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Herbal Supplements to enhance Brain functions

  1. Jun 3, 2003 #1
    I've begun taking a herbal dietary supplement that claims increased memory capability and other such enhancements to brain functions.

    I read somewhere that they are not effective, however, I have noticed a distinct change, one that I believe may validate some of the supplement's claims: I dream more. At least I remember far more dreams than when I don't take them. Below I have listed the active ingredients.

    What do you think? Anyone else try one of these supplements?

    Ginkgo Biloba (27% ginko flavone glycosides, 7% sesquitterpene lactones)

    120 mg Brahmi leaf standardized extract (20% bacosides) (bacopa moniniera) 200 mg

    L-Tyrosine 200 mg

    Siberian Ginseng root standardized extract (0.8% eleutherosides) (eleutheroccus senticosas) 200 mg

    Schisandra Berry standardized extract (9% schizandrins) (schisandra chinensis)

    100 mg Soybean lecithin 200 mg
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  3. Jun 3, 2003 #2


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    I dunno if dreaming more is classed as enhanced brain functionality. Some of your ingredients may simply have hallucenigenic properties...
  4. Jun 3, 2003 #3
    Possibly, but I seem to remember a link between dreaming and REM sleep and REM sleep and memory.
  5. Jun 4, 2003 #4


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    Can I just ask... what kind of dreams are these?
  6. Jun 4, 2003 #5
    Not overly strange, just your plain old run-of-the-mill type dreams.
  7. Jun 6, 2003 #6


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    Hmm... I dunno...
    Try weighing your head regularly and notifying us if it's mass increases.
  8. Jun 6, 2003 #7


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    Artman-what is the actual brand name? what type of coating does it have? is it cold or hot processed? standardized?
  9. Jun 7, 2003 #8
    Ginkgo Biloba

    I take it, and have also noticed a marked improvement in my ability to sythesize information. Another interesting tidbit - for what it's worth - caffeinated drinks have a NEGATIVE affect on my thought processes. When I start fumbling over my words, my students are quick to ask "Have you been drinking again?" (Mountain Dew/Pepsi... nothing else)and 99% of the time, they are right. No scientific data to back it up, just experience.
  10. Jun 7, 2003 #9


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    The studies I have read/heard about all agree that suc suppliments have about as much effect as the user thinks they will. In double-blind tests, Ginko-biloba and selenium did increase recall in subjects, and so did the plecebo.
  11. Jun 7, 2003 #10
    supplements and the brain

    I am familiar with the effects of ginko extract...I like to take it double strength along with a brand called "Xenadrine RFA-1" which contains among other things: Ma Huang(currently frowned on by government regulators (usa),Guarana extract, etc. Supposedly for weight loss but I use it for mental stimulation,i.e.mental sharpness,etc.(later in the day with a coffee pickup-also warned against)
  12. Jun 7, 2003 #11
    I tried taking Ginkgo Biloba over a three month span but didn't really notice any difference, and I'm always wary of the placebo effect even if I did...
    Kinda like vitamins, which make my pee very yellow but I'm just never able to tell if they are doing much else. Maybe these things really are healthy for you but I've never had a dramatic enough effect to tell for certain. Eventually I begin thinking I'm just wasting my money and stop buying the things.
  13. Jun 7, 2003 #12
    Cute:smile:. If it does, I'll be sure to let you know.

    It's Watkins brand. The ingredients are in a pepper and other non active ingredient mixture I believe it is cold processed, but I'm not sure. No noticable coating (other than the mixture).

    I can't say that I've noticed any improvements in my memory or thought processes, just that I recall, or notice, more dreams. I should think the plecebo effect would be more likely to effect conscience rather than subconscience thought processes, but I am open to this as a possible cause.
  14. Jun 8, 2003 #13
    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The first time I tried it I saw no affect, so I had my doubts when I tried a different brand Ginkgoba(sp?)after it was recommended by a friend. It, surprisingly, made a difference. You can make your own decision.
  15. Jun 9, 2003 #14
    actually i tink ginko is from tcm...best for eating in cold weathers...kinda heat yr body up...but if u eat too much yr nose bleeds ... at leats thatz what my mom tells me
  16. Jun 9, 2003 #15
    most herbal sumplements show no scientific backing to support their claims, because most of them don't do anything at all. (the placibo effect is still noticable, however)
  17. Jun 30, 2003 #16
    I had run out of the pills for a short period of time, I did not have any memerable dreams during that period. I got more of the pills and took two of them yesterday, one in the morning and one at night and had three dreams that I remember.
  18. Jun 30, 2003 #17
    That could be simply because of your expectaions, and have nothing to do with the pills at all.
  19. Jun 30, 2003 #18
    Not to say that you are wrong about the plecebo effect, but the literature about the product doesn't mention dreams as an effect. How did this effect occur the first time? I was expecting improvements in memory, possibly increased concentration capacity, the idea of having more memorable dreams hadn't occured to me as a side effect until after I noticed them.

    Could it be that they stimulate blood flow or provide some elements that increase the chemical/electrical effects present already?
  20. Jul 1, 2003 #19
    I would think that the placebo effect would only occur while in a conscious state, but anyway. You want vivid or more memorable dreams, try taking wellbutrin, I mean don't seriously try it, but the dreams are so real or memorable that they are like living, they are not realistic though, I could remember every detail about every one of my dreams while I was on it, I could even wake up from a dream then continue the dream when I went back to sleep.
  21. Jul 1, 2003 #20
    I was dreaming again last night and I wondered if it was the herbal pills again, but at first I couldn't remember taking one (so much for memory enhancement :smile: ). I did eventually remember that I had taken one. But since the memory of taking the pill was obscured, wouldn't that make the plecebo effect unlikely?

    The dream from the other night was interrupted, turned into another dream, then went back to the first one.
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