© Ray Sahelian M.D.
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
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