Ginkgo can be
traced back almost 5,000 years in Chinese herbal medicine.
The nuts of the tree were most commonly recommended and used
to treat respiratory tract ailments. A tea of the leaves was
occasionally used for elderly persons experiencing memory
ginkgo is the oldest
living tree species, geological records indicate this plant has been
growing on earth for 150 - 200 million years. Chinese monks are
credited with keeping the tree in existence, as a sacred herb. It
was first brought to Europe in the 1700's and it is now a commonly
prescribed drug in France and Germany. It is one of the most
well-researched herbs in the world.
last 30 years, more that 300 studies have given clinical evidence
that ginkgo prevents and benefits many problems throughout the
entire body. Ginkgo is gaining recognition as a brain tonic that
enhances memory because of its positive effects on the vascular
system, especially in the cerebellum. It is also used as a treatment
for vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and a variety of
neurological disorders and circulation problems. Ginkgo may help to
counteract the effects of aging, including mental fatigue and lack
works by increasing blood flow to the brain and throughout the
body's network of blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the
organ systems. It increases metabolism efficiency, regulates
neurotransmitters, and boosts oxygen levels in the brain which uses
20% of the body's oxygen.
of enhanced circulation in the brain include improved short and long
term memory, increased reaction time and improved mental clarity.
Ginkgo is often used to treat elderly persons with Alzheimer's and
other symptoms of cerebral insufficiency. Cerebral insufficiency is
a general term for a collection of symptoms that include
difficulties of concentration and memory, absentmindedness,
confusion, lack of energy, depressive mood, anxiety, dizziness,
tinnitus, and headache.
constituents are beneficial for a variety of imbalances and
deterioration in the brain and body. Standardized ginkgo extract
inhibits platelet activity factor (PAF), which is a common allergen
in the body. Physical stress, and poor quality food can
overstimulate PAF production; in other words, blood clotting.
Excessive PAF can help cause cardiovascular disease, brain damage,
hearing disorders and other immune and inflammatory diseases.
has been used to relieve tension and anxiety and improve mental
alertness, elevate mood and restore energy.
has two groups of active substances, flavonoids and terpene
lactones, including ginkgolides A, B, and C, bilobalide, quercetin,
and kaempferol. The ginkgolides have been shown to control allergic
inflammation, anaphylactic shock and asthma.
also acts as a powerful antioxidant and contributes to the oxidation
of free radicals which are believed to contribute to premature aging
and dementia. Antioxidants also protect the eyes, cardiovascular
system and central nervous system.
may also help control the transformation of cholesterol to plaque
associated with the hardening of arteries, and can relax constricted
has been used in treatment of other circulation-related disorders
such as diabetic peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud's syndrome,
hemorrhoids and varicose veins. It can also aid in the treatment of
insufficient circulation and complications from stroke and skull
injuries. Ginkgo's beneficial effects on the circulatory system also
can be of benefit in the treatment of eye and ear disorders.
have confirmed that ginkgo increases blood flow to the retina, and
can slow retinal deterioration resulting in an increase of visual
acuity. In clinical tests ginkgo has improved hearing loss in the
elderly. It also improves circulation in the extremities relieving
cold hands and feet, swelling in the limbs and chronic arterial
blockage. Among other things, ginkgo is being investigated as a
potential treatment to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs,
as a treatment for asthma and for toxic shock syndrome.