Ginkgo is one of the most prominent plants in Chinese medicine and also one of the most studied by science. Discover the properties and benefits of Ginkgo Biloba
The Ginkgo Biloba tree is also known as Maidenhair and is the only tree of its species, the Ginkgoales, that has not become extinct and is considered a true living fossil since its appearance dates back 250 million years.
It is not surprising that traditional Chinese medicine considers it the tree of longevity.
The Ginkgo tree is native to China, the Korean peninsula, and Japan, but this tree is being grown in America and Europe for use in supplements.
Before taking any whole plant or plant-made supplements, consult your doctor first, especially if you are taking any medications.
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT OF GINKGO BILOBA
- Vitamins – A, B6,Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate and C
- Minerals – Manganese, Cooper, Zinc, Sodium, potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Calcium
- Amino Acids – Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Cystine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Valine, Arginine, Histidine, Alanine, Aspartic acid, Glycine, Glutamic acid, Proline, and Serine
6 BENEFITS OF GINKGO BILOBA
In traditional Chinese medicine, the seeds and leaves of the tree are used for medicinal purposes. Whereas modern medicinal research is mainly focused on the extracts that are only made from the leaves of the tree.
1. IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION
In traditional Chinese medicine, ginkgo is used to open energy channels to different systems and organs, including the kidneys, liver, brain, and lungs.
Consistently, scientists have found that it can dilate blood vessels and improve blood delivery to all tissues in the body.
Studies conducted with the elderly and with heart disease patients revealed that ginkgo supplementation increases blood flow due to an increase of up to 12% in circulating levels of nitric oxide, a compound that widens blood vessels.
Other research shows that ginkgo has the ability to protect the heart and brain as well as protecting against stroke.
2. IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTION
As we get older, we may find it difficult to remember things, but this study shows that ginkgo is a good supplement for dealing with memory issues.
Some studies show that ginkgo could increase intellectual performance and perceived well-being. Specifically, it could improve memory, concentration, and attention span.
A study concluded that doses of 480 mg daily can reduce anxiety, especially in older people.
3. CONTAINS HIGH LEVELS OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Ginkgo is known to have high levels of antioxidants, flavonoids, and terpenoids, which are known to destroy free radicals.
Free radicals harm the body by damaging the cells, this damage is believed to speed up the advancement of cardiovascular disease, age-related health issues, and cancer.
3. BENEFICIAL FOR THE EYES
The good results observed in the studies may be related to the increased blood flow to the eyes.
4. CAN FIGHT HEADACHE
Headache is one of the main indications of ginkgo in Chinese medicine. It especially helps in cases of headaches and migraines caused by excessive stress.
In this case, in addition to the circulatory effect, the researchers point out that the benefits may be due to the action of the antioxidant compounds present in ginkgo.
On the contrary, some migraines are caused by the excessive dilation of the blood vessels, if this is the case then ginkgo will also help.
5. PREVENTING COGNITIVE DECLINE
Cognitive decline in our later years maybe a worry for some people, but this study shows that ginkgo biloba has the ability to reduce cognitive decline in a follow up study 20 years later.
6. REDUCES THE DISCOMFORT OF PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME
In this study of 85 participants that were split into two groups, one was given a placebo and the other group was given ginkgo.
The group that was taking ginkgo saw over a 23% reduction in the overall severity of their symptoms.
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine indicates that it reduces discomfort in young students by 23%.
Curiously, in both studies, the improvement occurred in both physical and psychological symptoms.
PRECAUTIONS WITH GINKGO BILOBA
- May cause minor stomach upset, dizziness, headache, and allergic reaction when applied to the skin.
- There is some concern that it may increase the risk of bruising, bleeding and may cause the heart to go into an irregular rhythm, known as arrhythmia.
- Do not take if you are on any medications, such as antidepressants, blood thinners, or NSAIDs, such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen.