Ginkgo is an Asian tree that has been under cultivation throughout human history, making it one of the oldest living tree species. Ginkgo leaves are believed to contain compounds that thin blood and help to improve muscle tone in the walls of blood vessels. This may enhance blood flow.
Why should I be aware of this?
While ginkgo leaves have many beneficial effects on health, they also have certain side effects one should be aware of. As they may affect blood clotting, ginkgo leaf extracts shouldn't be used by people with bleeding disorders. Those prone to epilepsy should avoid ginkgo, because it may increase the frequency of seizures.
Ginkgo leaf products may affect blood sugar levels, so People suffering from diabetes should use Ginko leaves under the supervision of a health care provider as products from these leaves are likely to affect blood sugar levels.
Ginkgo and health
Ginkgo has been known for long to improve blood flow to the brain, and it is, therefore, thought to improve concentration and memory. Students are reported to have benefitted considerably when studying for exams. It improves blood flow in general and has long been thought to heal male impotence, and is a standard herbal remedy for male sexual dysfunction.
Ginkgo has been used for thousands of years for a wide variety of things, such as memory enhancement, altitude sickness, premenstrual syndrome management and many other things. Among other healing properties are the following cures:
- Relief from pain caused by clogged arteries - Ginkgo has been shown to provide relief from this type of pain. However, it is not as effective as physical therapy for this condition.
- Dementia: Ginkgo provides relief from early stage stages Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia
Unclear Uses of Ginkgo Research is inconclusive or uncertain about the effectiveness of Gingko in creating certain diseases. Though some cases have proved successful there is no conclusive evidence about cure of the following diseases:
- Hemorrhoids: Only one study showed success so far. Rest proved inconclusive
- Age-related Memory Loss: Though Ginkgo is useful in reducing the impact of early stage Alzheimer's and some forms of dementia, there is no evidence that it helps in preserving memory and mental fitness.
- Altitude Sickness: No serious research has been done on this.
- Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder: Again, the research is unclear about whether Ginkgo can help these conditions.
- Macular Degeneration: Ginkgo may improve blood flow to the eye, which could help lessen the effects of macular degeneration – but nothing conclusive is known.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Very little research has been done in this area and the results are inconsistent.
- Premenstrual Syndrome: Some preliminary research shows that Ginkgo might ease PMS symptoms such as breast discomfort and emotional shifts.
- The Ginkgo tree is the only living representative of the order Ginkgoales, a group of gymnosperms composed of the family Ginkgoaceae consisting of about 19 members with its earliest leaf fossils dating back to 270 million years ago in the Permian period. So in the era of the dinosaurs (Jurassic 213 million years ago) it already existed.
- What is Ginkgo?
- Ginkgo Biloba and Memory
- The Ginkgo Pages