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Brain and Mental Performance

Common Weed May Boost Memory

16 years, 7 months ago

2195  0
Posted on Apr 09, 2003, 11 a.m. By Bill Freeman

A common weed could help to boost memory and improve mood, according to English researchers from the University of Northumbria. Lemon balm has been used in England since the 16th century, when herbalist John Gerard gave it to students to "quicken the senses." Drs Andrew Scholey and David Kennedy made capsules from dried lemon balm and gave them to a group of 20 volunteers.

A common weed could help to boost memory and improve mood, according to English researchers from the University of Northumbria. Lemon balm has been used in England since the 16th century, when herbalist John Gerard gave it to students to "quicken the senses." Drs Andrew Scholey and David Kennedy made capsules from dried lemon balm and gave them to a group of 20 volunteers. Each volunteer then completed a memory test one, three, and six hours after taking the herb. Results showed that lemon balm appears to boost secondary memory - a type of memory that enables us to learn, store, and recall information. Laboratory studies on the herb revealed that it increases the activity of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter whose levels are reduced in Alzheimer's patients. Scholey said that it was too early to say whether lemon balm may be beneficial to people with Alzheimer's, although he did say that the findings suggest that it could be of use to people with "conditions where the memory is fragile."

SOURCE/REFERENCE:  Reported by www.bbc.co.uk on the 14th March 2003

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