The subject of Memory is becoming increasingly important to me as I grow older. Though some people retain a perfect memory as they age, most of us do begin to show some problems, especially with short term memory.  We can remember in detail stuff that happened to us when we were children or teenagers, etc., but we can totally forget what we did last week!!

I found some excellent herbs that will help with Memory, especially Short term memory:  Gingko and Bacopa

  • Today we will take a look at Gingko. Ginkgo is one of the most important medicinal plants worldwide.The leaf extracts are used mainly to improve mental performance. Gingko’s effect on memory has much to do with its ability to help the circulatory system, esp. blood circulation in our Hippocampus –the center of our memory, but elsewhere as well.
  • Gingko is also very helpful in cases of depression.
  • Depression (also connected to the hippocampus) has often been diagnosed as a major cause of loss of memory.
  • Unrelated to memory but equally important, Gingko has very positive effects on women’s PMS both physical as well as psychological symptoms, which does not surprise me, as depression is very often present in women’s PMS. Multiple studies have shown Gingko to cause a significant decrease in both physical and psychological symptoms of PMS, or at least in their severity.

Although medical research recommends standardized Gingko extracts, I have always preferred the actual herb as a tincture primarily, but also as teas. It may not have as strong an effect as a standardized Gingko pill, but it is safer as a tincture and just as strong as I need it! We can take 15-20 drops of the tincture 3-4 times a day without any fear of side effects.

 If taking Standardized Gingko, these are some of the precautions to keep in mind:

Gingko may sometimes cause:

  • dizziness, headaches, decreased blood pressure and GI issues.
  • Do not take Gingko, as a pill or tincture, with SSRIs (anti-depressants like Serotonin). There is a possibility that the combination might cause some unpleasant reactions, due to chemical incompatibilities between SSRIs and Gingko.
  • Do not take Gingko as a pill when using warfarin, aspirin, and ibuprofen due to
potential bleeding.

On the other hand, as a tincture, Ginkgo is very well tolerated in most healthy adults when used in recommended doses.

One thing to keep in mind: one must be patient with Gingko:  Stress, and other psychological aspects of stress, may take up to several weeks of regularly taking the tincture to show positive effects. Herbs are NOT pharmaceutical drugs, and actually any herb will take some time to build up in our system and begin affecting us positively.

So try some Gingko if you think you forget stuff, or feel a bit foggy!  Best yet, however, do consult an Herbalist, first.  Most of us do a detailed assessment before deciding on any herbs, single or combinations, and then recommend accordingly.


For questions please email me at:

Charoula Dontopoulos
Certified Herbalist
Holistic Health Advisor
BC Polarity Therapy Practitioner