Ginkgo biloba improves memory and cognition in amnestic mild cognitive impairment

A full 42% of seniors are affected by mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a decline in cognition that affects memory and thinking but is not extreme enough to cause the catastrophic problems of Alzheimer’s Disease. There is no drug that can help. But there is a herb.

MCI is the cognitive area between the normal cognitive decline of aging and the serious cognitive decline of dementia. It causes difficulties with memory, thinking, judgement and language but falls short of affecting your life the way Alzheimer’s does. It may increase your risk of Alzheimer’s, but not for everyone. There is no medical treatment.

People who experience a type of MCI called amnestic MCI are at increased risk of Alzheimer’s. The great memory herb, Ginkgo biloba, has been shown benefit people with amnestic MCI. A double-blind study of 240mg of ginkgo found improvement in cognition, attention, memory and executive function (Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2014;29:1087- 95).

Now a new study has added to the evidence. 500 people with amnestic MCI were given 120mg of Ginkgo biloba extract for two years. They experiences a significant increase in the Mini-Mental State Exam, a widely used test of cognitive function in the elderly that looks at orientation, attention, memory, language and visual-spatial skills. Ginkgo improved memory and ability to perform activities of daily living. As a bonus, it also improved depression.

This study adds to the evidence that ginkgo may be a safe, effective treatment for elderly people for whom there is no medical help.


CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2021;20(4):378-384


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For much more on preventing and treating Alzheimer’s and MCI naturally, see our books The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia and Chocolate: Superfood of the Gods.

For lots more on ginkgo, see our book Health Herbs: Your Everyday Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Their Use.

For comprehensive natural help with memory and cognition, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven nowLinda’s clinic is now open for virtual appointments.

The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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