Herbal extracts and cognition in adulthood and ageing
Chapter Overview: • Cognitive ageing involves multiple interacting systems which may be influenced by components of plants. Thus, certain herbal extracts may be effective in maintaining psychological health or 'wellbeing', particularly in ageing. • Certain plants have evolved with components that can modulate behaviour, including cognitive performance. • There is good evidence that certain extracts have properties that enhance cognition. These include extracts of ginkgo, ginseng, salvia, guarana, lemon balm, bacopa and polyphenols. • In the domain of mood, lemon balm has consistently been shown to have a calming effect; evidence for other herbals is less clear, although cocoa polyphenols may have anti-fatigue effects. • One constant challenge for the psychopharmacology of herbal extracts is the use of standardised extracts and the use of multiple extracts in some medicinal systems.