The trees of ginkgo are one of the oldest species of trees cultivated in China and is believed to have an age between 150 and 200 million years. The trees of ginkgo grow in soil that is average and also in full sun. The tree can grow 100 to 120 feet. The trees of the ginkgo are very resistant to pollution and infection and hardly suffer any disease. Insects rarely attack these plants. For these reasons these trees are most tolerant even in urban conditions and are grown as shade trees.
Extracts of ginkgo or ginkgo biloba are made by various parts of these trees. Chinease has used ginkgo biloba for centuries for the treatment of various disorders. Now the grass is more sophisticated and is used by most of the countries as herbal medicine.
Working of Ginkgo Biloba
The ginkgo leaves contain two groups of active components known as flavonoid glycosides and ginkgolides. These active ingredients help to increase the blood flow to the brain and improving general network of the blood vessels, and consequently increases the inflow of oxygen and essential nutrients to the brain and other important organs of the body and at the same time helps control allergic inflammation and asthma.
Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba
The research on this herbal medicine continues for the last three decades and some of the benefits highlighted by clinical studies are summarized below.
• Has a positive effect on the vascular system and allows the system to act more efficiently by allowing more blood flow and consequently more oxygen to the vital organs of the body including the brain.
• The brain, being the highest oxygen consumer (20%) of the total requirement of oxygen in the human body, regulates the body more efficiently.
• The improvement of blood circulation to brain including microcirculation in the capillaries, small, increases memory and metabolic efficiency, including the regulation of neurotransmitters.
• Ginkgo biloba is useful for relaxing coronary arteries constricted by cholesterol.
• Ginkgo biloba is also useful for relieving tension and anxiety.
• Ginkgo biloba is also helpful to elevate mood and restore energy.
• Ginkgo biloba controls the factor activity of platelets (PAF). Excessive platelet factor (PAF) in the body can cause physical stress, brain disorders and skin problems including psoriasis, cardiovascular disease and other disorders of hearing.
• Ginkgo biloba is useful for the treatment of vertigo and tinnitus.
• Ginkgo biloba acts as an antioxidant and inhibits free radicals that form in the body. Antioxidants play a vital role for the protection of the cardiovascular system and central nervous system (CNS). The combined effect of improved circulatory system and antioxidant improves blood flow to retina and controls the deterioration of the retina causing an overall improvement of the visual task.
• Some clinical trials indicate that ginkgo biloba is beneficial for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
• Ginkgo biloba is also used as herbal support for treating the disorder of infertility in males.
Although it is a medicinal herbal that has tremendous benefits, it should not be combined with certain antidepressants such as MAO (mono amine oxidase). People taking medicines for blood clotting disorders should avoid taking ginkgo biloba, as the medicine will increase the effect of the prescribed medicine.
If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should not take ginkgo biloba.
The possible side effects of the medicine include
• Ginkgo biloba may cause some gastrointestinal disorders.
• Ginkgo biloba increases the risk of bleeding and if you have or had any blood clotting disorder, you should not take ginkgo biloba.
• The other common side effects of ginkgo biloba may include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches and restlessness.
If you observe any of the side effects mentioned above or any other side effect, you should stop taking ginkgo biloba and consult your doctor.