Ginkgo biloba

November 12, 2012

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest living tree species that has been used extensively in Europe, United States as well as in ancient Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments.

The Supplements

The flavonoids and terpenoids found in the dried leaf extracts of the Ginkgo biloba plant possess immense medicinal value. The nuts of the tree contain ginkgolic acids and ginnol, which prevent certain bacterial and fungal infections. They are also a good source of proteins and starch.

The supplements are available as tablets, capsules, liquid extracts and dried leaf teas. Most standardized extracts of the herb contain 24 to 32 percent flavonoids and 6 to 12 percent terpenoids. It is not recommended for children. Dosage and form for adults depends on the underlying conditions. Ideal dosages range between 120 to 240 mg. You should talk to your doctor to find a dose that would work for you.

Uses

  • Concentrated extract of Ginkgo biloba can help treat short-term memory loss, headache, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and depression by improving blood flow in the arteries and capillaries of the brain.

  • The extracts of the herb contain antioxidants that prevent oxidative damage of the body’s tissues and cells by binding to the free radicals formed as a result of various biological processes in the body. The unbound free radicals bind to the DNA and proteins of healthy cells and cause irreversible damage. This can prevent conditions such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

  • The flavonoids found in Ginkgo biloba may prevent age-related macular degeneration by preventing the progressive degeneration of the retina at the back of the eye.

  • Traditional Chinese and Japanese medicines use the herb as an astringent for the heart, lungs, as well as to treat asthma, bronchitis, wheezing, and cough. It may also benefit patients with urinary incontinence, diarrhea, gonorrhea, toothache, skin diseases, fever and other ailments.

  • The cooked seeds of Ginkgo biloba can stabilize the production of sperm, while the raw seeds may have anticancer and counter-vinous activity.

Side Effects

Ginkgo biloba supplements are generally safe to use in recommended doses. The common side effects include upset stomach, headaches, skin reactions and dizziness. Ginkgo supplements, when taken along with blood thinning medications, can increase your risk of internal bleeding. You should stop taking the herb at least 36 hours before any surgery. Ginkgo biloba may interfere with certain antidepressant and high blood pressure medications as well. You should talk to a doctor before using the herb to avoid possible complications and drug interactions.

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