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Wake Up Your Taste Buds With This Spicy Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Whether you’re looking for a healthier alternative to rice or you simply want to integrate more veggies into your diet, this Spicy Cauliflower Rice, contributed by Mercola staff employee Rachel Saenz, is a dish that you’ll surely enjoy. It’s low-carb, gluten-free and loaded with a wide array of nutrients.

What’s more, it’s flavored with various health-boosting spices and seasonings for an added zing. There’s no reason for you to pass up this invigorating dish, so try making it today and surprise your family with a flavorful recipe that has a healthy twist.

Serves: 6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

4 cups cauliflower “rice” (grated or processed into very small pieces)

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1/2 medium onion, finely diced

3/4 cup tomato sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

Procedure:

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and jalapenos, and then sauté until tender, about two to three minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cauliflower, sauté until the cauliflower is tender, approximately two minutes.
  • Add tomato sauce, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir to evenly coat the vegetables. Cook for three to four minutes, or until tender and heated through.

Here’s How Cauliflower May Help Enrich Your Well-Being

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that’s been getting a lot of press lately due to its remarkable versatility. You can eat it raw and crunchy by adding it in a salad, roast it until it’s caramelized or process it to resemble carb-rich foods like rice and potatoes (as with the recipe above).

While it’s often overshadowed by its greener cousins broccoli, lettuce and kale, cauliflower also deserves a spot in your healthy diet, as it contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, some of which include:

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin K

Thiamin

Riboflavin

Niacin

Magnesium

Phosphorus

Choline

Potassium

Cauliflower is also an excellent source of antioxidants and phytonutrients, including beta-carotene, kaempferol and quercetin, to name a few. With the rich nutritional content of cauliflower, it’s not surprising that it provides a lot of health benefits too, such as:

Helps reduce the risk of cancer

Helps improve heart health

Helps keep inflammation in check

Helps maintain proper digestive function

Helps detoxify the body

Helps boost brain health

Don’t Underestimate the Merits of Spices and Seasonings

Spices and seasonings not only turn an otherwise boring dish into a mouthwatering meal, but they also boost its nutritional value without drastically increasing the calorie content. Some of the nourishing spices and seasonings used in this recipe include:

  • Cumin: Known as the second most popular spice in the world, cumin is rich in phytochemicals, which account for its carminative, antiflatulent and antioxidant properties. It’s also an excellent source of dietary fiber, iron, copper, zinc, potassium, manganese and vitamins A, E, K and C.
  • Paprika: A dash of paprika may help improve your eye health, since it’s rich in lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. It also contains copper and iron, which may help improve blood circulation and formation, which in turn reduces your risk of heart disease.
  • Cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K and B6. It’s also rich in manganese, niacin, riboflavin, magnesium, iron and potassium.
  • Himalayan salt: Unlike regular table salt, Himalayan salt is less processed and has no additives. It contains 84 trace minerals, some of which include magnesium, iron, calcium, sodium and potassium.

Other ingredients that make this dish tastier and healthier include garlic, which is known for its antibacterial and antiviral effects, and onion, which is an excellent source of valuable polyphenols that may help reduce your risk for cancer, maintain good heart health and enhance gut flora, among others.

This recipe also makes use of coconut oil, a superfood that’s rich in fatty acids and known for its many health benefits, such as improved brain function, better heart health, healthier immune system and higher energy, to name a few.

A Few Tips to Keep in Mind When Cooking Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is quick and simple to make, but that doesn’t mean that you can just toss those “grains” into the skillet, leave them to cook and wish for the best. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to make sure that your cauliflower rice tastes light, fresh and appetizing:

  • Don’t sauté for too long: While a quick sauté may enhance the flavor of cauliflower rice heating for too long may cause it to lose its light and fluffy texture. If you don’t want to end up with a soft and soggy dish, be mindful of the cooking times mentioned above.
  • Avoid using too much sauce: Cauliflower rice doesn’t absorb sauces or liquids the same way rice does, so be sure to put just enough sauce to coat the “grains” instead of pouring too much liquid into your dish.
  • Don’t cook too much cauliflower rice all at once: Cauliflower rice tastes best when it’s freshly made, so as much as possible, cook only the amount that you can eat. If you’re planning to store it for later meals, don’t store it for more than two days, since it may soften and give off a strong smell.

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New Organ Discovered in Human Body?

Node Smith, ND

In a study titled, “Structure and Distribution of an Unrecognized Interstitium in Human Tissues,” the interstitium has been suggested to actually be a discrete organ system.1 This would be one of the largest in the body, based on structure and distribution. The interstitium is a known space in the body that is filled with fluid and spans the entire body – but it has not been considered an organ, until now.

“This structure[interstitium], is the same wherever you look at it, and so are the functions”

The senior author of the paper, Neil Theise, Professor of pathology at NYU Langone Health in New York, initially began looking into the interstitium thinking that it was an “interesting tissue.” The more he looked, the more he found that it met the criterion for being considered an organ – a tissue with a unitary structure, or a tissue with a unitary function. Theise explains, “This structure[interstitium], is the same wherever you look at it, and so are the functions that we’re starting to elucidate.”

The interstitium could be larger than the current largest organ of the body

The skin is considered the largest organ of the body, making up roughly 16 percent of the body. The interstitium could be larger, making up about 20 percent (10 liters).

Research team looked at samples of the interstitium under confocal laser endomicroscopy with fluorescent tissue samples

For the study, the research team looked at samples of the interstitium under confocal laser endomicroscopy with tissue samples bathed in fluorescent dye. Samples were taken from human bile ducts from patients undergoing pancreatic surgery. On microscopy it was noted that there are spaces where fluid can collect. The spaces are not lymphatic channels, however, they do drain into lymph nodes. These spaces are not seen in dead tissue, when it is dehydrated the spaces become invisible.

Next step: a clearer understanding of this tissue, how it interacts with the lymph system and other organs

The next step will be to get a clearer understanding of this tissue, and how it interacts with the lymph system and other organ systems. It already throws light onto additional factors that allow for diseases, including cancer, to spread through the body, as well as dermal absorption of substances, and cellular communication within the skin.

Source:

  1. Benias PC, Wells RG, Sackey-aboagye B, et al. Structure and Distribution of an Unrecognized Interstitium in Human Tissues. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):4947.
Image Copyright: newartgraphics / 123RF Stock Photo

Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Portland, OR and associate editor for NDNR. He has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine among the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend camp-out where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Four years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.

The post New Organ Discovered in Human Body? appeared first on NaturalPath.

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Participatory Games Could Help Problem Behavior in Kids

Node Smith, ND

Behavioral problems at school are a concern for many parents, school administrators, as well as teachers. Often problems with outbursts, violent behavior, bullying, or lack of cooperation or participation have multifactorial causes, many of which, are not under the control of teachers or school staff members. With many dual-career families, more children are left unsupervised after school. This trend can be a contributing factor to the likelihood of illicit drug use or delinquent behavior.

The question is; what can be done at after-school programs to help engage kids who may have behavioral problems, in a way that enhances their educational experience, involvement in the classroom, and ultimately may help curb poor after school choices?

Pax Behavior Game or PaxGBG

A game that promotes good behavior and self-regulation through positive reinforcement could be part of the answer according to a research team from the University of Georgia and Pennsylvania State University. The team studied 72 community-based after-school programs in rural, urban, and suburban areas over a five-year period. The ages of the programs were kindergarten to fifth grade. The staff and children in all of these programs played a game called “Pax Behavior Game,” or “PaxGBG.” PaxGBG is a team-based game that allows children to earn privileges to be more active and expressive during non-game times. Its essentially a reward system that incorporates a group dynamic.

PaxGBG was shown to decrease hyperactivity over the long term

There has been past research on the PaxGBG and it has shown to decrease hyperactivity over the long term. A decrease in hyperactivity is associated with less mental health problems, less delinquent behavior and less acting out.

How to play the game

The game facilitates positive reinforcement by counting disruptions that teams of children have, rather than individuals. It can be played during any activity, and timing can vary – usually between 1 and 30 minutes. As children get familiar with gameplay the timing tends to increase. During the game, “3-inch” voices have to be used, and everyone has to remain on task, teams can’t have more than four outbursts to win. Winning teams get to choose prizes or to do an energetic activity for 30-60 seconds (like screaming or doing a crazy dance).

Game teaches social cues for co-regulating behavior

The game is not about telling kids they can’t jump around or yell, but rather teaches how to use social cues for co-regulating behavior.

Findings are 2-fold: PaxGBG decreases hyperactivity in children and encourages staff to interact calmly with kids

The study found the PaxGBG game to decrease hyperactivity among children and also that it encourages staff members to interact with kids in a calmer manner, and to avoid aggressive and combative leadership styles. It creates a teamwork dynamic not only amongst the children, but also between the children and staff.

Creates an atmosphere of positive peer pressure for all

The researcher who developed and studied the game comment that it is highly effective because it helps give the adults tools to regulate difficult groups of children. It creates an atmosphere of positive peer pressure for everyone.

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash


Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Portland, OR and associate editor for NDNR. He has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine among the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend camp-out where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Four years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.

The post Participatory Games Could Help Problem Behavior in Kids appeared first on NaturalPath.

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How to Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

How to Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Levels NaturallyWhen the blood sugar level goes too high, after a meal, the brain sends a signal to the pancreas to secrete more insulin. This is necessary to bring the glucose back down. The problem is that this process converts the excess of sugar into fat (stored mainly in the belly). Moreover, the higher the rate […]

The post How to Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Levels Naturally appeared first on Vox Nature.

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How Our Microbiota Keep Us Healthy

Annex Naturopathic

How Our Microbiota Keep Us Healthy | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopathic Doctors

I’m going to be writing more on the new research that I read on the microbiome.

The existing and emerging research continuously reinforces the fascinatingly strong influence these bugs have on our current health and heath outcomes.

I will get in to specifics in future blogs, but today I wanted to give a brief synopsis on how the microbiome influences our health.

This dynamic, complex system (technically, organ) of bacteria, known as the Microbiome, that resides all over and inside our bodies has been found to have such an important role in our health and the way we adapt to our external environment.

The largest portion of the human microbiome is housed in the large intestine (the gut), containing over 10 trillion bacteria (to put that in to context, that is about 10 times more than the amount of human cells in your body).

One of the most important roles of the gut microbiota is the influence on our immune system.

The our immune cells read “codes” called Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs) on the bacteria that tell our immune systems what to do – these codes are specific to each bacteria – good “commensal”  teaches our immune system to be balanced, and pathogenic bacteria contain codes that signal dysregulation.

Imbalances in the immune system play a role in virtually every disease.

Many seemingly separate conditions have been tied to the same imbalances of the immune system; inflammation and it’s role in hypertension, mental health and the development of cancer, and autoimmune processes and their affinity on multiple organ systems in the body.

What’s interesting about the microbiome is that these bugs are what teach our immune systems how to react and adapt to the given environment.

We have a mutualistic interaction with our microbiome, especially the gut microbiome. When the microbiome is well-balanced, nourished and overall healthy, we are the same.

The interactions of a healthy microbiome with the “host” (us) results in immune regulation/balance, efficient energy production and metabolism, great digestive health and a well-functioning liver.

Healthy microbes teach the immune system how to properly adapt to the environment, preventing unnecessary inflammation, and they also produce biochemicals and vitamins that help our bodies function efficiently.

Our Microbiota image | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopathic Doctors

A healthy microbiome will also protect you from invasive pathogens that want in on the real estate.

When the microbiome becomes “dysbiotic” (which means overgrowth with bad kinds of microbes, or even too much of a good type), it sends the immune system the wrong signals, promoting inflammation, and producing noxious metabolites that burden our bodies rather than helping it.

Dysbiosis of the gut microbiome in particular has been linked to many diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, allergies, autoimmune disease and asthma.

Dysbiosis can be caused by many different factors.

For many people it actually starts from birth.

It’s been established and well-accepted by the scientific community that babies born via C-section, or who are not breast-fed, have a different, dysbiotic, gut microbiome than babies who were born vaginally or are exclusively breast fed, leading to higher rates of asthma, allergies, Celiac disease and obesity.

This is why it’s important to intervene early with probiotics a child is not born vaginally or is not breast-fed for many reasons.

Dysbiosis can also be caused by taking multiple rounds of antibiotics, especially if not counteracted by using probiotic during and after using the antibiotics.

As antibiotics wipe out the infective bacteria, it wipes out some of our good bacteria with it, leaving space.

This type of dysbiosis makes us more susceptible to catching bad, invasive bacteria and parasites that now have opportunity to occupy this space.

Dysbiosis can also occur if you’ve caught a parasite, or some invasive bug while drinking water in a different part of the world, or if you eat something not quite cooked.

Most importantly, dysbiosis is highly promoted by an unhealthy diet.

Just like us, your microbiome needs to be fed the right substances to be healthy, strong and efficient.

If you feed it bad food, such as refined sugars and starches, transfats, a diet full of meat, and nutrient-void foods, your microbiome will not be strong, leading to poor health.

You’d be surprised how many of our everyday foods actually are considered “prebiotics” and aid in the health of our gut microbiome.

You won’t be surprised to hear that colour fruits and vegetables, healthy fibres from non-GMO grains, and colour spices are great sources of prebiotics.

Fermented foods such as saurkraut, kimchi, kefir, and properly made yogurts are major sources of prebiotics if you want to get serious about feeding the microbiome.

Naturopathic doctors have been aware of and treating the microbiome for decades – we are excellent sources for dietary recommendations on how to maintain the health of your microbiome as well as strategic treatments on how to rebalance your gut microbial flora.

Obvious signs that you might have problems with the balance of your microbiome include digestive problems, or recurrent infections of any sort – if you suffer from these afflictions, it would be helpful to consult with a doctor that can help you rebalance your flora and prevent chronic disease.

Stay tuned for more up-to-date information and interesting research on the microbiome and its affect on your daily health.

 

If you’re curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Tanya Lee, N.D

Annex Naturopathic Clinic
572 Bloor St W #201, Toronto, ON M6G 1K1
https://goo.gl/maps/uVRBvcyoUa62


References

  • Azad MB et. al. Gut microbiota of healthy Canadian infants: profiles by mode of delivery and infant diet at 4 months. 2013 Mar 19;185(5):385-94
  • Min YW, Rhee PL.The Role of Microbiota on the Gut Immunology.Clin Ther. 2015 May 1;37(5):968-75.
  • Palm NW et. al. Immune-microbiota interactions in health and disease.Clin Immunol. 2015 Aug;159(2):122-127
  • Rutayisire E. et. al. The mode of delivery affects the diversity and colonization pattern of the gut microbiota during the first year of infants’ life: a systematic review.BMC Gastroenterol. 2016 Jul 30;16(1):86
  • Schnabl B, Brenner DA. Interactions between the intestinal microbiome and liver diseases. 2014 May;146(6):1513-24

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Botanical of the Month – Maiden Hair tree (Gingko biloba)

Annex Naturopathic

Gingko biloba benefits | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopathic Doctors

As a naturopath, when I think of Gingko biloba, I think of words such as hope, vitality, resiliency, and patience.

This majestic tree has shown us that it embodies these exact words in the most horrific circumstances – 1945 Hiroshima atomic bomb destroyed everything within its epicentre, except six Gingko biloba trees, which even sprouted new greenery days after the terrible event.

This example of the resilience and vitality of this beautiful herb is translated in to its medicinal use and how it can help us become representations of these words.

Gingko biloba produces fruit that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine.

When they fall and start to decay, they produce a very unpleasant odour, one could compare to a pair of stinky feet.

So many who front this tree on their lawns must bare with this one downfall of having this tree in their presence.

This downfall, however, is completely superseded by the amazing beauty, elegance and medicine benefit of being around such a remarkable creation of nature.

Parts Used

Leaf, (seeds in Chinese medicine, not typically used in Western Medicine)

Actions

Astringent, Bitter, Warming, Moving

Uses

Edibility

Ginkgo is not considered an edible plant

Medicine

The actions of Gingko biloba on the human body can be represented as low and slow, and requires patience.

The medicinal properties of this tree are the strongest when used over a course of time.

Memory and circulation

The most commonly known medicinal property for Gingko leaves is its effect on memory, making this herb a “nootropic”.

Gingko has been heavily marketed to the public to be used to “improve and strengthen memory”, as people bought in to this claim, it’s not surprising the feedback that many found that they didn’t feel this at all worked.

Gingko indeed does improve memory but the application of this herb in this context is flawed.

This herbs works slow – expectations that this herb will work within a few weeks is not accurate – so if you’re a student looking to strengthen your memory in a week for an exam, gingko is NOT the herb for you.

Ginkgo has it’s best effect when used over a long period of time to establish its effects in the body and it works on memory in two ways: 1) Vasodilation and 2) Reducing blood viscosity.

This means that the biochemicals in Gingko will help open up the blood vessels as well has thinning the blood, allowing blood to flow more freely within the vessel, increasing microperfusion to the brain – more blood flow to and within the brain means more oxygen and protection to the brain.

Gingko also protects the brain through antioxidant biochemicals, protecting the brain from tissues damage caused by lack of oxygen, and increasing mitochondrial function therefore increasing energy production in the brain.

There is a plethora of research supporting the effect of Gingko in the improvement of memory and cognitive function in those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, especially if these conditions are a result of vascular insufficiency.

However there are many trials that do not support this, resulting in review studies performed between 2003-2014 concluding the research is too inconsistent to support Gingko in this context.

The varying results come from inconsistencies in dosage, administration and inclusion criteria set out by each trial.

One of the most recent meta-analysis on Gingko biloba research performed by Tan et. al (2015) took in to account these flaws and came to the conclusion that 240mg of standardized Ginkgo daily improved cognitive function and prevented decline in patients with dementia after 24 weeks, especially for those who also exhibited neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Another recent review study by Yuan et. al (2017) also concluded similar results that Gingko biloba improved cognitive function in those with Alzheimer’s at a dose over 200mg/day if taken for at least 5 weeks.

These review show promise and exemplify the need for higher quality, larger-scale studies in order to demonstrate the efficacy of Gingko biloba in the treatment of dementia.

Prevention of cognitive decline in healthy individuals is still not well represented in the research, but traditional use and anecdotal evidence supports the use of this herb for this purpose.

The effect of Gingko on blood flow doesn’t just stop at memory.

These properties translate in to effects on the peripheral body as well.

There are promising outcomes represented in the research of using Gingko in the treatment of cerebral insufficiency in stroke victims, peripheral artery disease, prevention of coronary artery disease by reducing plaque formation, diabetic neuropathy, Raynauds and thrombosis (blood clots).

Tinnitus

There are claims that Gingko can be useful in the treatment of tinnitus, though studies are limited and results are inconsisent.

The most recent Cochrane Review on Gingko and Tinnitus found Ginkgo only to be beneficial when tinnitus is associated with dementia, not when tinnitus is the sole symptom.

This reflects back to the circulatory actions of gingko – when tinnitus is a result of poor cerebrovascular circulation, appears to be effective.

If it’s due to other reasons, the effects of Gingko appear to be less impactful on tinnitus symptoms.

benefits of Gingko biloba | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopathic Doctors

Forms

Traditionally Gingko biloba taken through infusion (tea) – this application is best for people who want to use Gingko for daily prevention of cognitive decline.

Tinctures of Gingko leaf also provides a gentle and supportive effect.

I typically use these forms for healthy, older individuals who want to keep their memory sharp and encourage blood flow to the brain.

Much of the research on Gingko biloba use and support standardized extracts of Gingko at dosages of 120-240mg/day.

Extremely potent extracts of Gingko (50:1) are considered pharmaceutical grade substances and should not be dosed unless monitored by a health care professional.

Safety

Gingko biloba is considered a safe herb to use if used at the standard recommended dose (see above)

Interactions

The blood-thinning effects of Ginkgo has made many clinicians weary about using this herb with blood thinning pharmaceuticals.

However, it has been found that the blood-thinning effects of Gingko are not related to reducing platelet count, but inhibiting platelet aggregating factor (PAF), so the that use with blood thinners may not be as detrimental as previously thought, with many studies demonstrating using Ginkgo (up to 240mg) in conjunction with blood thinning medication does not increase bleeding risk or influence coagulation time.

Nonetheless, do no use Gingko if you are on blood thinners and consult with a physician that is familiar with herb-drug interactions before use of this herb – one of the only cases of increased bleeding is when using the extremely potent extract (50:1) in combination with blood thinners

Do not use with drug exhibiting monoamine-oxidase activity (such as certain antidepressants), or anti-epileptic drugs.

Always consult a physician familiar with herb-drug interaction if you’re on medication and are considering using this herb.

 

If you’re curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Tanya Lee, N.D

Annex Naturopathic Clinic
572 Bloor St W #201, Toronto, ON M6G 1K1
https://goo.gl/maps/uVRBvcyoUa62


Referrences

  1. Hoffman D. Medical Herbalism. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2003.
  2. Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2000.
  3. Carlson JJ et. al. Safety and efficacy of a ginkgo biloba-containing dietary supplement on cognitive function, quality of life, and platelet function in healthy, cognitively intact older adults.J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Mar;107(3):422-32.
  4. Hilton MP, Zimmermann EF, Hunt WT.Ginkgo biloba for tinnitus.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Mar 28;(3)
  5. Tan MS et. al. Efficacy and adverse effects of ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;43(2):589-603
  6. Yuan Q al Effects of Ginkgo biloba on dementia: An overview of systematic reviews.J Ethnopharmacol. 2017 Jan 4;195:1-9

 

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