Ginkgo Biloba Health Benefits Information
Ginkgo biloba information…this herb could be rightly classified as one of the most beneficial medicinal herbs known to man.
Its uses date literally back thousands of years.
It has long been recognized as one of the very best memory supplements known to humankind. Ginkgo also has an illustrious history as it is considered to come from the oldest tree species on earth, the Maidenhair — a species of tree that dates back over 200 million years.
These trees grow to over 100 feet tall and have a long resistance to pests, disease, man-made pollution and the like.
In fact, if you’ve ever been to New York City, the most common tree in Manhattan is the ginkgo tree. The tree was introduced to the U.S. in 1784 when Europeans brought it to America for use as an ornamental tree.
Nevertheless, the medicinal quality of Ginkgo leaves have been much more popular in the East than in the eminently practical West.
The first mention in Chinese herbals of use of the ginkgo leaves, from which the herb’s efficacy comes from, was during the Min dynasty in 1436.
It was written about in Lan Mao’s Dian Nan Ben Cao, which is the “< Southern of History Natural>.”
Health Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba extract possesses unique ginkgolides and bilobilides, a complex group of compounds found only in the ginkgo tree. Ginkgo is truly and literally one of a kind. Active ingredients in Ginkgo Biloba show strong antioxidant properties as well as having platelets inhibiting properties. (Platalets are involved in the blood clotting process.)
The ginkgolides have an anti-platelet activating factor (PAF) action, thus helping to modulate various enzyme systems and ion pumps.
The PAF antagonist effect of ginkgolides explains Ginkgo’s broad-spectrum and far reaching biological activity. This is key ginkgo biloba information.
The benefits of Ginkgo are:
- Memory improvement
- Eases depression
- Acts as an antioxidant
- Increases blood flow — thus good for angina and erectile dysfunction
- Helps thin the blood (studies have show it to have a vascular regulating effect thus helping to modulate brain energy metabolism).
- Eases somewhat the symptoms of asthma
- Improves general mental acuity and cognitive function
In a study published October 22, 1997 by the AMA (American Medical Association) as reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association, the study of this particular herbal medicine spiked interest in Ginkgo as a possible treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. The study affirmed that the herb can improve mental acuity with those who have Alzheimer’s.
Ginkgo Biloba Health Benefits Research
Randomized, double-blind studies with both a control and treatment group are the most scientifically valid tests. With that said, according to an article written by one Gabe Romain, entitled Ginkgo Boosts Memory, Brain Scan Shows, says,
“Long touted for its beneficial effects on memory, the herbal supplement ginkgo biloba has demonstrated in brain scans to improve verbal recall among people with age-related memory impairment.”
Furthermore, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles Neuropsychiatric Institute used positron-emission tomography to study brain regions associated with memory and found that ginkgo biloba correlated with better brain functioning in these areas. …
“The herb works by increasing blood flow throughout the body and is thought to support memory recall by repairing circulatory malfunctions in the brain.”
Ginkgo Biloba Research – Cont’d
According to other research,
“Ginkgo biloba is approved in Germany for the treatment of dementia. There are over 1200 published studies in the scientific literature on ginkgo biloba extract. In one study, patients with memory disturbances were supplemented with ginkgo biloba. Following ginkgo treatment, 15% of patients reported the total absence of memory disturbance symptoms and 62% reported that the remaining symptoms were mild to moderate.”
http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcls-txt/t-prtcl-007.html. It should be noted in both studies, researchers made a point that there are sometimes differing results due they believe to the potency of the batches and quality of the Ginkgo Biloba used.
Ginkgo Biloba has even grown in popularity in pop culture. One popular U.S. comedian mentioned Ginkgo in his comedy routine as well as mentioning the benefits. His problem, he said, was that he couldn’t remember to take it! Moral of story: Don’t forget to take your Ginkgo Biloba!
Ginkgo is a powerful anticoagulant or blood thinner. With that in mind, if you are taking medication that is already intended to thin your blood like Coumadin or even plain aspirin, please talk with your doctor first before using it.
Some side effects of taking ginkgo, although they are very rare, include diarrhea, allergic reactions, and stomach discomfort. Overall, the herb appears to be extremely safe even when taken long-term.
How to Choose a Ginkgo Biloba Supplement
1. The raw ingredients used should be pharmaceutical grade and supported by scientific clinical studies. Good memory supplements should ideally be produced at pharmaceutical standard GMP registered facilities.
2. Ensure the supplement manufacturer has a Certificate of Analysis (COA) on file for review by you the customer thus confirming the potency of the herbal ingredients listed on the label.
3. Check that the ginkgo biloba supplement is made from standardized herbal extracts thus preserving the therapeutic benefit of the various herbs’ constituent compounds. These are the ingredients in the herb that provide a specific benefit. Most supplement companies don’t use standardized herbal extracts as it’s too expensive to do so.
4. Remember, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine cannot be produced without vitamin B5, Biotin, and Folic Acid. Many compounds, minerals, and vitamins in biochemistry cannot be produced alone but have co-dependence on other compounds.
Thanks for visiting.
Yours in health,