Ginkgo Biloba is especially good when combined with Panax Ginseng.
Ginkgo extract has proven benefits to elderly persons. This ancient herb acts to enhance oxygen utilization and thus improves memory, concentration, and other mental faculties. The herbal extract has also been shown to significantly improve long-distance vision and may reverse damage to the retina of the eye. Studies have also confirmed its value in the treatment of depression in elderly persons. The ginkgo extract may provide relief for persons with headache, sinusitis, and vertigo. It may also help relieve chronic ringing in the ears known as tinnitus.
In studies, Ginkgo biloba has been reported as demonstrating anti-oxidant abilities with improvements of the platelet and nerve cell functions and blood flow to the nervous system and brain. It has also been reported as reducing blood viscosity. It’s ability to increase vascular dilation, may help reduce retinal damage due to macular degradation and may reverse deafness caused by reduced blood flow.
Recently, extensive research on the herb has been conducted on the healing properties of the leaf extract. Germany and France have run literally hundreds of studies on the leaf extract. These studies along with similar studies in America, have shown significant results. The extract of Ginkgo biloba has been studied for its effectiveness in the treatment of Acrocyanosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Cerebral atherosclerosis, Cerebral insufficiencies, Cochlear deafness, Dementia, Depression, Menopause, Peripheral and cerebral circulatory stimulation, Peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud’s syndrome, Retinopathy, Senility, Short-term memory loss, Tinnitus, Vascular Diseases, and Vertigo.
It is said to be effective in improving the blood flow to the hands and the feet as well as stimulating the brain and reducing short-term memory loss. It increases blood flow to the brain, the uptake of glucose by brain cells, and has been said to improve the transmission of nerve signals.
Patients suffering from varying degrees of vascular insufficiency also noted an improvement in mood while taking ginkgo biloba extract. This has prompted a surge of interest in its use as a treatment for depression, especially in the elderly. Many people have found GBE to enhance other depression treatments and to often even prevent the need for pharmaceutical treatments in mild cases of depression. Those under the age of fifty may also benefit from ginkgo biloba’s antidepressant effects. So far though, the greatest level of improvement has been noted with older patients.
Alzheimer’s & Mental Function
As more than 300 studies demonstrate, ginkgo facilitates better blood flow through out the body, most notably the brain, where it both protects and promotes memory and mental function, even for people with Alzheimer’s disease. It also offers a wealth of possibilities in the treatment of many other common ailments.
Since doctors are still not sure what causes Alzheimer’s disease, we do not have a definite idea of how ginkgo works to stabilise, and in some cases, improve the quality of life for those suffering from this degenerative disease. Scientists have noted that Alzheimer’s is marked by a major loss of nerve cells in the brain, particularly those in areas controlling memory and thinking. Since doctors have found antioxidants to help slow the destruction of nerves, it is not a stretch to see ginkgo’s antioxidant properties helping in this area. The disease is also believed to have a connection to decreased blood flow to the brain. If so, ginkgo’s vasodilating effects may be a big help in the treatment process. Either way, prominent doctors and scientists believe ginkgo to be the supplement of choice to help hold off and possibly treat Alzheimer’s.
Although oxygen is essential for life, it can have adverse effects on your body. Unstable oxygen molecules can often be created during our body’s normal break down and use of oxygen or can form in response to external factors and pollutants. These unstable molecules, called free radicals, can damage cells and structures within cells. If the genetic material in cells is affected and not repaired, it can replicate in new cells, contributing to cancer and other health problems. These free radicals may also weaken artery walls, allowing fatty deposits that can lead to hear disease. As an antioxidant, ginkgo biloba combats free radicals and repairs molecular damage. A great deal of research suggests that antioxidants such as GBE may play important roles in preventing or delaying heart disease, cancer and other ills. Antioxidants may even halt the damage to cells, thereby slowing the effects of aging.
Another use for ginkgo biloba is in the treatment of impotency. The main cause of male impotence is poor circulation and impaired blood flow through the penis, which is often the result of atherosclerosis. Since ginkgo biloba increases blood flow, it’s been found to help up to fifty percent of patients after six months of use.
Raynaud’s disease is believed to be caused by blood vessels that over react to the cold and spasm, reducing blood flow and there by depriving extremities of oxygen. Ginkgo biloba may help this condition by widening the small blood vessels, which would keep these spasms from completely blocking the blood flow.
The lack of dopamine is believed to produce the progressive stiffness, shaking and loss of muscle coordination typical in Parkinson’s disease. Doctor’s theorise that along with other treatments, Ginkgo biloba may help symptoms by increasing the brain’s blood flow and there by allowing more of the depleted dopamine to be circulated to the areas that need it most.
Other uses for which ginkgo biloba extract is often recommended include depression, diabetes related nerve damage and poor circulation, allergies, vertigo, short-term memory loss, headache, atherosclerosis, tinnitus, cochlear deafness, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and PMS.
Scientists continue to study the prevention and treatment benefits to stroke patients that are attributed to GBE. It’s believed that by preventing blood clots from developing and increasing the blood flow to the brain, ginkgo biloba may help stop strokes from occurring. It’s also believed that the herb inhibits free-radical damage of brain cells after a stroke.
Multiple sclerosis & Organ transplant
GBE also appears to have an anti-inflammatory action that may make it valuable in the future for conditions such as multiple sclerosis and organ transplants.
Are Ginkgo nuts healthy? What science says?
Ginkgo should be eaten in limited quantities. Eating more than 10 raw or cooked nuts in a day may cause 4′-0-methylpyridoxine (Ginkgotoxin) poisoning. Ginkgotoxin is heat-stable and do not destroyed by cooking. It interferes with pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) metabolism and may cause an array of symptoms including stomachache, nausea, vomiting, nervous irritability, convulsions and sometimes death. The toxicity and symptoms, however, can be reversed by taking pyridoxine supplements. In general, children would tolerate up to five kernels per day and adults about ten per day. (Medical Disclaimer).
Ginkgo seeds have long been part of traditional food ingredients in the oriental cuisine. The kernels are quite low in calories on comparison to any other tree nuts such as walnuts, almonds, etc. 100 g of fresh, raw ginkgo kernels compose of 182 calories.
Traditionally, Chinese consumed the ginkgo seeds to get relief from breathing problems since they consider them confer yang (warmth) effect. The kernels are also believed to ease asthma, bronchitis, and urinary tract ailments.
Unlike ginkgo leaf, which FDA approved as a food supplement, the kernels have yet to attain this status in the United States.
Overall, the ginkgo nuts may be used in small quantities as medicine instead of as a major food source like other nuts and seeds.
When eaten in limited and specified amounts, ginkgo nuts would confer some of health benefits.
Ginkgo nuts compose small amounts of B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
These nuts are the storehouse of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Copper is an essential trace mineral that is required in neuro-transmission, metabolism, as well as red blood cell (RBC) synthesis.
What is ginkgo biloba?
Ginkgo extract, from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree, has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. It also is the most commonly used herbal medicine in Europe. Although the benefits of ginkgo are not entirely understood, it is known that ginkgo has properties that may help treat certain conditions. Ginkgo may:
Improve blood flow in the brain and elsewhere in the body. Reduce inflammation.
Act as an antioxidant (like vitamin E) to fight cell damage.
Improve memory in people with memory impairment.
In the United States, ginkgo is considered a dietary supplement.
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People have used ginkgo to treat a variety of health conditions. There is some evidence that ginkgo may be helpful in the treatment of:
Blood flow disorders (circulatory disorders), such as thrombophlebitis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and peripheral arterial disease.
Asthma and allergies. Mental decline (dementia).
Memory and concentration problems, anxiety, stress, and mood problems. Many people take ginkgo hoping to improve and preserve memory. But some studies show that there is no convincing evidence that it can help improve memory and prevent dementia.3, 1, 2
Ginkgo is widely used throughout Europe to treat age-related dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Is ginkgo safe?
Ginkgo appears to be safe and has few side effects. Direct contact with the pulp of the ginkgo tree may cause a skin reaction similar to poison ivy, but this is not a problem with ginkgo that is taken by mouth (oral supplements). Experts don’t know whether ginkgo is safe for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, so these women should consult a doctor before taking ginkgo.
Bleeding problems are the only major complication that has been linked to use of ginkgo, and the risk seems to be very low. Ginkgo is not recommended for people who are taking medicines that thin the blood (anticoagulants), such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, or NSAIDs. This is because ginkgo may reduce the blood’s ability to clot. The combined effect of ginkgo and these medicines may be harmful.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicines. A dietary supplement can be sold with limited or no research on how well it works or on its safety.
Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or if you are thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement. This is especially important for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
When using dietary supplements, keep in mind the following:
Like conventional medicines, dietary supplements may cause side effects, trigger allergic reactions, or interact with prescription and nonprescription medicines or other supplements you might be taking. A side effect or interaction with another medicine or supplement may make other health conditions worse.
The way dietary supplements are manufactured may not be standardized. Because of this, how well they work or any side effects they cause may differ among brands or even within different lots of the same brand. The form of supplement that you buy in health food or grocery stores may not be the same as the form used in research.
Other than for vitamins and minerals, the long-term effects of most dietary supplements are not known.
Ginkgo has been studied extensively in diverse medical conditions. Evidence is lacking to support a protective role in cardiovascular conditions and stroke, and a definitive place in therapy for dementia and schizophrenia, although promising, is yet to be established. The findings from 2 large trials are pivotal in evaluating the efficacy of G. biloba extracts.
The main medicinal constituents are found in the ginkgo leaf. These include flavonoids and several terpene trilactones unique to ginkgo (ginkgolides and bilobalide). The 3 major flavonoids of ginkgo are quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin. Approximately 40 minor flavonoids also have been identified and include catechins, dehydrocatechins (proanthocyanidins), and flavones (eg, ginkgetin, amentoflavone, bilobetin, sciadopitysin). The major terpene molecules unique to ginkgo are ginkgolides A, B, C, J, and M and bilobalide. Other medicinal constituents of ginkgo include shikimic, vanillic, ascorbic, and p-coumaric acids. Other leaf components include the steroids sitosterol and stigmasterol, polyprenols, benzoic acid derivatives, carbohydrates, straight chain hydrocarbons, alcohol, ketones, and 2-hexenol. There is a seasonal variation in the content of active compounds in leaves, with the highest amounts present in autumn. 4,5,6,7,8