Lemon Balm

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Lemon balm, balm, common balm, or balm mint, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family Lamiaceae and native to south-central Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, Iran, and Central Asia, but now naturalized in the Americas and elsewhere. It grows to a maximum height of 70–150 cm. – Wikipedia

Overview

What is Lemon Balm?

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a lemon-scented herb of the same family as mint. The herb is native to Europe, North Africa, and West Asia but has spread worldwide. Lemon balm improves mood and cognitive function and helps to relieve stress.

It soothes the symptoms of stress, helps you relax, and promotes healthier, happier moods.

A 2004 study found that taking lemon balm relieves the adverse mood effects of psychological stress — participants who took lemon balm reported an increased sense of calmness and a decreased sense of alertness.

Benefits and Effects

What Are Lemon Balm Benefits?

  1. Reduces Anxiety and Stress Levels
  2. Boost Cognitive Function

Lemon balm may also be used to help reduce signs of anxiety, such as nervousness and excitability.

Research published in 2014 looked at the mood and cognitive effects of lemon balm foods. The supplement was mixed with natural or artificial sweeteners into a beverage and yogurt. Participants in both groups reported positive effects on various mood aspects, including reduced levels of anxiety.

The supplement was mixed with natural or artificial sweeteners into a beverage and yogurt. Participants in both groups reported positive effects on various mood aspects, including reduced levels of anxiety. Although this is promising, more research is needed to truly determine its effectiveness.

Dosage

How To Take Lemon Balm?

Initially, take 300mg and see how you react to it. In stressful situations, you may take up to 600mg in a single dose to maximize the potential benefits.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a powerful and popular natural nootropic offering many health benefits. Especially on its ability to eliminates stress, anxiety, and reducing depression symptoms. It boosts testosterone levels, supports muscle mass, reduces body fat and increases strength and performance.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha (also known as Withania somnifera) is an excellent herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It has become a popular nootropic due to its multiple health benefits.

It is able to eliminate stress and anxiety. And research suggests it also helps in improving depression symptoms.

It also increases testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men. Furthermore, it increases muscle mass, reduces body fat and increases strength.

Current users are rediscovering the traditional herb as a valuable brain-booster that improves cognition by combating the impacts of stress and helping mood enhancement.

Recent research confirms it as a promising adaptogen helping prevent the consequences of recurring anxiety.

Users find that it's also a powerful anxiolytic; reducing stress and thereby enhances mood, decreases restlessness, insomnia, and sleep issues alike.

Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. – Wikipedia

Ashwagandha is a herb that belongs to the night shade family of plants. The nightshade family of plants is a very interesting one and includes a lot of vegetables that make up large parts of many diets. Notable nightshade members are potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, goji berries and even tobacco! Another name for the nightshade family is Solanaceae. 

This is where Ashwagandha gets its Latin name from; Withania somnifera. Ashwagandha is a short perennial shrub, with a large root system that develops small deep orange fruits. The fruits resemble a small cherry and the leaves look frosty due to the many tiny hairs that are on them. This one of the reasons why Ashwagandha is also referred to as ‘winter cherry’. 

Traditionally, the Ashwagandha root is used, however new research has found high concentrations of key components in the leaves too. 

Various manufacturers have taken notice of this. One of the most notable being Natreon who produce a specialized extract of Ashwagandha called Sensoril. 

Sensoril is made from the leaves of Ashwagandha, giving it a unique chemical composition, which produces noticeable calming effects.

Sensoril Ashwagandha

Sensoril Ashwagandha is standardized to 10% glyco withanolides making it a potent and calming extract. Sensoril is made from a blend of Ashwagandha root and leave extracts, which is part of the reason why it is so potent. Sensoril is best taken during periods of high stress, or to help enhance sleep quality.

Ashwagandha KSM-66

Ashwagandha KSM-66 is extracted using milk. Traditionally, Ashwagandha root powder is mixed with milk to enhance absorption, and thus  Ixoreal Bioscience decided to use milk as its extraction solvent. The end result is an Ashwagandha root only extract that is very well balanced. Effect-wise, KSM-66 is very uplifting and can help support healthy stress levels.

Basic Ashwagandha

Basic Ashwagandha is made from both Ashwagandha root and leaves, and is standardized to 4-5% withanolides. Effects wise, it appears to be a perfect blend of both KSM-66 and Sensoril. This Ashwagandha extract is uplifting and calming without being too calming or too energizing. Many people tend to prefer this Ashwagandha extract because it is so well balanced. In a blind test we did around the office, a vast majority of us preferred the regular Ashwagandha. However, if you are looking for specific effects, such as an extract that is very calming or an extract that is very uplifting, then this is not the Ashwagandha extract for you. – Nootropics Depot

What Are Ashwagandha Benefits?

  • Reduces Anxiety and Improves Depression
  • Reduces Cortisol Levels
  • Improves Cognitive Function
  • Reduces Arthritis Symptoms
  • Reverses Deficits Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Helps in Weight Loss and Weight Control
  • Improves Muscle Strength
  • Treats Male Sexual Dysfunction
  • Decreases Blood Pressure
  • Combats Chemotherapy Fatigue
  • Rejuvenation and Overall Health Improvement

 

Supporting research:

Reduces Anxiety and Depression

Ashwagandha is best known for its ability to fight stress and to ease different types of anxieties (R) by eliminating stressors. It serves the body's overall health, and empowers the immune system. Thereby preventing the damage of excessive cortisol. It enhances mood, sense of well-being, and all-around cognition.

Clinical trials verify Ashwagandha possess robust anxiety relief capabilities. As well as reducing symptoms of generalized & social anxiety.  Particularly useful for those suffering chronic stress (R).

Another study further reveals its potential as a treatment for mild depression and panic disorder (R).

Reduces Cortisol Levels

A 60-day regimen of Ashwagandha seems to efficiently decrease levels of serum cortisol in individuals with chronic stress. The finding is significant because high cortisol levels lead to health complications. Those range from immune system weakness to bone density. In many cases it further extends to weight gain, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Improves Cognitive Function

Studies on Ashwagandha enhancing memory and intelligence are few. However, at the same time, studies are confirming that anxiety is a significant cause of cognitive decline, impairing memory and attentiveness. Stress deregulates the body and brain natural processes. Normalizing those functions is, therefore, the critical element to restoring optimal cognition (R).

Individuals who frequently worry, stress out, or suffer from depression are the ones to benefit most from Ashwagandha.

Reduces Arthritis Symptoms

A 2015 Indian study comprising more than 100 patients with rheumatoid arthritis showed that after using Ashwagandha for several weeks, more than half those participants had a notable reduction in arthritic symptoms, including pain, movement difficulties, sore and swollen joints. (R)

Reverses Deficits Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's is the continuous impairing in memory and cognitive functions. After a 30-day course treatment using Ashwagandha, a complete reverse of the behavioral deficits is marked. This result shows how ashwagandha reverses the behavior of Alzheimer’s disease. It is achievable by the improvement of low-density lipoprotein protein in liver. (R)

Helps in Weight Loss and Weight Control

A study of 52 people diagnosed with chronic stress revealed that two daily doses of 300 mg of Ashwagandha resulted in a significant reduction in stress and food cravings, along with a decrease in serum cortisol and body mass. (R)

Improves Muscle Strength

A series of studies on healthy men reveal that using 300 mg to 1250 mg of Ashwagandha on a daily basis show a measurable increase in muscle strength and intensity. In comparison to participants receiving a placebo, those on the Ashwagandha were able to increase their bench press and leg extension. Moreover, notable increases in muscle mass, testosterone, and muscle recovery. (R)

Treats Male Sexual Dysfunction

A pilot study of 46 men suffering weak sperm production found a remarkable result when using 675 mg of Ashwagandha daily for two weeks. Another finding from that clinical trial is an impressive rise of 167% in sperm count, a 53% rise in semen mass, and a 57% rise in sperm fluidity. Animal studies similarly confirm Ashwagandha enhance sexual performance, improve testicular sperm production, and boost serum testosterone levels. [R]

Decreases Blood Pressure

Studies indicate that Ashwagandha leads to a measurable decrease in blood pressure. In research involving 100 participants using Ashwagandha for about six months, an average 1.6% decrease in systolic pressure and 5.6% decline in diastolic pressure is witnessed, along with a minor reduction in heart rate.

Combats Chemotherapy Fatigue

A 2013 trial involving more than 100 breast cancer individuals in all stages of the disease revealed that Ashwagandha efficiently reduced fatigue and weakness caused by chemotherapy. It also enhanced the quality of living. Even though it is not a treatment for cancer, it is a genuinely useful addition to the therapy for cancer patients. [R]

Rejuvenation and Overall Health Improvement

A comprehensive analysis of studies, data, and research on Ashwagandha confirm that it provides a variety of therapeutic effects without toxicity. The review concludes that Ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-stress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and rejuvenating qualities. It can exert a positive impact on the central nervous system. [R]

How Ashwagandha Works

The exact mechanisms by which Ashwagandha works remain non-entirely understood, but it appears that the active components are alkaloids and steroidal lactones that are collectively known as withanolides.

It is this combination of elements that are thought to have the potential for physiological action.

Effect on GABA

One of the acknowledged mechanisms of the withanolide components of Ashwagandha is the modulation of circulating levels of MAO and GABA in the cerebellum. GABA is an amino that acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, countering to some extent the effects of the stimulatory neurotransmitter glutamate and therefore helping as a natural tranquilizer. Animal studies show that Ashwagandha further indicates GABA-like attributes and improves calmness without producing drowsiness. It has also been revealed to possess anti-depressant effects (R). It appears to work exceptionally well in combination with  SSRIs for compulsion-related mental disorders. As well as with GABAergic anxiolytics, including alcohol.

As An Antioxidant

The active withanolides in Ashwagandha are also thought to produce stable antioxidant properties, which makes them a helpful brain protectant. Antioxidants are chemical molecules that restrict conceivably damaging oxidizing causes from harming cells in the cerebellum and body. Cells remained influenced by oxidation can convert to free radicals, particles that harm circling cells. The free radicals triggers a series response of cellular damage that affects the aging process and a variety of complications.

As An Anti-inflammatory

Ashwagandha seems to be a powerful anti-inflammation tool. Inflammation is a response of the body’s immune system; however, when the immune system is pushed to overactivity, inflammation converts into a health obstacle. Inflammation is correlating with a variety of disorders. From arthritis and joint discomfort to obesity, heart disease, fatigue, blood vessel damage, and even cancer. The anti-inflammatory attributes of Ashwagandha are at the core of many of its benefits. That includes shielding as well as enriching the immune system. Furthermore enhancing memory, improving the learning experience and reaction time, and preventing brain cell degeneration.

On Dendrite Development

Ashwagandha promotes the development of dendrites, branching neuronal extensions that carry and generate electrochemical stimulation from cell to cell. Increasing dendrite development is a marker of connectivity improvement in the cerebellum.

How To Take Ashwagandha?

Typically, Ashwagandha dose ranges between 300 mg to 600 mg as the highest. Its not advisable to take more than 600mg when using on daily basis.

Take Ashwagandha with food and divide into two doses per day. If you prefer once a day, do so in the morning after breakfast.

It is not-advisable to use Ashwagandha in combination with JK inhibitors or MAO inhibitors.

There is not one universal Ashwagandha dosage due to the different levels of standardization. However, in general, an Ashwagandha powder extract dosage is going to be around 300-500 mg. This general Ashwagandha dosage falls in line with the various extracts we carry. For example, the Ashwagandha dosage for KSM-66 is 300 mg and the Ashwagandha dosage for our basic Ashwagandha powder extract is 500 mg. The Ashwagandha dosage for Sensoril is a little bit of an outlier, at 125 mg, but this is due to the fact that it is such a potent extract. – Nootropics Depot

What Are Ashwagandha Side Effects?

The most common side effects of Ashwagandha include:

  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastric discomfort
  • Drowsiness

 

Ashwagandha is safe and digests well in reasonable doses. No severe side effects report using high doses over a short period. These side effects are brief; if they grow in severity or persist over a long time, discontinue using it and seek medical advice.

Ashwagandha is both a potent adaptogen that supports the brain and body in handling and managing stress. It's a safe, well-tolerated anxiolytic proven to relief anxiety.

In addition to mood enhancement, it assists in regulating the sleep cycle, and improve memory. It further increases brain signaling by promoting neuronal vitality. It is efficient and with no record of severe side effects or toxicity; all while at an affordable price. This makes it a very worthwhile nootropic.

Reddit

“Ashwaganda seems to have reduced my social anxiety. In a v subtle way as well – I don’t find Ashwaganda mood altering, it’s rather there’s just an absence of anxiety. So subtle I only reflected on it & then realised I’d had reduced social anxiety. I’m using KSM 66 & using a high dose – 600mg/day.”

Nootropics Depot

“This was my first experience with Ashw. and it has been an excellent one. I take it before bedtime and it provides me with a better night of REM sleep, including dreams that are sometimes extremely involved. I love the stuff and have recommended it to my coworkers who have sleep difficulties.”

“I've tried all three versions of ashwagandha that ND sells, and this is my favorite. It just also happens to be the cheapest! Sensoril is great for bed, but makes me sleepy during the day. KSM 66 works well during the day, but isn't as calming as I would like. This version provides that nice balance between them.“

Benefits:

  • Reduces Anxiety and Improves Depression Symptoms
  • Reduces Cortisol Levels
  • Improves Cognitive Function
  • Reduces Arthritis Symptoms
  • Reverses Deficits Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Helps in Weight Loss and Weight Management
  • Improves Muscle Strength
  • Treats Male Sexual Dysfunction
  • Decreases Blood Pressure
  • Combats Chemotherapy Fatigue
  • Rejuvenation and Overall Health Improvement

 

Side effects of Ashwagandha (although not necessarily):

  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastric discomfort
  • Drowsiness

Ashwagandha leaf extract helps to manage your weight by lowering the level of stress hormones called Cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels increase hunger and craving for sweets, fried food, and soft drinks. These cravings result in increased calorie consumption leading to weight gain. Ashwagandha reduces the level of cortisol and decreases stress-induced cravings. This helps in better weight management. Tip: Take Ashwagandha leaf extract in churna form. Take 1-2gm churna twice a day with lukewarm water after taking a light meal.

It can be consumed regularly for months because of its health benefits. It helps gaining weight to o if consumed with milk at night..but as too much of anything can also be dangerous so one should consume in restricted quantity.

You can buy Ashwagandha KSM-66 as well as many other nootropics in Dubai by going to the shop page.

Garcinia cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit known to enhance the culinary experience of food. It increases the satiety of a meal (by enhancing the taste experience). Its use as a fat burner does not seem to extend to humans.

Table of Contents

Overview

What is Garcinia cambogia?

Garcinia Cambogia, also known as Malabar Tamarind, is a small fruit that has some traditional use to enhance the culinary experience of a meal but beyond limited medicinal use.

It is an excellent source of hydroxycitric acids (related to citric acid and sour flavoring).
One of the isomers, known as (-)-Hydroxycitric acid, is thought to help control weight.

Uses & Effects

Appetite Suppression

In rats, (-)-Hydroxycitric acid (salt form; 60 percent HCA by weight) was able to inhibit serotonin re-uptake in rat cortical slices by 20 percent (300uM concentration) higher than that of fluoxetine (100uM) plus clomipramine (10uM) which inhibited 30 percent of uptake;, no inhibition was observed with 1000uM (1mM) of (-)-Hydroxycitric acid.

Another possible mechanism is the thought to be related to leptin. One rat study (which failed to find a reduction of 3.3 percent (-)-Hydroxycitric acid in food intake or weight after 4 weeks) found that serum insulin and leptin levels had decreased, which was thought to be in response to leptin mimetic action (not established).

In rats with quantified reductions in feed intake, 13.7 percent (0.2 percent feed intake), 26.7 percent (2 percent feed intake) and 25.6 percent (5 percent feed intake) of male rats with similar reductions in female rats were reported, with significant decreases in feed intake in this study occurring only 46 days after (earliest) or 74 days (earliest) intake.

In rats, it suppressed the intake of food.

Neuroprotection

Garcinia Cambogia has once been associated with reduced brain oxidation and neurodegeneration pathology but has been reported to work through reduced food intake and body weight (a study concluded that the state of obesity and high-fat diet impairs neural function).

Mechanism of Action

How Does Garcinia cambogia Work?

The mechanism of action inhibits an enzyme called citric acid lysase, which is essential for fatty acid synthesis, known as de novo lipogenesis. At least in rats, evidence of suppressed de novo lipogenesis has been noted, and oral consumption of (-)-Hydroxycitric acid appears to reduce food intake and body weight (to the degree that food intake cannot explain all the observed effects)

Studies in humans, for the most part, do not replicate this; this may be relating to less actual activity of de novo lipogenesis in humans and a much higher level in rats. Some isolated studies do note weight loss, but it seems to be quite variable and unreliable.

Many studies also report a subjective decrease in appetite, but tend to record drop-out rates (how often people leave the study because they are unable to maintain the diet protocol) rather than food intake; even then, the benefits are still unreliable and sometimes not present.

Although there is limited potential for (-)-hydroxycitric acid as a weight loss aid, the size of the effect is small (up to 2 kg over 3 months). The benefit is unreliable, making it difficult to recommend this compound as a fat burner or anti-obesity agent.

Side Effects

What Are Garcinia cambogia Side Effects?

Acute (14 days) administration of 5000 mg/kg bodyweight (-)-Hydroxycitric acid to albino rats of both sexes (small sample size 10) was not associated with any mortality or clinical signs of toxicity.

Studies that are not designed to evaluate toxicology but nevertheless use (-)-Hydroxycitric acid supplementation have also not been able to detect any toxicity associated with 3 percent of the rat diet for 5 days or 10 days or up to 5 percent of feed for 90 days.

At present, the human studies cited in Examine do not report any adverse reactions that occur in treatment groups (using Garcinia Cambogia) to a higher degree than placebo.

No observed toxicity in rats or humans following oral ingestion at this time.

Dosage

How To Take Garcinia cambogia?

The standard dosage of Garcinia Cambogia is bioactive (-)-Hydroxycitric acid is 500 mg (-)-Hydroxycitric acid takes 30-60 minutes before the meal usually made at up to three different meals per day.

It is uncertain whether this is the ideal dose since human studies usually fail to benefit from any dosage.

Huperzine A

OverviewBenefits and EffectsMechanism of ActionDosageSide EffectsStackFAQ

Summary: Huperzine A is a natural neuroprotectant based on plants that can improve memory and increase general cognition. Huperzine A was first recognized in the 1980s as an alkaloid compound extracted from the Chinese club moss Huperzia serrata, but Chinese herbal medicine has been using plant extracts for centuries.

Overview

What is Huperzine A?

Although it is typically used in the therapy of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, the nootropic potential of huperzine A is making it more popular among learners and otherwise healthy people who want to think more obviously, learn faster, and remember more correctly. Huperzine A's advantages and effects offer benefits for both the brain and body.

Benefits and Effects

What Are Huperzine A Benefits?

  1. Neuroprotectantion
  2. Antioxidation
  3. Improving Memory
  4. Protects Against Glutamate Toxicity
  5. Relieves Symptoms of Depression

Neuroprotection

Huperzine A's capacity to safeguard the brain from oxidative damage, one of the most prevalent issues connected with aging, is one of the most significant advantages. Oxidative damage is at the core of most age-related diseases and is thought to play an essential part in the growth of Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders. Oxidative damage begins with an abnormality that occurs when oxygen molecules are divided into individual atoms, a normal process that occurs continuously. Ideally, each particle should be encircled by pairs of electrons orbiting the atom in layers, but as we grow older, the method becomes less reliable, and a growing proportion of fresh particles are created without a complete electron complement. The imbalanced atoms, called free radicals, scavenge surrounding cells in search of electrons suitable for balancing their layer of particles.

They generate a chain of possibly harmful chemical reactions when free radicals attack neighboring cells and eventually destabilize the cells they “borrow” electrons from. The existence of antioxidants or molecules that can “donate” an electron to a free radical without becoming themselves volatile can offset this impact. The method can effectively be useful if free radicals and antioxidants are present in equilibrium, but if free radical activity exceeds antioxidant activity, the outcome is oxidative stress that damages lipids, proteins, and DNA.

Over time, this harm can result in several debilitating and even lethal age-related illnesses, including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, artery atherosclerosis, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Antioxidation

Huperzine A is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to have a positive effect on oxidative balance and is regarded as a secure, efficient, and well-tolerated adjunct therapy for Alzheimer's disease.

Improving Memory

Memory Enhancer Huperzine A can enhance memory by enhancing the level of acetylcholine in the brain, an important neurotransmitter vital to all elements of cognition.

While this advantage plays a significant role in the therapy of Alzheimer's disease, clinical studies suggest that huperzine A can also enhance memory and learning capacity in healthy youth.

Protects Against Glutamate Toxicity

Glutamate is an active, exciting neurotransmitter responsible for sending signals between nerve cells. When present at normal levels, it plays a significant part in learning and memory, but when concentrations are too large, it can become poisonous and can result in cell damage and even death.

Chronic glutamate toxicity induced by over-sensitive receptors is a typical characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases, causing anxiety, restlessness, enhanced pain sensitivity, and reduced focusing or concentration capability.

This syndrome is particularly dangerous for older people, as age seems to increase the sensitivity of the receptor and make neurons more susceptible to glutamate toxicity. It has been shown that Huperzine A acts as an antagonist to glutamate receptors in the brain, preventing neurons from being overactivated by glutamate[8].

Relieves Symptoms of Depression

A 2016 review of three clinical trials indicate that Huperzine A supplementation may be efficient in alleviating the symptoms of cognitive impairment of significant depressive disorders.

A total of 238 individuals aged 16 to 60 participated in studies that compared the efficacy of antidepressant therapy with Huperzine supplemented antidepressant treatment. While the addition of Huperzine A did not appear to treat depressive illnesses, the group that took both antidepressants and Huperzine A showed considerably higher improvement in both mental functioning and quality of life.

Mechanism of Action

Huperzine A is a water-soluble alkaloid that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and distributes quickly across all brain areas. It appears within 5–10 minutes in the blood in humans, and maximum concentration is reached in about an hour. Its half-life is roughly 10 hours and mostly eliminated within 24 hours through urine.

Huperzine A inhibits the formation in the brain of the G4 isoform of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that degrades and decreases the neurotransmitter acetylcholine concentrations. This intervention efficiently elevates levels of acetylcholine, which is profoundly connected with all aspects of cognition and shown to be a crucial role in new memory formation. High concentrations of acetylcholine also enhance brain signaling and increase cortical circuit response time, while at the same time reducing exciting feedback that may impede memory recovery.

Studies indicate that huperzine A has a potency equal to or even higher than prescription inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase. It has also been shown that huperzine A acts as a potent antioxidant, neutralizing and in some instances preventing or even reversing oxidative damage induced by free radicals in the brain.

This antioxidant capacity is regarded as essential to the importance of huperzine A in treating Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders as an adjunct therapy.

Glutamate Toxicity

Huperzine A is also known to assist safeguard the brain from the toxicity of glutamate by blocking certain glutamate receptor kinds. This intervention prevents the overactivation of brain cells and helps to normalize glutamate concentrations, stopping the toxicity of acute glutamate typically associated with dementia and other neurological disorders connected with age.

Dosage

How to Take Huperzine A?

There is no medically known guideline for Huperzine A dosage, but it has been securely administered as follows in clinical study studies: 50–200 mcg twice daily for the therapy of Alzheimer's illness, 100 mcg twice daily for improved memory in teenagers, and 30 mcg twice daily for the treatment of senile or pre-senile dementia. It can be taken with food or without.

Cycling can be helpful because of its long half-life of over 10 hours. A supplementation cycle of 2–4 weeks followed by a supplementation break is typical, although no ideal cycle duration was recognized.

Stacking

While huperzine A is going to have an impact alone, accumulating it with the correct parts can produce even better outcomes.

Huperzine A may boost the quantity of acetylcholine in the brain in conjunction with a choline source such as Alpha GPC, further improving the impact of huperzine A.

Many people in their diets lack adequate choline, so supplementation can be useful.

Also, a racetam is an excellent option for Huperzine A stacking. It is believed that racetams activate glutamate receptors situated close receptors of acetylcholine. This activity sensitizes the receptors of acetylcholine to enable them more probably. Stimulating the receptors with a racetam and raising the quantity of Huperzine A acetylcholine enhances both drugs ‘ nootropic impact.

Also, Huperzine A is often coupled with Noopept, a potent nootropic synthetic.

Memory Boosting Huperzine A Stack

Daily 20 mg Noopept 300 mg Alpha GPC As required/cycled 200 mcg Huperzine A 10 mg Vinpocetine

Side Effects

Huperzine A appears to be secure and well tolerated when taken in moderation, although there has been no study of long-term safety or safety during pregnancy. No toxicity incidence was recorded in Huperzine A research and tests. Side effects are rare and transitory when taken in quantities frequently used for supplementation and consist primarily of minor digestive upset.

Huperzine A can trigger nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea when taken in massive doses, slurred speech, twitching of muscles, drooling, incontinence, increased blood pressure, and slow heart rate.

Huperzine A may communicate with anticholinergic drugs such as atropine and scopolamine; it may also interact with antihistamines and antidepressant medicines. Individuals taking these medicines or having heart disease, hypertension, or taking anticholinergic medication for Alzheimer's or glaucoma should talk to their doctor about huperzine A before taking it.

Conclusion

Huperzine A is an antioxidant, neuroprotectant, and nootropic natural supplement. Decades of studies suggest that memory and general co-operation can be enhanced.

Frequently Asked Questions

Nootropics Information FAQ

Shilajit

Pending review. Contribute to this article.

Shilajit, also called mineral pitch, is the result of a long process of breaking down plant matter and minerals. It is a sticky, black, tar-like substance that comes from rocks in high mountain ranges.

Shilajeet is a thick, sticky tar-like substance with a colour ranging from white to dark brown (the latter is more common), found predominantly in Himalaya, Karakuram, Tibet mountains, Caucasus mountains, Altai Mountains, and mountains of Gilgit Baltistan.

It is used in Ayurveda and Unani, the traditional Indian system of medicine. It has been reported to contain at least 85 minerals in ionic form, as well as triterpenes, humic acids and fulvic acid.

Overview

What is Shilajit?

Known for thousands of years as a rejuvenator of the whole body, shilajit has garnered a fairly significant body of research for its impact on various body systems.

Shilajit is a sticky substance found primarily in the rocks of the Himalayas. It develops over centuries from the slow decomposition of plants.

Shilajit is commonly used in ayurvedic medicine. It’s an effective and safe supplement that can have a positive effect on your overall health and well-being. [R]

Shilajit was traditionally sourced in India and Tibet, though it is now found in many other countries.

Shilajit has been used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and the compounds in it appear to be beneficial for many conditions. In this article, learn about the benefits and possible side effects of this naturally-occurring substance.

Benefits and Effects

Prevents and Slows Alzheimer’s Progression

The primary component of shilajit is an antioxidant known as fulvic acid. This powerful antioxidant contributes to cognitive health by preventing the accumulation of tau protein. Tau proteins are an important part of your nervous system, but a buildup can trigger brain cell damage.

Researchers think that the fulvic acid in shilajit may stop the abnormal buildup of tau protein and reduce inflammation, potentially improving Alzheimer’s symptoms. However, more research and clinical trials are needed.

Enhances Cognitive Function

The numerous compounds found in shilajit may be helpful for brain function, and may even aid Alzheimer's therapy.

A study in the International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease noted that shilajit is traditionally used for longevity and to slow aging. The compounds in it may help control cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's.

Researchers expect shilajit to have an impact in preventing cognitive disorders, but more research is needed to explore these possibilities.

Where Do Shilajit's Benefits Come From?

Shilajit is a sticky, tar-like substance often appearing dark brown in color, which is highly regarded as a rejuvenating substance in Ayurveda. It is found primarily at high altitudes in the Himalayan and Tibetan mountain ranges, but has also been found in Russian and Chilean mountain ranges (Carrasco-Gallardo et al., 2012). During warm summer months, the intense heat of the sun causes shilajit to become soft, which makes it appear as if it is oozing out of rocks. However, the true origin of shilajit remains somewhat of a mystery even after decades of research. The primary theory is that shilajit is the humification product of various latex producing plants, mosses, and liverworts. This theory would explain why shilajit has such a complex chemical makeup that is similar to other humic substances such as peat. Shilajit contains over 85 individual components consisting of a mixture of minerals, humic acids, and amino acids that can potentially provide benefits to your physical and cognitive function. In order to simplify things a bit, we will only talk about the main components of shilajit which appear to have the highest biological activity. These are dibenzo-α-pyrone Chromaproteins (DBPs) and fulvic acids (FA) with DBP cores.

Fulvic acid (FA) is one of the main components of shilajit. It is a humic acid created as a result of millions of microbes breaking down decaying plant matter during a process called humification. Fulvic acid is a very complex molecule and contains a variety of functional groups, including carboxylic groups; this appears to allow Fulvic Acid to easily complex with cationic substances (Schepetkin et al., 2009). Fulvic Acid's complexing ability potentially explains quite a lot of shilajit's benefits. To begin with, fulvic acid demonstrates excellent bioavailability and blood brain barrier (BBB) permeation; this allows it to act as a very effective delivery mechanism for the compounds it complexes with (Mirza et al., 2011). In the case of shilajit derived fulvic acid, it appears to complex readily with DBPs, thus it acts as a delivery mechanism for them to various parts of the body including the brain. Furthermore, the carboxylic groups in Fulvic Acid appear to strongly support the complement immune system. This system is composed of various precursor zymogens, which circulate throughout our body and are completely inactive. However our innate and adaptive immune system can activate these precursor zymogens.

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Reishi Mushroom

Eastern medication uses a wide variety of crops and mushrooms. Most frequently, you'd hear of Lion's Mane Mushroom, and Reishi Mushroom.

It has a range of prospective health advantages, including enhancing the immune system and potential cancer-prevention poperties.

Overview

What is Reishi Mushroom?

Reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi, is a mushroom that grows in Asia. It has been a staple in Eastern medicine for many years.

There are several molecules within the fungus that can be accountable for its health impacts, including triterpenoids, polysaccharides, and peptidoglycans.

While the plants themselves can be consumed straight, the use of powder extract and parts containing these particular molecules is more common. Research on these distinct types is quite frequent.

Below are six scientific researchs on reishi mushroom advantages. Especially the first three come from a large amount of research.

Benefits and Effects

What Are the Benefits of Reishi Mishrooom?

  1. Improves Immune System
  2. Fighting Fatigue and Depression
  3. Heart Health
  4. Blood Sugar Control
  5. Antioxidation
  6. Other Potential Benefits

One of the reishi mushroom's most significant impacts is that it can increase your immune system. While some information is still unsure, test-tube trials have demonstrated that reishi can influence the genes in white blood cells that are critical components of your immune function. Moreover, trials have discovered that some types of reishi in white blood cells can actually change infection processes.

Research in cancer patients showed that some of the fungus molecules can boost the production of a sort of white blood cell called natural killer cells. Natural killer proteins combat the body's diseases and cancer.

Another research discovered that reishi in those with the colorectal disease may boost the amount of other red blood neurons (lymphocytes). Although most of the reishi mushroom's immune system advantages are seen in those who are sick, there is some proof that it can also assist right individuals.

In one research, the lymphocyte function enhanced in individuals subjected to stressful circumstances. However, after 4 weeks of getting reishi extract, another study in healthy adolescents shows no enhancement in immune function or swelling. Overall, it is evident that reishi imacts white blood cells and immune function.

There is a need for more study to determine the magnitude of the provs vs the cons.

Improves Immune System

Reishi mushroom can improve immune function through its impacts on white blood cells that assist battle cancer and infection. This can happen mainly in sick people, as blended outcomes have been seen in good people. Because of its prospective cancer-fighting characteristics, many individuals eat this fungus.

In reality, one research of more than 4,000 victims of breast cancer discovered that about 59% eaten reishi fungus. Moreover, several test-tube trials have shown that it can cause cancer organisms to die. However, the findings of this research do not necessarily correspond to animal or human efficacy.

Some study has studied whether reishi might benefit prostate cancer because of its impacts on the hormone testosterone. While one instance research shows that molecules discoveries in this fungus could reverse human liver disease, the results are not supporting a more prominent follow-up.

Reishi fungus is also in exploration for its function in the prevention or control of colorectal disease.

Some study has shown that the amount and volume of lesions in the large intestine declined by one year of reishi therapy. Moreover, a thorough study of various research stated that cancer patients may benefit from the fungus.

These advantages included enhancing the production of red blood cells in the body that assist combat cancer and improving the quality of life in people with cancer.

Researchers, however, say that reishi administration should be in conjunction with traditional therapy instead of being a replacement. Moreover, many of the reishi plant and cancer research have not been of high quality.

This requires much more studies.

While reishi fungus seems to retain some commitment to prevent or treat cancer, more data is essential before it becomes a component of conventional therapy. In some instances, however, it may be suitable to use other than ordinary care.

Fighting Fatigue and Depression

Moreover, Reishi Mushroom has other prospective benefits. These include a reduction in exhaustion and anxiety and an improvement in the quality of life.

One research examined its impacts in 132 individuals with neurasthenia, a poorly characterized disease connected with aches, pains, dizziness, headaches, and irritability.

Scientists are discovering that after 8 weeks of getting the supplements, fatigue in fact decreases, and senses of well-being are notably increasing.

Another research discovered decreased pain and enhanced quality of life after 4 weeks of getting reishi dust in a community of 48 victims of breast disease. Moreover, the study's individuals also encountered less stress and depression.

While reishi fungus may hold promise for individuals with certain diseases or diseases, it is unclear whether it would help those who are otherwise healthy.

Some preliminary trials have shown that reishi fungus is capable of reducing fear and depression and improving the quality of life in those with certain medical circumstances.

Other Potential Benefits

Reishi fungus is undergoing research for its future to enhance other health elements concerning its impacts on the immune mechanism and quality of life.

Heart Health

A 12-week research of 26 individuals indicates that reishi fungus could boost “healthy” HDL cholesterol and reduce triglycerides. However, there was no enhancement in these risk variables for heart illness in other functional adult studies

Also, after examining five separate trials comprising around 400 individuals, a significant assessment showed no positive impacts on heart health. Researchers discovered no improvement in cholesterol by consuming reishi fungus for up to 16 weeks. More study on reishi fungi and heart health is undergoing.

Blood Sugar Control

Several trials shows that animal blood sugar can go in reduction by molecules found in reishi fungus. Similar results are showing in preliminary human studies. However, this advantage has not been inclusive in many studies.

Researchers found no benefits for fasting blood sugar after assessing hundreds of respondents.

Mixed outcomes were observed after dinners for blood sugar. Reishi fungus decreased blood sugar in some instances, but in other cases, it was worse than placebo. Here, too, more study is required.

Antioxidation

Antioxidants are molecules that can assist avoid cell harm. Due to this significant feature, there is considerable interest in ingredients and supplements that can improve the body's antioxidant status.

Many argue that for this purpose, reishi fungus is efficient. However, after consuming the plant for 4 to 12 weeks, several trials discovered no shift in the concentrations of two vital antioxidant proteins in the body.

A tiny quantity of studies has shown that healthy cholesterol or blood sugar can be improved by reishi fungus. However, most research shows that cholesterol, blood sugar, or antioxidants are not enhanced in the body.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Pending review. Would you like to contribute to this article?

Summary: CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabis extract. It is a potent anti-inflammatory that fights cancer, helps with IBS, schizophrenia, anxiety, and needless to say, promote quality of sleep.

 

what is cbd oil
Cannabidiol CBD Skeletal Structure

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Introduction

What is CBD Cannabidiol?

CBD is one of the (more or less) 113 cannabinoids identified in help plants. Also, it accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. That is a lot. A lot of extensive research is ongoing about cannabidiol, most of which is on anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain. [1]

CBD is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of ingredients called cannabinoids.

THC is one of the other 60 compounds, and it is what got mainstream attention, and everyone got to know it because its an ingredient in cannabis and produces the psychoactive effect.

Although CBD is also an ingredient in marijuana, it doesn't seem to provide the same psychoactive effects the way THC does, yet still offers many benefits nevertheless.

CBD is a component of sativa. Moreover, it can be beneficial in many different ways with more and more research showing up every day along with an equal amount of marketing advertisements. It may be helpful on such a broad spectrum that is from anti inflammation to antioxidation to anxiolytic to antipsychotic. That’s the anti’s part. Furthermore, it is a potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, anxiety, and even schizophrenia. [2]

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is oil that is extracted from the annual herbaceous flowering plant cannabis. The oil taken from the plant's secretions is used as a food supplement and as a medicine (we retail it as a food supplement). It was discovered in 1940 and the plant has over 400 additional compounds, which have been used throughout the world for millennia.

CBD is a product that helps to communicate with the body to complete its natural maintenance and regenerative functions. Activating these CB1 & CB2 receptors in your body will give it balance, helping the natural signals of these bodily systems flow.

Legal Status

With the United Nations: Cannabidiol is not scheduled under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances or any other UN drug treaty. In 2018, the World Health Organization recommended that CBD remains unscheduled. [R]

I think that by itself explains the explosion of online vendors and the increase in the sale of CBD oil as well as CBD isolate.


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Benefits and Effects

What Are the CBD Benefits?

  1. CBD Reduces Anxiety and Depression
  2. CBD Treats Seizures, Epilepsy & Neurological Disorders
  3. CBD Benefits Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  4. Relieves Pain and Inflammation
  5. CBD Benefits Schizophrenia
  6. Anti-Cancer Properties
  7. Additional Benefits

CBD Reduces Anxiety and Depression

A 2011 study aimed to compare the effects of a simulation public speaking test on healthy control patients and treatment-naive patients with a social anxiety disorder. A total of 24 never-treated patients with a social anxiety disorder were given either CBD or placebo 1.5 hours before the test. Researchers found that pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alertness in anticipation of their speech. The placebo group presented stress, anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort. [3]

CBD has also shown antidepressant-like effects in several animal studies. [4]

Social Anxiety Disorder

Early research shows that taking cannabidiol at a dosage of 300 mg daily didn't improve anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder. However, another research suggests that taking a higher dose (400-600 mg) notably improves anxiety, especially that which is related to public speaking and medical tests in people with social anxiety disorders. [5]

Depression

According to researchers, CBD has antidepressant effects in mice. These depression-reducing effects of CBD in mice were fast, maintained over time, and as strong as a standard antidepressant (common tricyclic medication imipramine, also known as Tofranil) [R] [R]

Treats Seizures, Epilepsy & Neurological Disorders

A 2014 survey conducted by researchers at Stanford University on 19 subjects who suffered epilepsy and had previously tried up to 12 antiepileptic drugs. 84% of the participants had a reduction in seizure frequency while taking CBD. Furthermore, 11% reported complete diminishing symptoms of seizure altogether. [6]

CBD Benefits Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Aside from all the research I came across supporting this, I just remembered that one of my friends’ sisters who has been suffering multiple sclerosis for a long time, told us the day she tried cannabis had been a turning point in her life regarding easing her symptoms to new levels. Moreover, with my knowledge of the plant, I can believe everything about this study, and it makes total sense to me.

Relieves Pain and Inflammation

CBD significantly suppresses neuropathic pain as well as chronic inflammation in rodents without causing tolerance. It inhibits the neuronal transmission within the pain pathways. With those findings and many more surfacing from all over the world, researchers are now suggesting that CBD and other ingredients of cannabis – those that don’t produce psychoactive effects, might be representing a novel class of therapeutic remedies for treating chronic pain. [7]

Furthermore, it is also said to lower the incidence of diabetes, relieve nausea, promote cardiovascular health, and much more. It sounds like an all-in-one ointment that you have to keep around in the house for when necessary. It can heal a wound if you have one or in another day gets you to relax and unwind. I thought I'm over it after my experiment, but now after researching it again a year later, I think I might give it another shot — although definitley not vaping it this time.

CBD Benefits Schizophrenia

While the psychoactive THC in cannabis seems to trigger psychotic episodes, especially in those with schizophrenia, CBD has opposite, antipsychotic effects. More and more studies are pointing to CBD as a natural alternative to antipsychotic drugs but with far fewer side effects. [R]

Anti-Cancer Properties

CBD decreases the energy production in cancers, triggering their death. It makes cancer cells kill themselves (apoptosis), stopping both cancer growth and spreading. [R] [R]

Furthermore, in test-tube and animal studies, CBD has demonstrated anti-tumor effects. In animals, it has been shown to prevent the spread of breast, prostate, brain, colon, and lung cancer. [R]

Additional Benefits

Antipsychotic effects

Studies suggest that CBD may help people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders by reducing psychotic symptoms [R]

Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment

CBD has been shown to modify circuits in the brain related to drug addiction. In rats, CBD has been shown to reduce morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior. [R]

Diabetes Prevention

In diabetic mice, treatment with CBD reduced the incidence of diabetes by 56% and significantly reduced inflammation. [R]


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Mechanism of Action

How Does CBD Work?

CBD supports your complete wellbeing by working with your Endocannabinoid System (ECS). In the 1990s, the first Endocannabinoid System receptors were cloned: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors have an effect on the brain, and nervous system and how our bodies feel overall. CB2 receptors influence appetite and immune system function. CB2 receptors also control the management of pain throughout the nervous system. It uses 2-AG and binds with enzymes throughout the Endocannabinoid system. The Endocannabinoid system also uses (2-AG) or 2-arachidonoylglycerol to control these body systems.

Cannabidiol has antipsychotic effects. The exact cause for these effects is not apparent. However, cannabidiol seems to prevent the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that affects pain, mood, and mental function. Preventing the breakdown of this chemical and increasing its levels in the blood seems to reduce psychotic symptoms associated with conditions such as schizophrenia. Cannabidiol might also block some of the psychoactive effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Furthermore, cannabidiol seems to reduce pain and anxiety. [R]

The Endocannabinoid System

The Endogenous Cannabinoid System, also known as the ECS system, are cell receptors that communicate with various parts of the body to tell them when to start or to tell the process when to stop such as:

  1. The brain
  2. Organs
  3. Connective Tissues
  4. Glands
  5. Immuno Cells

The goal of the ECS is to achieve the overall balance of the body’s systems. The ECS chemical keys are the CB1 and CB2 receptors within the body, which lock and unlock systems of the body. Since cannabinoids play a significant role within the body’s functions, they constitute an important tool to maintain our overall wellbeing.


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Dosage

How to Take CBD?

CBD dosage can vary anywhere from 100 mg up to even 3 g per day, depending on the health issue on target.For protecting the brain (such as in Alzheimer’s) and reducing inflammation and muscle twitching (MS), doses of 100 to 600 mg of CBD were used in clinical studies. In some studies, patients took as much CBD oil as they needed to feel pain or muscle spasm relief.

Doses up to 800 mg CBD daily were used for psychosis and schizophrenia.

The highest CBD doses used in studies were up to 3.5 g of CBD oil daily for very severe drug-resistant seizures in children and young adults with epilepsy. 300 mg per day was enough to reduce anxiety in clinical studies.

Typically, it is recommended to take 150 mg of CBD oil twice a day for tackling anxiety, and for inflamation relief.

For multiple sclerosis: A spray delivering 2.5 mg of cannabidiol under the tongue per dose is positivley reported.

How is CBD Oil Used?

CBD oil is used to support the overall wellbeing of the body and mind. Today, it is used widely as a food supplement that activates receptors that communicate with the different systems of the body. CBD supports your overall feeling of wellbeing throughout the body, but does not give a sensation of “being high”, which is why THC, the other well-known active substance from the Cannabis plant, has been prohibited in most countries and considered a drug.


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Side Effects

What Are The CBD Side Effects?

CBD is generally well tolerated, and safe at high doses, and with chronic use in humans. [R]

Cannabidiol sprays used under the tongue have been used in doses of 2.5 mg for up to 2 weeks.

Some reported side effects of cannabidiol include dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness.

This is what I can second as well, from my personal experience with CBD.


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User Experience

My Personal Experience

Although my method of administration was slightly different, during my experimental period with CBD oil I was inhaling it through a vape.

I can confirm that at many times it had an incredible effect on me especially regarding anxiety and on my hypertension. However, most often than not, I was experiencing side effects rather than the benefits. To me, those were dry mouth, which is tolerable and expected. However, I often suffered somewhat an anxiety rebound instead of ease. And I believe it stemmed from analyzing and paying attention to how my heart starts beating fast and I feel altogether uncomfortable. It's like being on a bad trip and without even the psychoactive effect.

I tried several types. Some of the very potent and concentrated and some were diluted and had lower concentrations. I had very mixed feelings about it and decided to give away the oil along with the vape all together a long time ago. However, I might give it another try this time leaving the vape away and taking it orally instead.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Does CBD Oil Help Anxiety?

CBD was recommended to me for anxiety and depression about a month ago.
I've suffered anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. I managed it for a while with vitamins and exercise, but a little over a year ago the depression and anxiety became overwhelming. They helped, but it was still there. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds have been recommended, but the idea of an adverse reaction making it worse was terrifying. A few months ago PMDD (pre menstral dysphoric disorder) appeared. A week or so before my period, anxiety went in to overdrive. I would wake up terrified. I was afraid to leave my house, go to work, I convinced myself I was a terrible mother and my daughter would be better off somewhere else. Horrible, awful, crippling fear. Even auditory hallucinations. I felt borderline psychotic, like I wasn't in control of my thoughts. All created soley by out of whack hormones. And this happened every month!! Enter CBDs. I started taking 20Mg CBD capsules every morning about a month ago. Within a couple days, I felt better. In less than a week, anxiety and depression significantly dissipated and I just feel normal. I’m positive and energetic. I'm eating better, exercising again, and I don't have a lead weight on my chest that prevents me from making decisions or doing what I need to. PMDD hasn't shown up whatsoever. I've had unusually strong cravings for chocolate milkshakes the last couple days, but I'll take that over the bs I was going through. My experience with CBDs has been phenominal, with absolutely no side effects. Everyone is different, but its helped me immensly with anxiety and depression.

What Does CBD Oil Do?

CBD has show promise for many health related issues, but still needs to be studied more closely. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) just realesed their findings on CBD ad the recognized they could not find any side effects associated with CBD and they found it MAY be useful for various issues, including:
Alzheimer's disease: anti-inflammation, antioxidant, antiapoptotic in in vitro and in vivo models of Aβ-evoked neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative responses.
Parkinson's disease: Attenuation of the dopaminergic impairment in vivo; neuroprotection; improvement of psychiatric rating and reduction of agitation, nightmare and aggressive behaviour in patients.
Multiple sclerosis: Improved signs of EAE in mice, antinflammatory and immunomodulatory properties.
Huntington's disease: Neuroprotective and antioxidant in mice transgenic models; no significant clinically important differences in patients.
Hypoxia-ischemia injury: Short term neuroprotective effects; inhibition of excitotoxicity, oxidative stress and inflammation in vitro and in rodent models.
Pain: Analgesic effect in patients with neuropathic pain resistant to other treatments.
Psychosis: Attenuation of the behavioural and glial changes in animal models of schizophrenia; anti-psychotic properties on ketamine-induced symptoms
Anxiety: Reduction of muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue, problems in concentration, improvement of social interactions in rodent models of anxiety and stress; reduced social anxiety in patients.
Depression: Anti-depressant effect in genetic rodent model of depression.
Cancer: Antiproliferative and anti-invasive actions in a large range of cancer types; induction of autophagy-mediated cancer cell death; chemopreventive effects.
Nausea: Suppression of nausea and conditioned gaping in rats
Inflammatory diseases: Antinflammatory properties in several in vitro and in vivo models; inhibition of inflammatory cytokines and pathways.
Rheumatoid arthritis: Inhibition of TNF-α in an animal model
Infection: Activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Inflammatory bowel and Crohn's diseases: Inhibition of macrophage recruitment and TNF-α secretion in vivo and ex vivo; reduction in disease activity index in Crohn's patients.
Cardiovascular diseases: Reduced infarct size through anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in vivo.
Diabetic complications: Attenuation of fibrosis and myocardial dysfunction

Related Natural Nootropics

  1. Bacopa Monnieri
  2. Ginkgo Biloba
  3. Ashwagandha
  4. Cordyceps Mushroom
  5. Lion's Mane Mushroom

Cordyceps Mushroom

Summary: Cordyceps is a mushroom used in Traditional Chinese Medicine that is touted to be anti-aging and pro-vitality; these quite vague claims have not yet been looked at in human interventions. It can regulate testicular testosterone production, but has complex mechanisms.

cordyceps militaris
Cordyceps Militaris

Introduction

What is Cordyceps Militaris Mushroom?

According to the theory of Chinese medicine, C. sinensis is sweet in taste and neutral in nature, and it can replenish the kidney, soothe the lung, stop bleeding, and eliminate phlegm. The fungus C. sinensis has been used for the treatment of fatigue, cough, hyposexuality, asthenia after severe illness, renal dysfunction, and renal failure (State Pharmacopoeia Commission of PRC 2005). In China, it is found in the soil of prairies at elevations of 3500–5000 m, mainly in the provinces of Qinghai, Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Gansu. In China, C. sinensis has been known and used as a remedy for more than 300 years. It was first recorded in Ben Cao Bei Yao by Wang Ang in 1694, and the Italian scholar Saccardo named the Cordyceps found in China officially as Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc. in 1878; this nomenclature has been used ever since. [R]

Cordyceps vs. Reishi vs. Lion’s Mane

Along with other mushrooms like the Chaga mushroom and turkey tail mushroom, cordyceps, reishi and lion’s mane are three of the most popular medicinal mushrooms on the market. That being said, there are plenty of similarities between these three unique types of mushrooms as well as several things that set them apart.

Reishi mushrooms have been associated with an extensive list of health benefits, ranging from improved liver function to enhanced immunity in human and animal studies. Available in extract, capsule and powder form, reishi mushrooms are often used as a natural remedy to help boost health and increase antioxidant intake.

And while both reishi and cordyceps mushrooms are most commonly found in supplement form, lion’s mane is an edible mushroom that can be purchased from specialty grocery stores and used to bump up the benefits of your favorite recipes. Like other types of medicinal mushrooms, lion’s mane mushroom is high in inflammation-busting antioxidants and can help maximize immunity to support better health. However, it’s also been shown to improve brain function and protect against stomach ulcers in animal models.

Dr.Axe


History

The ecosystem of C. sinensis has been terribly affected by the restriction of habitat and over- exploration. Although the Ordinance of Resources Protection on Wild Herbal Medicine was issued in 1987, the yield of natural C. sinensis is still decreasing. It was reported based on a survey conducted during June–July 2007 that the yield of natural C. sinensis decreased by more than 90% in the last 25 years. The price rocketed to more than 200,000 Renminbi (RMB)/kg (approximately US$25,000) in 2007 (Feng, Yang, and Li 2008), and its usage was limited during the past decade by its limited supply. [R]

Due to the rarity and outstanding curative effects of C. sinensis, some natural substitutes such as C. militaris, C. liangshanensis, C. gunnii, and C. cicadicola have been sold in markets (Yang et al. 2009). In addition, several cultured mycelia of C. sinensis and C. militaris fungi have become the main substitutes of the natural species as commercial products, and 50 medicines and two dietary supplements related to cultured Cordyceps have been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration of China since 2002 (Feng, Yang, and Li 2008). For example, JinShuiBao capsule, the commercial product of Cs-4 (Paecilomyces hepialid, a standardized mycelium of C. sinensis), has been used in clinics throughout China. This product generates several million U.S. dollars every year. Synnematum sinensis, Cephalosporium sinensis, Gliocladium roseum, and Mortierella hepialid, the fungus strains isolated from natural C. sinensis, have also been subjected to large- scale fermentation and are used as commercial products (Cheung, Li, and Tsim 2005). Therefore, much effort has been invested in studying the evaluation of the quality, pharmacological activities, and clinical efficacies of natural and cultured cordyceps. In this chapter, we focus on the bioactivities, action mechanisms, and active ingredients of cordyceps, both natural and cultured. [R]

Cordyceps sinensis (C sinensis) is a well-known, traditional, Chinese medicinal mushroom, valued for its beneficial properties for human health. C sinensis has been reported to have immunomodulatory, anticancer, anti aging, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. [R]

Cordyceps is a mushroom traditionally used to treat sexual dysfunction and fertility in Chinese medicine, as well as a general sexual tonic and libido/performance enhancer. [1]

This mushroom belongs to phylum Ascomycota, the sub-phylum Ascomycota and the class Clavicipitaceae; which as a whole is seen as medicinal.

The most commonly used species is Sinensis, which is a Cordyceps to be shown to contain the bioactive compound Cordycepin (3′-deoxyadenosine). It is also present in Militaris and Kyushuensis.

Isolation of Cordycepin dates back to 1950, first discovered in Militaris. Cordycepin is known as a nucleotide analogue, due to its structural similarities to adenosine.

Cordyceps possesses a potent anti-oxidative effect. The anti-oxidative effects of Cordyceps come mostly from the polysaccharide content, and is equally potent between the Mycelium and the fruiting body of Cordyceps.

Cordyceps (also known as Cordyceps Sinensis, Cordyceps Militaris, Caterpillar Fungus, Caterpillar Mushroom, Summer grass-winter worm, Totsu kasu, Yarchakunbu, Aweto) is a form of traditional chinese medicine that benefits its user by boosting testosterone and supports anti-aging and longevity. It is also widely used for its libido and sexual health benefits.

Cordyceps militaris is a species of mushroom in the family Clavicipitaceae which has been used in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine for centuries. These interesting parasitic fungi usually use insects and arthropods as hosts. As their mycelium grows, it takes over the host’s tissues and long club-like fruiting bodies eventually emerge individually or in cluster form. Cordyceps Militaris is just one species in the family, but is well-known for its aggressive takeover of its host as well as for its purported health benefits.

Cordyceps Militaris historically has been used as an aphrodisiac, and was first documented in a 15th-century Tibetan text. However, Cordyceps militaris Mushroom Capsules today are sometimes used for a variety of health issues.


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Benefits and Effects

What Are Cordyceps Mushroom Benefits?

Boosts Exercise Performance

Cordyceps have been shown to improve measures of exercise performance in older and younger adults.

In a study conducted by the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles, where 20 health adults aged 50 to 75 were receiving 333 mg vs placebo 3 times a day for 12 weeks, the result was the following:

After receiving Cs-4 for 12 weeks, the metabolic threshold (above which lactate accumulates) increased by 10.5% from 0.83 ± 0.06 to 0.93 ± 0.08 L/min (p < 0.02) and the ventilatory threshold (above which unbuffered H+ stimulates ventilation) increased by 8.5% from 1.25 ± 0.11 to 1.36 ± 0.15 L/min. Significant changes in metabolic or ventilatory threshold were not seen for the subjects in the placebo group after 12 weeks, and there were no changes in V̇o2 max in either group. [R]

Promotes Longevity and Anti-Aging

Several studies have found that Cordyceps increase antioxidants in aged mice, helping improve memory and sexual function. Antioxidants are molecules that fight cell damage by neutralizing free radicals, which can otherwise contribute to disease and aging.

The following study The study was conducted at the Center for Biological Research, University of Belgrade. The participants were 6 individuals, 2 males and 4 females, between the ages of 20 and 45 years old. The outcome measures of the studies were the following:

For the posttreatment, the CS extract exhibited antigenotoxic potential by attenuating H2O2-induced DNA damage at all concentrations tested. The evaluation of repair kinetics showed a decrease in DNA-damaged cells 15 min after the application of the CS extract, reaching a maximum potency after 45 min. Conclusions • The results indicated that C sinensis can be used as a postapplicative agent that counteracts the effect of oxidative stress. The resulting reduction in DNA damage might be related to its scavenging properties and stimulation of DNA repair. [R]

Helps Fight Inflammation

Research has shown that when human cells are exposed to Cordyceps, special proteins that increase inflammation in the body become suppressed. Thanks to these potential effects, researchers believe Cordyceps may serve as a useful anti-inflammatory supplement or drug.

A study by the College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul has found to contain acute anti-inflammatory activity, which was evaluated using the carrageenin-induced edema, and also strong antinociceptive activity in writhing test. CME and FBE contain potent inhibitory activity on the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) angiogenesis in a dose-dependent manner.

In brief, we demonstrate that Cordyceps militaris possesses anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities, and related antioxidant, anti-angiogenic, and NO production-inhibitory activities. [R]

Anti-Tumor and Fights Cancer in Several Pathways

Due to the limitations of surgery and radiotherapy and the side effects of chemotherapy, there is increasing interest in developing antitumor drugs from natural products. Studies have shown that cordyceps has antitumor activity in various cancers through several pathways. Both natural and cultured cordyceps have demonstrated antitumor effects [R]


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Mechanism of Action

How Do Cordyceps Work?

Cordyceps might improve immunity by stimulating cells and specific chemicals in the immune system. It may also have activity against cancer cells and may shrink tumor size, particularly with lung or skin cancers.


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Dosage

How To Take Cordyceps Mushrooms?

The dosage commonly used in human research is 1,000–3,000 mg per day. This range is not associated with side effects and has been found to have certain health benefits.

There is no indication if this is the optimal dose or not, and it is uncertain if this dosage is even effective as some of the research has come back null.

The appropriate dose of cordyceps depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for cordyceps. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be significant.

A little more on the explanation from Nootropics Depot:

In terms of comparing Cordyceps dosages, it is essential to remember that the 10:1 extract isn't technically 10 times stronger than the 1:1 extract. With this in mind, our label recommends 1 gram (or 1000mg) of the 10:1 extract, which is the same dosage for the 1:1 extract. However, anecdotally, the 10:1 extract is quite a bit more stimulating so 250-500mg may be adequate as well. Many people prefer to split their 1:1 dosage into two 500mg doses spread out over the day.

This is especially true for those that can get minor stomach upset with higher dosages of Cordyceps. Our Cordyceps capsules are 500mg of our 1:1 extract in each capsule. The 10:1 seems to be stronger in some aspects, but also smoother in others. Many people find that a single 250mg dose is adequate for the 10:1. As always, this all comes down to your personal preference and what works best for you.


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Side Effects

What Are Cordyceps Mushrooms Side Effects?

Cordyceps is generally safe for most people when taken appropriately by mouth, short-term.

The long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests they are nontoxic. Moreover, the Chinese government approved the use of cordyceps for use in hospitals and regards it as a safe, natural drug. [R]

WebMD suggests caution and prevention of usage for the following cases:

Pregnancy and breastfeeding:

There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking cordyceps if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Cordyceps might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using cordyceps.

Bleeding disorders: Cordyceps might slow blood clotting. Taking cordyceps might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Surgery: Using cordyceps might increase the risk of bleeding during the operation. Stop taking cordyceps 2 weeks before surgery.


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Conclusion

Cordyceps are well known in Traditional Chinese Medicine and have been used for centuries to treat many health ailments.

Though the fungi show promise in many areas, there’s little research on their effects in humans. Thus, more research is needed before experts can make any recommendations.

Animal and lab studies suggest Cordyceps have the potential to improve heart health and fight inflammation, cancer, diabetes and aging. However, many of these studies are poor quality, and the results cannot be extended to humans.

Nevertheless, there have been human studies on Cordyceps’ effects on exercise performance. The fungi have been found to potentially boost energy and oxygen use during exercise.

If you choose to take Cordyceps supplements, make sure they’ve been tested by a third-party organization for purity and quality.


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Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is the most commonly ingested herb for brain health. Research proves that its neuroprotective, improves memory, boosts cognitive function, to name a few of its diverse benefits.

What is Ginkgo Biloba?

Ginkgo biloba derives from the family of medicinal plant  Ginkgoaceae – which is highly loved, appreciated, and respected traditional Chinese medicine. It is the last and only ‘ginkgoaceae’ plant still existing today. The rest of the family is said to have gone extinct, after nearly 190 million years of existence. [R]

Today, Ginkgo biloba (also known as Tebonin, Tanakan, Rökan, Maidenhair, and gingko) is the most widely used herb for cognitive function and brain health.

Moreover, it is one of the top 10 best selling dietary supplements in the whole world. [R]

Although more commonly used by older people, the wide variety of benefits it possesses make it appeal to people of all ages.

Ginkgo biloba, commonly known as ginkgo or gingko, also known as the maidenhair tree, is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta, all others being extinct. It is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated, and was cultivated early in human history. – Wikipedia

What Are Ginkgo Biloba Benefits?

  • Improves Memory (Formation, Consolidation, and Recall)
  • Relieves Stress and Anxiety
  • Relieves Symptoms of Depression
  • Supports Mitochondrial Health and Longevity
  • Provides Neuroprotection
  • Promotes Nerve Repair and Neurogenesis
  • Promotes Better Sleep Quality
  • Treats Sexual and Erectile Dysfunction

 

Supporting research:

Improves Memory (Formation, Consolidation, and Recall)

In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial of an extract of Ginkgo biloba for dementia running over the course of 52 weeks and involving 309 patients, it was concluded that it is “capable of stabilizing improving the cognitive performance and the social functioning of demented patients for 6 months to 1 year.” [R]

Relieves Stress and Anxiety

In another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using ginkgo extract in patients with generalized anxiety disorder and ‘adjustment disorder with anxious mood’.

In this study, the results were “significantly superior to placebo on all secondary outcome measures. It was safe and well tolerated and may thus be of particular value in elderly patients with anxiety related to cognitive decline” [R]

Relieves Symptoms of Depression

Due to its ability of preserving serotonin and dopamine, as well as having strong protective and antioxidant effects, those 3 together allow ginkgo to provide an antidepressant effect. [R]

Supports Mitochondrial Health and Longevity

Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) prevents mitochondrial aging by protecting it against oxidative stress. The study suggests that on a rodents experiment, the extract ‘partially’ prevented changes due to oxidative damage [R] and that sounded good enough for me to reach out to my supplements cabinet for a 120mg dose.

Provides Neuroprotection

In a different rodent study where they were fed ginkgo biloba, a reduction in platelet activating factor (PAF) activity was noted. That reduction seems to be one of the leading mechanisms allowing ginkgo to have neuroprotective effects. [R]

Promotes Nerve Repair and Neurogenesis

Ginkgo (bilobalide) appears to promote neuronal proliferation with higher potency than Rolipram. Moreover, this can apply to all neurons of the central nervous system as well as the peripheral nervous system (PNS). In addition to the cognitive function effect, this also underlie its nerve repair benefits. [R]

Promotes Better Sleep Quality

240mg Egb-761 over four weeks to depressed persons currently on therapy (trimipramine) was able to improve sleep efficiency by reducing the frequency of waking and increasing non-REM sleep, although REM sleep was unaffected. [R]

Treats Sexual and Erectile Dysfunction

Some sources indicate that ginkgo may treat sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction or low libido.

Ginkgo has the ability to improve blood levels of nitric oxide, which improves circulation via the dilation of blood vessels. [R]

As a result, ginkgo may also be useful for treating various symptoms of sexual dysfunction by improving blood flow to those areas of the body.

Some research has investigated using ginkgo to treat sexual dysfunction caused by the use of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs). Results indicated that ginkgo wasn’t any more effective than a placebo in these cases.

Additionally, there may be an interaction between ginkgo and SSRI medications, which could render them less effective.

One study evaluated the use of ginkgo to increase sexual desire and contentment in women who were concurrently undergoing sexual psychotherapy [R]

The combination of ginkgo and therapy were effective over a longer term compared to a placebo, but supplementing with ginkgo alone was not.
The rationale for using ginkgo to treat sexual dysfunction makes sense, but research does not support it at this time.

How Does Ginkgo Biloba Work?

Absorption of oral supplementation allows for a 79% to 88% depending on the variant whether it is ginkgolide A, ginkgolide B, or bilabolide [R] which if you try to say out loud would sound in between funny and awkward.

Oral ingestion of ginkgo biloba is thought to increase dopamine concentration levels in the prefrontal cortex. Which is related to the flavonoids rather than terpenoids assuming anyone would care about that comparison. [R] – However, the fact that its neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects may actually be extending its effects to the dopaminergic neurons is sort of interesting. “The key benefits of Ginkgo originate in one’s circulatory system. The most popular and effective nootropics and smart drugs, typically have the ability to enhance circulation. Gingko supports the release of thromboxane A2 and prostacyclin. These help protect vessel walls, while blocking platelet formation. The end result is improved circulation in all major tissues and organs in the body.

Having excellent brain circulation is critical, because if circulation is poor, it can lead to severe imbalances. In more mild cases, individuals can experience headaches. In more severe cases, individuals could have a stroke. When you have good brain flow, these instances can be prevented.

This increased blood flow helps maintain healthy neural tissues. When neuron and synapse growth are supported, memory formation is enhanced. Gingko works by acting as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. This aids in the protection of acetylcholine levels. When all these effects are combined, they lead to greater neuroplasticity. This is the brain’s ability to adapt over time, which is key to mental power long-term.

While focusing on neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, Gingko acts as a Monoamine Oxidase inhibitor. Since this chemical generally decreases the amount of these neurotransmitters, Gingko helps to boost mental energy, clarity, and focus (by elevating levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine).”

How To Take Ginkgo Biloba?

For its nootropic effect, the recommended dose is 120 to 240 mg, and to be taken 2 hours before the task or performance.

For neuroprotection and preventing cognitive degeneration, the recommended dose is 40 to 120mg, taken three times a day after food.

Ginkgo comes in various forms and seems to be most effective when taken in several doses throughout the day that total 120–240 mg.

Stack

Ginkgo biloba seems to synergize very well with another popular herb and one of my favorite nootropics, Panax Ginseng. The exact synergism isn’t really known or understood, but it is suggested that its synergy is especially effective and beneficial for memory formation and enhancement.

It also goes well with Phosphatidylserine. There are claims of Phosphatidylserine enhancing the efficacy of ginkgo biloba but the study on the subject lacked solid evidence therefore is irrelevant.

If you would like to boost the cognitive effects of Ginkgo, you should stack is with a choline-enhancing supplements. These are known as cholinergics, and include options such as Alpha GPC and Citicoline. By stacking with a choline supplement, you can amplify positive effects.

What Are Ginkgo Biloba Side Effects?

For most adults, the risk associated with taking ginkgo is relatively low, but there are cases in which ginkgo could cause serious harm. If you are allergic to plants that contain alkylphenols or taking certain medications, you should not take ginkgo. Possible side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain

Those taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) as antidepressants should not take ginkgo as it inhibits monoamine oxidase, reducing the effectiveness of the medications.Combining the two may also increase the risk of a potentially fatal condition known as serotonin syndrome. Examples of SSRIs are Prozac, or fluoxetine, and sertraline, also known as Zoloft.

Risk of Cancer

Large epidemiologic studies suggest that supplementation with Ginkgo does not affect the risk of cancer.

An analysis of 3069 participants aged 75 or older from the randomized, placebo-controlled Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) Study found no association with the use of Ginkgo extract (120 mg twice daily) and overall cancer incidence. [R]

Ginkgo biloba has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities and an ability to improve circulation.

Together, these characteristics have the potential to affect numerous body systems and diseases, although the science behind it still has some catching up to do.

While ginkgo has been used for centuries, it’s not completely understood how it works. Much of the available research is inconsistent or inconclusive, and it’s important to keep that in mind.

As with any herbal supplement, there are risks involved. Ginkgo could lead to serious health complications if you are allergic or taking certain medications.If you’re thinking of including ginkgo in your regimen, be sure to consult your doctor first.

Ginkgo extract has proven benefits to elderly people. This ancient herb acts to enhance oxygen utilization and thus improves memory, concentration, and other mental faculties also to significantly improve long-distance vision and may reverse damage to the retina of the eye. Studies have also confirmed its value in the treatment of depression in elderly people. The ginkgo extract may provide relief for those who suffer from headaches, sinusitis, and vertigo. It may also help relieve chronic ringing in the ears known as tinnitus.

Healing properties:
Germany and France have run literally hundreds of studies on the leaf extract. These studies along with similar studies in America, have shown significant results. The extract of ginkgo biloba has been studied for its effectiveness in the treatment of acrocyanosis, Alzheimer's disease, cerebral atherosclerosis, cerebral insufficiencies, cochlear deafness, dementia, depression, menopause, peripheral and cerebral circulatory stimulation, peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud's syndrome, retinopathy, senility, short-term memory loss, tinnitus, vascular diseases, and vertigo. It is said to be effective in improving the blood flow to the hands and the feet as well as stimulating the brain and reducing short-term memory loss. It increases blood flow to the brain, the uptake of glucose by brain cells, and has been said to improve the transmission of nerve signals.

Depression:
Patients suffering from varying degrees of vascular insufficiency also noted an improvement in mood while taking ginkgo biloba extract. This has prompted a surge of interest in its use as a treatment for depression, especially in the elderly. Those under the age of fifty may also benefit from ginkgo biloba's antidepressant effects. So far though, the greatest level of improvement has been noted with older patients.

Alzheimer's & mental function:
As more than 300 studies demonstrate, ginkgo facilitates better blood flow through out the body, most notably the brain, where it both protects and promotes memory and mental function, even for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Antioxidant Properties:
As an antioxidant, ginkgo biloba combats free radicals and repairs molecular damage. A great deal of research suggests that antioxidants such as GBE may play important roles in preventing or delaying heart disease, cancer and other ills. Antioxidants may even halt the damage to cells, thereby slowing the effects of aging.

Impotency:
Another use for ginkgo biloba is in the treatment of impotency. The main cause of male impotence is poor circulation and impaired blood flow through the penis, which is often the result of atherosclerosis. Since ginkgo biloba increases blood flow, it's been found to help up to fifty percent of patients after six months of use.

Raynaud's disease:
Raynaud's disease is believed to be caused by blood vessels that over react to the cold and spasm, reducing blood flow and there by depriving extremities of oxygen. Ginkgo biloba may help this condition by widening the small blood vessels, which would keep these spasms from completely blocking the blood flow.

Parkinson's Disease:
Ginkgo biloba may help symptoms by increasing the brain's blood flow and thereby allowing more of the depleted dopamine to be circulated to the areas that need it most.

Other Conditions:
Other uses for which ginkgo biloba extract is often recommended include depression, diabetes related nerve damage and poor circulation, allergies, vertigo, short-term memory loss, headache, atherosclerosis, tinnitus, cochlear deafness, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and PMS.

Strokes:
Scientists continue to study the prevention and treatment benefits, ginkgo biloba may help stop strokes from occurring. It's also believed that the herb inhibits free-radical damage of brain cells after a stroke.

You have to understand that Ginkgo biloba is the world's oldest living plant. It is called a living fossil because it has no close living relatives and also appears to be the only plant species dating back 270 million years (Permian) in the fossil record. However, it is also one of a rare few (6%) dioecious flowering plants, meaning it has distinct male and female organisms. Not only has this exceptionally hardy species survived three mass extinction events over the past quarter of a billion years, but it was found to be the only surviving plant species near the epicenter of the August 6th, 1945 Hiroshima atomic bomb blast.

Yes. Scientific research support that it improves memory and cognitive thinking. But remember, just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s not harmful. Some people are allergic to Ginkgo biloba. They can also interfere with other medications, boasting or decreasing their effects. If you take other medications, always ask your physician if it’s safe to take a new one.

There is no standard dose of ginkgo. Most studies have used a standardized extract of ginkgo, to 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones. For improving cognitive function, studies have used between 120 milligrams to 600 milligrams of the extract daily. The dose given to people with dementia is 40 milligrams of that extract three times daily. No matter why are you using ginkgo, you better start at a low dose (120 milligrams daily) and increase this level gradually while observing your body and its response to the supplement. 

In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial of an extract of Ginkgo biloba for dementia running over the course of 52 weeks and involving 309 patients, it was concluded that it is “capable of stabilizing improving the cognitive performance and the social functioning of demented patients for 6 months to 1 year.

A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial of an extract of Ginkgo biloba for dementia. North American EGb Study Group. New York Institute for Medical Research, Tarrytown 10591, USA
PMID: 9343463

Melatonin

Melatonin plays several roles in the body, including helping to regulate blood pressure, boost immune function, antioxidative, and manages cortisol levels, in addition to regulating the body’s circadian rhythm. That’s why melatonin is often referred to as the body’s sleep hormone.

Melatonin is a multitasking hormone produced by the brain’s pinecone-shaped pineal gland. [R]

Melatonin plays several roles in the body, including helping to regulate blood pressure, boost immune function, and manage cortisol levels. [R] [R]

But melatonin is probably best known for its soporific powers. Chief among its responsibilities is regulating the body’s circadian rhythm so it knows when to rest and when to wake up. That’s why melatonin is often referred to as the body’s sleep hormone.

 

What Are Melatonin Benefits?

  • Regulates Circadian Rhythm and Enhances Sleep Quality
  • Alleviates Anxiety and Depression Symptoms
  • Potent Antioxidant
  • Supports BDNF
  • Strengthens the Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Neuroprotectant
  • Replaces Benzos for Sleep

 

Supporting Research:

Regulates Circadian Rhythm and Enhances Sleep Quality

Melatonin increases the quality of sleep. The Circadian Rhythm influences the body’s sleeping habits. Think of it as a built-in clock that controls our bodies processes 24 hours a day. Scientists have observed that Melatonin normalizes the Circadian rhythm which can sometimes become distorted due to modern lifestyle. [R]

Alleviates Anxiety and Depression Symptoms

Conditions like depression and anxiety usually worsen by a disturbed, intermittent or a lack of a sleeping pattern. Having these disturbances regulated can alleviate the symptoms of these conditions, not mainly offering a cure but by far offering an improvement in the standard of life. [R]

Potent Antioxidant

Antioxidant enzymes roles within our bodies are to help clean the cells in our bodies and filter our bloodstream from harmful cells. Melatonin increases the rate at which our body produces these enzymes that would be naturally. These molecules in question can also bond to what is called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) & Reactive Nitrogen Species (NOS) which can decrease the level of damage each of these can cause respectively.

The benefits directly from this are that Melatonin prevents any harm coming to your organ systems or tissues. These advantages combined make Melatonin a very useful protectorate within your body internally. These antioxidants can also have benefits for the most critical organ in our body, our brain. [R]

Supports BDNF

Nerve cells are also protected by the increase of these enzymes produced by Melatonin, having a positive onward affect towards the spinal cord including white matter and optic nerves. Its regeneration is down to something called the ‘Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor’ (BDNF); in simple terms, this is a protein responsible for the nerves regeneration and well-being within our brains. [R]

Strengthens the Blood-Brain Barrier

Melatonin strengthens the ever significant barrier between the brain and our blood. If the strength of this barrier were to deteriorate and for example leak, this can lead to cognitive dysfunction (also known as brain fog) and could potentially result in future to conditions such as Alzheimer’s. [R]

Neuroprotection

In addition to defending against conditions such as Alzheimer’s development, Melatonin can also aid as a coping mechanism for users who have Parkinson’s. Melatonin in tests was shown to prohibit cell death and brain damage, sometimes as a cause of a leaky blood-brain barrier.

Referring back to the regulation of sleep, this can also help people who, however, there is currently no proof it helps with any of the other side-effects of the condition. [R]

Benzodiazepine Replacement

Its widely known that benzos usually depress the natural levels of melatonin within our bodies. Our recommendation is if you are using one of these drugs for sleep, it would be wise to start using melatonin instead. Moreover, start weaning yourself off the benzos. [R]

Mechanism of Action

How Does Melatonin Work?

Melatonin works together with your body’s circadian rhythm. In simple terms, the circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock. It lets you know when it’s time to sleep, wake and eat. Melatonin also helps regulate your body temperature, blood pressure and hormone levels. [R]

Melatonin levels start to rise in your body when it is dark outside, signaling to your body that it is time to sleep. [R]

It also binds to receptors in the body and can help you relax. For instance, melatonin binds to receptors in the brain to help reduce nerve activity. In the eyes, it can help reduce dopamine levels, a hormone that enables you to stay awake. [R] [R]

Melatonin is controlled by light and darkness. When we’re awake and the sun’s out, we don’t produce any melatonin. But at night, the onset of darkness signals to our pineal gland to release melatonin into the bloodstream. Your melatonin levels begin to increase about two hours before you go to bed, typically around 9 p.m., and peak about five hours later. As melatonin levels rise throughout our body — it’s found in a variety of our organs, including our eyes, bones, ovaries/testes and gut — our body knows it’s time to drift off to Slumber Town. [R]

“The melatonin receptors are named MT1 and MT2, and are G-protein coupled receptors (GPRCs) coupled to Gi proteins (a heterotrimer of α, β, and γ that dissociates into α and βγ when the receptor is activated). These two receptors are quite different from each other, as they structure pharmacological characteristics and chromosomal location, yet both have high affinity for melatonin. A third ‘receptor' exists, known as MT3, but it is not a GPRC like MT1/2. Due to the cytoplasmic protein quinone reductase II having the same melatonin binding properties as ‘MT3′, and deletion of quinone reductase II causing ‘MT3′ to disappear, MT3 may just be quinone reductase II.”

– Examine.com

How To Take Melatonin?

You’ll see melatonin recommended in a range of doses, starting at around 0.5 milligrams up to 10 milligrams for people with sleep disorders, with the most common dosage being around 3 milligrams.

But even this is probably way more than you need.

You’re better off basing your melatonin intake on increments that mirror how much melatonin our bodies produce at night. According to clinical studies, the optimal dose is 0.3 milligrams. [R]

Melatonin Overdose

Even though the overwhelming verdict is that melatonin is safe, you can have too much of a good thing. Overdosing on melatonin has not been shown to be fatal, but it can produce the aforementioned side effects, like dizziness and grogginess. In one known case, after taking 24 milligrams of melatonin, a man became lethargic and disoriented, but returned to normal and did not continue to have issues once he lowered his dosage.

In addition, large doses could potentially cause amenorrhea (skipped periods) in women, due to it suppressing gonadotropin-releasing hormones, but if you can easily remedy this side effect by simply stopping your supplements. [R]

Melatonin Side Effects

Overall, the side effects of melatonin are pretty harmless. Unlike other sleep aids, like benzodiazepines and z-drugs (think: Ambien and Lunesta), it does not cause dependence or withdrawal symptoms. [R]

The most commonly reported side effect is daytime drowsiness. Other side effects include nausea, headache, and dizziness. [R]

If course, if you’re taking other medications, you should check with your physician before popping a melatonin. It has been known to interact with some antidepressants, blood pressure medications, sedatives, antibiotics, and antihistamines. [R]

Up to 240 mg and 500 mg oral and intravenous injections of melatonin taken acutely is not associated with any toxicological effects. [R]

A handful of large scale, 6-12 month studies, suggest continued administration of melatonin does not result in tolerance. – Examine.com

There's great amount of evidence suggesting as well as proving the benefits of supplementing with melatonin whether for sleep purposes or overall general health. Best practices when supplementing with melatonin for long-term benefits is to take a microdose of 300 mcg on daily basis before bedtime.

This microdose will serve a host of benefits most noteworthy of which is antioxidation and supporting mitochondria and antioxidation.

Many Nootropic focused companies are now aware of this and its benefits and so finally starting to see products in microdoses such as Nootropic Depot's, which I have personally been using for a long time. Prior to which, I tried a couple of different products at the doses of 3 mg and it made me very heavy and groggy for a long time.

Reddit

reddit user documented his experience after 2 years of using microdose of melatonin as recommended alongside magnesium, and his realization of how beneficial it had been working for him after he stopped.

I took Magnesium Citrate (200-400mg) and Melatonin (0.3mg) both every night for over 2 years and thought they didn't make much difference in my sleep. It turned out to be very wrong – I now remember how poor my sleep was 3 years ago, before starting to take them. I wake up from the slightest noise and can't go back to sleep for many hours afterwards – even if I wake up after only 4 hours, I would need to wait 3 hours before I fall asleep again, without Magnesium and Melatonin. This has been this way since I was a child. I find Melatonin is better for actually falling asleep initially, while Magnesium is better for maintaining quality sleep afterwards.

Second Reddit User Experience

I have learned the same lesson with melatonin in that less is more. I took 30 mg one evening and had very unsettling and vivid dreams. Not restful at all. I find 5 mg timed release works well. If you are interested in another natural sleep / relaxation aid, I have had success with Red Bali Kratom.

Further Readings

From the blog: Melatonin for Sleep: How Effective Is It?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could pop a pill for better sleep? A pill that’s non-habit-forming, doesn’t require a prescription, and doesn’t make you do strange things like eat in your sleep? Well, maybe you can. While more satisfying zzz’s in pill form sounds too good to be true, there’s promising evidence that melatonin, the naturally occurring hormone in our bodies, can be harnessed as a supplement for better sleep.