Can Ginkgo Help Me Improve My Memory?

Nisha Manek, M.D.,

Question: Can ginkgo help me improve my memory?

Answer: "Can ginkgo improve memory?" is a very important question. This is a very frequent question to physicians.

Ginkgo is extracted from the Ginkgo biloba tree, and it's the leaf that is the most important part of the plant. The ginkgo is extracted and put into tablets and capsules, or even a tea.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine actually looked into this question and funded an important study. Over three thousand volunteers over the age of 75 took a very specific component of ginkgo which was well standardized over a period of time.

These people were followed up to look at cognitive behavior -- that is, the ability to recall and memory, and also, to prevent dementia. Unfortunately, this big study did not show any effect of ginkgo.

Another thing to keep in mind about gingko is that it does have a tendency to have bleeding side effects. So if you wish to try gingko for any number of conditions, be well aware of its side effect of bleeding. Tell your doctor if you wish to try gingko.