Ginkgo Biloba, although has many benefits, is best know as the brain booster or the smart herb.
The ginkgo tree with its fanned shape leaves is one of the oldest plants on the earth. So old that the tree has also been nicknamed the living fossil. Its remarkable resiliency allows the tree to live up to 4000 years.
The herb possesses the ability to invigorate the body's circulatory and nervous systems. This helps to protect against heart attacks, strokes and many brain disorders. When the brain is deprived of the oxygen and nutrients it needs, overtime a variety of symptoms can occur, confusion, depression, disorientation forgetfulness and poor concentration, to name a few. By enhancing the blood flow to the brain, ginkgo helps improve the mental function.
High doses of Ginkgo have been shown to have a positive short-term effect on the memory, mood and sociability. Ginkgo is not a stimulant. These effects occur because it enhances the communication of the nerve cells and increases oxygen due to the boost of blood flow.
Ginkgo can also help with a variety of age related health problems, due to the heightened blood flow ginkgo helps to correct conditions caused by compromised circulation, such as glaucoma, tinnitis (ringing in the ears) and other age related disorders to the eyes and ears. It is also said to rectify equilibrium problems, which include the symptoms of dizziness and vertigo.
Ginkgo helps regulate the function of platelets. Platelets are the blood cells that stick together to form clotting. This process is necessary to help in the healing of cuts, etc. Occasionally this function goes out of order and the cells clot when they shouldn't, which could eventually lead to heart attack or stroke. Ginkgo helps regulate the stickiness of these cells.
Another exciting result from ginkgo is the effect it has on the extremities, because it improves circulation it can better the symptoms caused by poor circulation like cold hands and feet, tingling sensations in arms and legs and muscle cramps.
Ginkgo is also a powerful anti-oxidant (see Melt issue 2), by stimulating the blood flow it helps to rid the body of toxins.
There are many supplements found on the market, but it is more beneficial to find a product that has a " 24 percent standardized extract", many of the studies conducted used products containing this amount of flavone glycoside (the primary ingredient in ginkgo). It is also important to know that the dose and length of time of intake can vary depending on the disorder that is being treated (consult your doctor or nutritionist for advice).
In general, as a daily supplement 30 to 6o milligrams a day will help maintain healthily blood flow.
As always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before beginning any supplement program to help reduce the possibility of side effects and to ensure that you receive optimum benefits.
This article is not
a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You
should promptly seek professional medical advice if you have any concern about
your health or physical condition, and you should always consult your physician
before following the recommendations presented here.
© Melt Magazine 2002