Scientific Name:Ginkgo biloba
About this Herb:The ginkgo tree is one of the oldest types of trees in the world. Ginkgo is a unique species of tree with no close living relatives. The tree is widely cultivated and introduced early in human history, and has various uses as a food and in traditional medicine.
Ginkgo’s are large trees, normally reaching a height of 66–115 feet, with some specimens in China being over 164 feet. The tree has an angular crown and long, somewhat erratic branches, and is usually deep rooted and resistant to wind and snow damage. Young trees are often tall and slender, and sparsely branched; the crown becomes broader as the tree ages. During autumn, the leaves turn a bright yellow, then fall, sometimes within a short space of time (1–15 days). The leaves are unique among seed plants, being fan-shaped with veins radiating out into the leaf blade, sometimes splitting but never reconnecting to form a network. The leaves are usually 2 to 4 inches but can reach 6 inches long.
Ginkgo trees have separate sexes, some trees being female and others being male. Male plants produce small pollen cones with sporophylls each bearing two microsporangia spirally arranged around a central axis.
Female plants do not produce cones. Two ovules are formed at the end of a stalk, and after pollination, one or both develop into seeds. The seed is 1.5–2 cm long. Its fleshy outer layer is light yellow-brown, soft, and fruit-like. It is attractive in appearance, but contains butanoic acid (also known as butyric acid) and smells like rancid butter or vomit when fallen.
Common Names:Ginkgo Biloba, Maidenhair Tree, Gingko
Uses:Ginkgo Biloba is taken to enhance memory, you can use it with other memory-enhancing herbs such as Sage, Rosemary and Gotu Kola. Ginkgo Biloba tea could also be used with Hawthorn and Lemon Balm herbs to promote proper circulation. To relieve stress and anxiety, especially those that involve mental stress, use Oats and Nettle with Ginkgo Biloba.
Ginko Biloba is used to improve blood flow to the blood vessels, organs and systems, especially the heart and brain. Improve circulation enhances memory and mental alertness because blood carries oxygen. An increase in blood means an increase oxygen distribution to the brain.
Ginkgo supplements are usually taken in the range of 40–200 mg per day. Recently, a meta-analysis of clinical trials have shown Ginkgo to be moderately effective in improving cognition in dementia patients but not in preventing the onset of Alzheimer's Disease. A trial published in 2010 by the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry concluded that Ginko Biloba, when given as a single 240 mg daily dose, "was found significantly superior to placebo in the treatment of patients with dementia with neuropsychiatric symptoms."
According to some studies, Ginkgo can significantly improve attention in healthy individuals. In one such study, the effect was almost immediate and reaches its peak in 2.5 hours after the intake.
The active ingredients of Ginkgo Biloba are flavonoids and terpenoids, which are powerful chemicals that serve complementing functions. A required 24% of flavonoids and 6% of terpenoids is necessary to gain maximum benefits from Ginkgo Biloba. It could take 6 to 8 weeks before any visible effects are noticed. Regular use of Ginkgo Biloba could promote general health improvement.
Ginkgo Biloba in small doses may not be effective and in high doses may produce side effects. While herbs are all natural and produce far fewer side effects and negative reactions as compared to chemical drugs, gradual buildup in dosages is often a good idea.
There can sometimes be negative side effects like gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, headaches, restlessness, nausea and/or vomiting. If this is the case you should lower your dosage and if symptoms continue discontinue use.
Applications:Tea: Check label for flavonoids and terpenoids and follow above recommendations for measure.
Capsule: Check label for flavonoids and terpenoids and follow above recommendations for measure.
Powder: Check label for flavonoids and terpenoids and follow above recommendations for measure.
Extracts: Check label for flavonoids and terpenoids and follow above recommendations for measure.