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.
Camfield, D., Owen, L., Pipingas, A., Stough, C. & Scholey, A. (2012). Herbal extracts and cognition in adulthood and ageing. In L. Riby, M. Smith & J. Foster (Eds.), Nutrition and Mental Performance: a Lifespan Perspective (pp. 302-328). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.