What is Ginseng?
Panax Ginseng is a natural herbal supplement often taken for cognitive and mood benefits. Like Ashwagandha, it has been termed an ‘adaptogen’, due to its ability to improve overall mental wellbeing.
What is Ginkgo Biloba?
Ginkgo Biloba is a tree that grows in China and, like Ginseng, has been used in traditional herbal medicines. Ginkgo is used in modern supplements to improve cognitive function and mitigate anxiety.
It makes sense that these two may compliment one another to exhibit powerful nootropic effects. Here we will discuss a study (1) to assess the effects of this stack on the memory of middle aged volunteers.
Methods: 60mg of Ginkgo Biloba was combined with 100mg of Panax Ginseng in a double-blind, placebo controlled 14 week trial. Two dosing regimes were tested, one with one capsule each and the second using two capsules each. Two hundred and fifty-six healthy, middle-aged volunteers took part in the study. On different study days in weeks 0, 4, 8, 12 and 14, the subjects performed a range of tests requiring attention and memory prior to morning dosing and again at 1, 3 and 6 hours later. The subjects also completed questionnaires on quality of life, sleep quality and their mood.
Results: The combination therapy of Ginkgo Biloba and Ginseng was found to significantly improve an index of memory quality with an average 7.5% improvement which related to both working and long-term memory. The memory improvement was seen throughout the 12-week period and after a 2 week washout period.
Conclusion: The authors asserted that the combination of Ginkgo Biloba and Panax Ginseng represents the first case of an improvement in memory from a phytopharmaceutical.
An interesting study and more evidence to support the potential role of Ginseng as an adaptogen is provided by other recent research showing it to have an effect in improving mood and memory in young adults (2), as well as similar research supporting Ginkgo Biloba’s effectiveness in protecting against impairment of memory (3) as well as improving performance on tasks requiring working memory.
Using Ginseng or Ginkgo Biloba is a relatively cheap and effective way to boost cognitive function. Whether either has a performance advantage is hard to say but if your job involves complex processing of information or you experience high stress levels they may help to modulate levels to ensure performance is maintained at a higher level than would otherwise be the case.
Here at Predator Nutrition we have a huge range of nootropics to improve mental and physical output, including ones with Ginseng and Ginkgo. We have Ginseng supplements from Genius Joy to Nootropic Brain Fuel, and My Protein's Alpha Men combines both at lower doses alongside vitamins and minerals to maintain general health.
Author: Reggie Johal
1. Wesnes KA et.al (2010): The memory enhancing effects of a Ginkgo biloba/Panax ginseng combination in healthy middle-aged volunteers.
2. Reay JL et.al (2010): Panax ginseng (G115) improves aspects of working memory performance and subjective ratings of calmness in healthy young adults.
3. Abdel Wahab et.al (2012): Ginkgo biloba protects against intermittent hypoxia-induced memory deficits and hippocampal DNA damage in rats.
4. Silberstein RB et.al (2011): Examining brain-cognition effects of ginkgo biloba extract: brain activation in the left temporal and left prefrontal cortex in an object working memory task.
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