Can Herbal Medicine make you smarter

Can Herbal Medicine make you smarter?

By Jeremy Brown, Naturopath

(Adv. Dip. Nat.)

One of the unique focuses of my clinic is to help professionals and students perform better in their work. Having been a student myself, I understand the need to get the most out of your work and maintain your drive and focus. Herbal Medicine has been used for centuries to help people achieve this, with many herbal traditions claiming that it can increase intellect. But is this true? We will be investigating this claims, and find out with there is anything to draw from it. 

Bramhi (Bacopa monnieri)

Bramhi has been used by system of medicine from India called Ayurveda and dates back almost 3000 years. It is classed by Ayurveda as ‘Medhya rasayana’ which claims to possess an ability to rejuvenate intellect and enhance memory. Some of its actions include: nervine tonic (supporting the nervous system), mild sedative and anxiolytic (reduces anxiety). Australian clinical studies involving in 46 patients demonstrated Bramhi to significantly improve the speed of visual information processing. The chemicals Bacoside A and B are considered important players in this effect. Results show however, that long-term use of Bramhi is needed, with full effect taking hold after 12 weeks. Bramhi is also used to treat ADD and ADHD, showing a potential for concentration and focus.

It appears that Bramhi enhances intellect, though it may take time. 

Gingko (Gingko Biloba)

Native to China, Gingko Biloba is one of the world’s oldest trees; with its existence traced back more than 200 million years. Ginkgo was first introduced into Europe in 1690 and has been used medicinally in Europe by Doctors for decades, where it is one of their most used medicines. Some of Gingko’s actions include: anti-oxidant, anti-platelet activating factor (blood thinning), circulatory stimulant and, of course: cognition enhancing. It is has been tested on those with Dementia and Alzheimer’s and it has also been studied in healthy populations. Overall, Gingko appears to perform best in people with mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment, but is less successful in people with normal cognitive function. This was confirmed by a 2002 literature review from the Cochrane Collaboration (a gold standard in Medical reviews). It is worth noting that Ginkgo can interact with prescription medicines and is best prescribed by a professional. 

So Gingko can improve intellect, but only in those with mild loss of cognitive function, and is best prescribed by a professional.

Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng)

Ginseng is a perennial herb native to China and has been used as a Herbal remedy in Eastern Asia for thousands of years. It is considered a potent Qi or energy tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Actions of Korean Ginseng include: Adaptogenic (supporting the stress response), immune modulating (balancing the immune response), cardiotonic (good for the cardiovascular system), male tonic and cognition enhancing.  There is however, some contention about Ginsengs benefits for improving memory, concentration and learning. Studies appear mixed, due to variations in dosage and standardization. In one note worthy study though, Ginseng was shown to improve memory performance and performance in mental arithmetic tasks. Attention and speed of performing was also improved. In another study involving 97 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the treatment group showed improvement in cognitive performance after valuation via the Alzheimer’s assessment scale.  

So Korean Ginseng appears to improve memory and concentration in addition to supporting the stress response in fatigue individuals, though further studies are needed.

In Summary

As you can see, there are many effective herbal medicines for enhancing intellect. This shows a use for students, professionals and those who are losing cognitive function. However, it does depend on the individual and their current circumstances and I would recommend seeing a professional to maximize results. Not all herbal medicines are produced to the same exact standards, and a professional can blend a personalized medicine for your needs. 

If this is something you are after, please click this link to make an appointment or follow the links below.

Thank you for joining us this week, next week we will be looking at Vitamin C and its potential for immune improvement in the Cold and Flu season. 

See you then!

Final:

The Blog you won’t forget

By Jeremy Brown, Naturopath

(Adv. Dip. Nat.)

One of the unique focuses of my clinic is to help professionals and students perform better in their work. Having been a student myself, I understand the need to get the most out of your work and maintain your drive and focus. Herbal Medicine has been used for centuries to help people achieve this, with many herbal traditions claiming that it can increase intellect. But is this true? We will be investigating these claims, and find out if there is anything to draw from it. 

Bramhi (Bacopa monnieri)

Bramhi has been used by system of medicine from India called Ayurveda and dates back almost 3000 years. It is classed by Ayurveda as ‘Medhya rasayana’ which is said to possess an ability to rejuvenate intellect and enhance memory. Some of its actions include: nervine tonic (supporting the nervous system), mild sedative and anxiolytic (reduces anxiety). Australian clinical studies involving 46 patients demonstrated Bramhi to significantly improve the speed of visual information processing. The chemicals Bacoside A and B are considered important players in this effect. Results show however, that long-term use of Bramhi is needed, with full effect taking hold after 12 weeks. Bramhi is also used to treat ADD and ADHD, showing a potential for use in concentration and focus.

It appears that Bramhi enhances intellect, though it may take time.

Gingko (Gingko Biloba)

Native to China, Gingko Biloba is one of the world’s oldest trees; with its existence traced back more than 200 million years. Ginkgo was first introduced into Europe in 1690 and has been used medicinally in Europe by Doctors for decades, where it is one of their most used medicines. Some of Gingko’s actions include: anti-oxidant, anti-platelet activating factor (blood thinning), circulatory stimulant and, of course: cognition enhancing. It is has been tested on those with Dementia and Alzheimer’s and it has also been studied in healthy populations. Overall, Gingko appears to perform best in people with mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment, but is less successful in people with normal cognitive function. This was confirmed by a 2002 literature review from the Cochrane Collaboration (a gold standard in Medical reviews). It is worth noting that Ginkgo can interact with prescription medicines and is best prescribed by a professional.

So Gingko can improve intellect, but only in those with mild loss of cognitive function, though a consultation with a health professional is recommended.

Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng)

Ginseng is a perennial herb native to China and has been used as a Herbal remedy in Eastern Asia for thousands of years. It is considered a potent Qi or energy tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Actions of Korean Ginseng include: adaptogenic (supporting the stress response), immune modulating (balancing the immune response), cardiotonic (good for the cardiovascular system), male tonic and cognition enhancing.  There is however, some contention about Ginsengs benefits for improving memory, concentration and learning. Studies appear mixed, possibility due to variations in dosage and standardization. In one note worthy study though, Ginseng was shown to improve memory performance in arithmetic tasks. Attention and speed of performing was also improved. In another study involving 97 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the treatment group showed improvement in cognitive function after valuation via the Alzheimer’s assessment scale.  

So Korean Ginseng appears to improve memory and concentration in addition to supporting the stress response in fatigue individuals, though further studies are needed.

In Summary

As you can see, there are many effective herbal medicines for enhancing intellect. This shows a use for students, professionals and those who are losing cognitive function. However, it does depend on the individual and their current circumstances and I would recommend seeing a professional to maximize results. Not all herbal medicines are produced to the same exact standards, and a professional can blend a personalized medicine for your needs.

If this is something you are after, please click this link to make an appointment.

Thank you for joining us this week, next week we will be looking at Vitamin C and its potential use for immune boosting in the Cold and Flu season.

See you then!

Yours in health,

Jeremy Brown

Naturopathic Practitioner and Principal at Brown’s Wellbeing Centre.

www.brownswellbeingcentre.com.au

www.facebook.com/brownswellbeingcentre

www.twitter.com/jbrown_nat

Supporting Evidence: 

Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2010). Herbs & natural supplements. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Bone, K., (2003) A Clinical guide to blending liquid herbs. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone.

Hechtman, L. (2012). Clinical Naturopathic medicine. Sydney, Australia: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier Australia.

Thomsen, M., & Gennat, H. (2009). Phytotherapy : desk reference : a clinical handbook. Hobart: Global Natural Medicine.

*Please note that advice is of a general nature and does not replace the advice of a health professional. 

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