Botanical extract enhances cognitive recovery in stroke patients

I just love when an oldie-but-goodie gets some attention.

Case in point: A tried-and-true staple for microcirculation and memory is making headlines once again…

This time, for cognitive recovery in acute ischemic stroke patients.

Statistically significant enhancements

I’m talking about ginkgo biloba.

It’s a botanical extract made from the dried leaves and seeds of the ginkgo tree, one of the oldest living species, native to East Asia. And it has a rich historical use.

Plus, a clinical trial recently assessed its effect on the brain in stroke patients.

Researchers administered a combination of biologically active components of ginkgo biloba—called ginkgo diterpene lactone meglumine, or GDLM—to stroke patients.

The combo was given by intravenous (IV) injection for 14 days. Cognitive performance was measured using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score, which was assessed before treatment, on day 14, and again at 90 days.

(The MoCA assessment uses a 30-point system to look for cognitive impairment and signs of dementia. Impairment is considered at scores of 25 or below.)

At baseline, most patients showed signs of moderate cognitive impairment. But by day 14, cognitive scores among those who received the GDLM injection increased by an average of 3.93 points, compared to placebo.

This improvement continued… and by day 90, cognitive scores rose by an average of 5.51 points!

These enhancements were seen in a variety of measures, including visual space and execution, attention, language, and abstraction.

The study authors noted that this IV compound has shown a neuroprotective effect by improving how brain cells respond to having less oxygen—and by increasing blood flow to the brain.

Not to mention, ginkgo biloba has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Don’t overlook the power of ginkgo biloba

At the end of the day, ginkgo biloba is one of those oldie-but-goodie extracts that should never be overlooked. It’s widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. And IV GDLM preparations are even used as a complementary treatment for ischemic stroke in China!

Previous studies have also linked modest benefits of ginkgo biloba in patients with dementia.

Plus, in my experience, when I first started out at the Atkins Center, we were able to get and provide ginkgo intravenously. And I saw firsthand how it helped people with circulatory issues. (Remember, having a stroke relates to big circulatory problems.)

And for certain patients, I have often recommended large doses of the supplement—say, 120 mg, three times per day.

So, why isn’t this a standard recommendation? You would have to ask the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In the meantime, you might be able to protect yourself against “silent strokes,” and more, by supplementing with a high-quality ginkgo biloba extract…

In addition to four other brain boosters, which I outline in the February 2018 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The silent culprit behind brain breakdown—and how to stop the damage before it starts”).

Subscribers can access that archival issue after logging in with their credentials here.

Not yet a member? Scroll down to learn about becoming one. Just look for the red button.


“Ginkgo Injections Tied to Cognitive Recovery Post Stroke.” Medscape, 02/07/2024. (