Pycnogenol for ADHD Brain

Pycnogenol and Proanthocyanidins

Most people probably have not heard of pycnogenol. But I’m sure you have heard of the heart health benefit of red wine. “Ahhh”. But, wait a minute. It’s not that simple.

Let me back up a little.

Pycnogenol is not the substance or chemical in red wine that is linked to lower cardiac disease risk. In fact, it is a US registered trademark of the maritime pine tree bark extract from France.

So, how are pycnogenol and red wine related?

Simple. The active ingredient in pycnogenol is proanthocyanidins, also known as OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins). The same flavonoids found in red wine. It is proanthocyanidins in red wine that helps to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and varicose veins.

Proanthocyanidins are also found in many other plants beside maritime pine bark. It can be found in apples, cinnamon, aronia fruit, cocoa beans, grape seed, grape skin and red wines. However, bilberry, cranberry, black currant, green tea, black tea, and other plants also contain these flavonoids. Cocoa beans contain the highest concentrations.

RELATED ARTICLE: Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Proanthocyanidins’ antioxidant effects are 20 times more potent than Vitamin C and 50 times more potent than Vitamin E.

Proanthocyanidins found in French maritime pine bark (or pycnogenol) and grape seed extract work directly to strengthen the blood vessel walls to improve blood flow and oxygen supply to the tissues.

In children with ADHD, this mean better blood flow and oxygen supply to the ADHD brain, which is thought to have a poor blood flow.

See also: Gingko biloba and Ginseng

It can potentially stimulate the immune system to help with detoxification, which is an area that children with ADHD needed assistance with. As an antioxidant, pycnogenol reduces oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals from the environment. These free radicals damage cells and can contribute to many diseases.

OTHER USES

Pycnogenol is also used for treating circulation problems, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure, muscle soreness, pain, osteoarthritis, diabetes, endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, painful menstrual periods, erectile dysfunction (ED), and retinopathy.

Get high quality Pycnogenol here…

Better Focus and Memory with Gingko Biloba




 

You have probably heard about this super herb, ginkgo biloba that helps with memory and focus. Research has shown that gingko is a powerful herb for boosting memory. However, that is just one of the many potential benefits Gingko has to offer.

Ginkgo has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It is traditionally used to treat respiratory issues such as asthma, wheezing, or coughing, incontinence, and digestive problems. It helps with circulation and is also used to cure depression and dementia, as well as for inner ear problems such as tinnitus or vertigo.

Its benefit for brain function is widely recognized. Ginkgo is used extensively to treat dementia in Europe. And the American Geriatric Society has also issue a statement that “Ginkgo biloba may help people suffering from Alzheimer’s.”

GINKGO BILOBA AND ADHD

Ginkgo leaves contain substances that thin blood and improve muscle tone in the walls of blood vessels to enhance blood flow, especially to the brain. Ginkgo enhances the nervous system by increasing blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain, which is frequently what the ADHD brain tends to lack. Ginkgo is also protects the brain against degeneration as a powerful antioxidant. Ginkgo helps to improve focus in the ADHD brain by inhibiting norepinephrine reuptake.

Ginkgo has shown good results in treating patients who have mental problems that are associated with circulation issues. These are issues such as memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. It has also shown positive results in the prevention of these diseases.

There is evidence that ginkgo leaf extract used in combination with American ginseng ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) showed improvement in ADHD symptoms such as anxiety, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in children age 3 to 17 year-old.

SUPPLEMENTATION

Extracts of Ginkgo leaves contain flavonoid glycosides and terpenoids (ginkgolides, bilobalides). Ginkgo leaf extract may be taken at 80-160ml twice a day. Studies have shown that ginkgo biloba is best used together with ginseng to get better results in mind clarity.

The herb is generally well tolerated, but due to multiple case reports of bleeding, it should be used cautiously in patients on anticoagulant therapy and those with known blood clotting disorders, or prior to some surgical or dental procedures.

Ginkgo may interact with medications. Please consult your physician before starting ginkgo leaf extract if you are taking any prescription medication for diabetes, blood pressure, seizure, etc.

Get your gingko biloba + ginseng supplements here…




Ginseng for ADHD




Ginseng has many functions and benefits to our body and mind. However, we’ll be focusing only on its benefit in stimulating immune function, and, improving memory and symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children when used with Ginkgo biloba.

Panax, such as Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefoliusare, is an adaptogenic herb. It is characterized by the presence of ginsenosides. There are many other plants also known as ginseng, such as American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), Japanese ginseng (Panax japonicus), crown prince ginseng (Pseudostellaria heterophylla), and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). However, only American Ginseng and Panax ginseng contains ginsenosides. Although they are all called ginseng, each has its own very distinctive functions. True ginseng belongs to the Panax genus.

Ginsenosides, the active ingredient, in panax ginseng is most abundant in the leaves. However, the root of the ginseng plant is the most valued form. Ginseng is noted for being an adaptogen, one which can, to a certain extent, be supported with reference to its anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties.

In traditional Chinese medicine, American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), which also contains ginsenoside, is considered to have a cooling property while Panax ginseng is warming. Japanese ginseng, though the same species as ginseng, is thought to have cooling properties.

HOW IT WORKS?

Individuals with ADHD is often chemically characterized by deficits in this pathway, which typically include reduced dopamine levels in the regions between neuronal cells throughout various key regions of the brain that are responsible for attention span, screening out irrelevant stimuli, and impulse control. As a result, children with ADHD frequent have inadequate dopamine in key regions of the brain, and norepinephrine as well.

Imbalances between dopamine and norepinephrine children with ADHD result in disruptions of physiological processes such as attention span, complex cognitive processes, auditory processing delays, and motor behavioral dysfunctions.

It is believed that ginsenoside may help alleviate some ADHD-related symptoms by boosting levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in these key brain regions, several of which are affiliated with ADHD. Herbal extracts of ginseng is shown to target the brain’s dopamine pathway and exhibit neuro-protective benefits for these pathways.

Interestingly, many stimulants used to treat ADHD also work by boosting levels of dopamine and norepinephrine.

Panax ginseng (Chinese/Korean Ginseng), abundant in ginsenosides Rg1, is shown to improve spatial learning and increase hippocampal synaptophysin level in mice. It is also shown that ginsenosides Rg1, extracted from Panax ginseng is able to mitigate the effects of the oxidative stress in the liver of exhaustive exercised rats.

SUPPLEMENTATION

Dried and peeled American ginseng is available in powder, capsule, extract, candies, or tea forms. These can easily be found in most Asian food stores. American ginseng maybe used in conjunction with gingko biloba.

For children, I would suggest not giving ginseng is a concentrated form, and give only half of the suggested serving on the container.

You may try making lemonade with honey and ginseng tea. The lemon and honey will mask the taste and smell of ginseng. Ginseng does have a very strong peculiar fragrant, especially when cooked or brewed.

You may use ginseng tea powder or granules, or brewed your own with sliced ginseng root (raw or dried).

Also, ginseng is not recommended for long-term daily use. Take ginseng in cycles of 15-20 days, with 2 weeks break between cycles. When I was little, my mom would make chicken and ginseng broth for us – only once in a while.

Ginseng may increase the effects of caffeine, antipsychotics, blood pressure drugs or steroidal medications. Please consult your physician before taking ginseng.