Ginkgo Biloba

Common Name: Ginkgo biloba belongs to the genus ginkgo and is a very rare plant. This plant is also known as the maidenhair tree as the leaves resemble those of the maidenhair ferns. The ginkgo biloba trees or the maidenhair trees are the only surviving members of an ancient group of plants which were around at the same time as the dinosaurs, 200-270 million years ago.Occurrence and Parts Used: Ginkgo biloba has been cultivated across the world since a long time. The ginkgo biloba leaf and seeds have been used extensively in Chinese medicine and cuisine. Ginkgo biloba extracts are used to make tablets and capsules such as the ever popular ginkgo biloba plus. The extract can also be made into teas for easy use.

Medicinal Uses: Ginkgo biloba leaf and seed extracts can help to stop blood clots forming and help to keep a healthy circulation system. Ginkgo is effective against Reynard's disease, where it can help to restore the proper blood flow to the hands and feet to recover from the cold. However, be careful not to use blood thinners along with the extract as it could be detrimental to blood circulation. Ginkgo biloba leaf products may also affect blood sugar levels and should therefore be used with care.

Ginkgo Biloba Memory: Another main use of ginkgo biloba extract is its proven use in improving brain functioning. Ginkgo has been noted in some clinical trials to aid memory and the ability to concentrate. It helps to increase the blood flow to the brain which aids memory conditions. This plant has been effective in aiding degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's by helping to alleviate symptoms of this condition. Ginkgo also has positive effects on people suffering from vertigo by relieving the dizziness and nausea. Administered As: If ginkgo biloba and ginseng, another herb, are combined together, it has shown to significantly improve memory and concentration levels. Tablets and a powdered form of this mixture are easily available.

Ginkgo Biloba Side Effects: Ginkgo seeds are a delicacy in Chinese and Japanese cooking. They are often served at special occasions and added to dishes like curries and soups in China. In Japan, the most common way of preparing Ginkgo nuts today are grilling them or boiling them. However, uncooked ginkgo seeds contain a chemical known as ginkgo toxin, which can cause seizures and one should be careful to not eat too many of them. Other rare minor side effects reported are mild gastrointestinal discomfort and headache. If used excessively, it could cause diarrhea and vomiting.