effects of a ginkgo biloba/panax ginseng combination in healthy volunteers with neurasthenic complaints. Psychopharmacol Bull. 1997;33(4):677-83

Ray Sahelian, M.D., is a physician certified by the American Board of Family Practice. He resides in Marina Del Rey, California.

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About The Author
Ray Sahelian, M.D., is a popular and respected physician who has been seen on numerous television programs including NBC Today, Dateline NBC, and CNN, and quoted by countless major magazines such as Newsweek He is the bestselling author of Mind Boosters, Natural Sex Boosters, and ...more
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