Aging brings with it a wide range of changes in most people, both mental and physical. Many choose to take natural health supplements in an effort to combat one of the most common issues — an increasingly bad memory.
According to WebMD, while numerous supplements are promoted to help memory problems, sometimes called “brain boosters,” many lack scientific research to back up those claims. One that has been studied and appears to show some effectiveness is ginkgo biloba. It has been shown to open small blood vessels, which may help in some types of dementia.
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However, taking any supplement, natural or otherwise, may bring some risks. Here are four natural health supplements touted as helping memory problems that doctors warn patients about:
1. Ginkgo biloba: While this supplement has shown promise for helping with a variety of conditions, if mixed with other medications it may cause bleeding problems, according to the Mayo Clinic. Warfarin, a heart medication is one that is risky, along with aspirin and clopidogrel (marketed as Plavix).
2. Asian ginseng, or Panex ginseng: Often used in conjunction with ginkgo biloba, this root has been used to treat a variety of conditions for more than 2,000 years. According to WebMD, Asian ginseng as “possibly safe” when taken in the short-term, but “possibly unsafe” when taken for more than six months. “Researchers think it may have some hormone-like effects that could be harmful with prolonged use,” reports WebdMD.