Memory-enhancing pills

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The herb brahmi (Bacopa monniera) has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a nerve tonic. Studies on rodents have shown encouraging results for the use of brahmi for improving learning and memory, but results from good-quality clinical studies are mixed.

  • One trial using a dose of 300 mg of brahmi over 12 weeks in 46 healthy volunteers found that it improved the speed of visual information processing, learning rate and memory consolidation.
  • In another three-month trial, involving 76 adults, improvements were observed in a test for new information retention, but no changes in the rate of learning.
  • A trial involving 38 healthy people found no changes in cognitive function, but testing was done just two hours after a single 300 mg dose of brahmi.
  • A further study using Blackmores Ginkgo Brahmi (containing 300 mg brahmi and 120 mg ginkgo) in 85 healthy people failed to show any significant differences in memory, attention, comprehension or learning after four weeks.

The current evidence for brahmi isn't convincing enough to warrant paying for supplements.


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