As people grow older, they often experience a decline in their mental abilities. Gingko/Gotu Kola with Bacopa is a blend of three herbs that has been used to aid memory and brain function as people age. These herbs enhance circulation to the brain and provide antioxidant protection to brain tissue.
However, the benefits of this formula are more far-reaching than just enhancing memory and brain function. It also counteracts other effects of aging. It improves blood flow throughout the body and can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. It can slow macular degeneration, improve skin health and reduce stress. It can also enhance energy production.
Ginkgo/Gotu Kola with Bacopa is a great formula for anyone over 50 who wants to improve their circulatory system and keep their brain functioning better. Here is what each of the ingredients in this blend does.
Ginkgo is one of the most thoroughly studied herbs in modern times. Research in Europe has centered around an extract of flavonoid glycosides and terpene derivatives in the ginkgo leaves. This standardized extract of ginkgo has been shown to have powerful benefits for the brain and cardiovascular system.
Research has shown that ginkgo extract has antioxidant properties that protect the lipids in the brain against oxidative damage. It improves blood flow to the brain and to the extremities. Ginkgo improves alpha-wave activity in the brain and can help with problems like absent-mindedness, confusion and dizziness.
Ginkgo inhibits platelet aggregation, which reduces the incidence of blood clots in the arteries and veins. This helps prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Ginkgo has also been shown to slow macular degeneration, reduce asthma symptoms, strengthen blood vessels and relieve some cases of tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Interestingly, the ginkgo tree is considered a “living fossil” because it reproduces like evergreen trees (pine, fir, etc.), but has deciduous leaves. My botany teacher in college said, it was once thought to be extinct because it was found in the West only in fossils. However, it turned out that it was still being cultivated in the Orient.
The trees are also long lived and have a strong resistance to air and water pollution, as well as insects and disease. The trees can grow to a height of over 100 feet and live for up to 1,000 years. The hearty nature of the tree, along with it’s long life give it the perfect “signatures” for an anti-aging remedy.
Gotu Kola has been widely used in Indian medicine as a nerve tonic in the treatment of mental and nervous ailments such as epilepsy, schizophrenia and memory loss. The herb has also traditionally been used to treat leprosy.
Gotu kola has been found to be a good herbal antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, sedative and adaptogenic (helping the body adapt to stress by normalizing body functions).
Three main components provide gotu kola’s primary effects: asiaticoside, which gives an antibiotic action by aiding in wound healing; brahmoside and brahminoside, which provide diuretic and—when taken in large doses—sedative effects; and madecassoside, which is a strong anti-inflammatory agent.
Gotu kola also contains theobromine, which is presumed to help increase oxygen to the brain, thereby promoting greater mental capacity and vitality. The herb may also increase circulation in the lower limbs, helping to reduce swelling.
Bacopa is known in the West as the “herb of grace.” It is a classic brain and nervine tonic that heightens mental acuity. It contains the memory boosting compounds bacopaside-A and bacopaside-B and well-known antioxidants that help protect the brain’s memory centers from free radical damage. It also helps lower concentrations of stress-related biochemicals.
Bacopa increases the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which means it helps promote better memory, reaction times and learning during stressful periods. It helps prevent slow aging and degeneration of the brain.
A typical adult dose is 1 tablet three times daily, but more can be taken for serious problems. There are no known warnings for this blend and children can take 1/2 tablet two or three times daily.