Ginkgo Biloba Health BenefitsGinkgo Biloba is an herb derived from the maidenhair tree. It is well known for its Antioxidant and detoxifying properties. Ginkgo Biloba is one of the oldest plants that have been used on herbal and natural medicine. However, this plant was known to grow only in parts of Asia and therefore was used in China in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese cooking. Both the leaves and seeds were and are still used as an extract to provide the supplement Ginkgo Biloba.
Although Chinese herbal medicine has used both the ginkgo leaf and seed for thousands of years, modern research has focused on the standardized Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE), which is made from the dried green leaves. This standardized extract is highly concentrated and seems to be more effective in treating health problems (particularly circulatory ailments) than the non-standardized leaf alone.
More than 40 components from the ginkgo tree have been identified, but only two are believed to act as medicine flavonoids and terpenoids. Ginkgo leaves contain two types of chemicals (flavonoids and terpenoids) believed to have potent antioxidant properties. Flavonoids are plant-based antioxidants. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that flavonoids protect the nerves, heart muscle, blood vessels, and retina from damage. Terpenoids (such as ginkgolides) improve blood flow by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of platelets. Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals compounds in the body that damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Free radicals are believed to contribute to health problems including heart disease and cancer as well as Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Antioxidants such as those found in ginkgo can help neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.
How does it work?
Ginkgo seems to improve blood circulation, which might help the brain, eyes, ears, and legs function better. It may slow down Alzheimer’s disease by interfering with changes in the brain that interfere with thinking.
Ginkgo seeds contain substances that might kill the bacteria and fungi that cause infections in the body. The seeds also contain a toxin that can cause side effects like seizure and loss of consciousness.
There are various conditions where Ginkgo has been used to help, showing beneficial effects in all, these are;
Arterial circulatory problems - This condition can cause blood clots and stop or restrict the blood flow to important parts of the body and organs like the heart. Ginkgo can help to stop blood clots forming and help to keep a healthy circulation system.
Cerebral atherosclerosis - This condition is when there is hardening and blockages of the arteries. Ginkgo can help to relieve these symptoms by softening the arteries and helping to unblock the blood vessels.
Cerebral edema - This condition is where the body tissue contains a high amount of fluid. This condition can affect the vessels, and Ginkgo can help to relieve this fluid tension in the blood vessels.
Cochlear deafness - This condition causes progressive deafness within younger adults, and is usually inherited. When this condition affects the blood vessels Ginkgo has been known, and suggested to help the blood vessels return to normal reliving some symptoms like tinnitus.
Diminished sight - Sometimes when sight is affected by blood vessels Ginkgo can help to relieve some blindness that is suffered. Not many studies have been done on this particular condition on whether Ginkgo is effective. Ginkgo's qualities to help blood vessels return to normal could help with particular sight problems.
Impairment to memory/ability to concentrate - Ginkgo has been noted in some clinical trials to aid memory. There has been extensive research on this factor, but many people try taking Ginkgo to try and help aid their memory. It helps to increase the blood flow to the brain which is usually the common cause for brain and memory conditions.
Arterial obstruction - Ginkgo helps to restore the natural blood flow in blocked arteries. It is used widely used to help treat conditions where this appears, and studies have shown positive effects that Ginkgo has had as a treatment.
Reynard's disease - This condition is when the hands and feet are exposed to the cold and can not warm back up again. This is because the blood vessels are not flowing properly to these extremities. Ginkgo can help to restore the proper blood flow which helps the hands and feet to recover from the cold, helping relieve the symptoms of Reynard’s such as pins and needles and numbness.
Alzheimer's disease - This disease takes away the ability for the person to do every day things. People can lose their memory through this disease, and is a degenerative disease. Ginkgo has been used to help the symptoms of this condition, helping to aid alertness and memory.
Vertigo - Ginkgo has also had positive effects on helping people who suffer from vertigo, by relieving the dizziness, and nausea.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) - Taking ginkgo leaf extract by mouth seems to produce significant relief in breast tenderness and other symptoms associated with PMS when started during the 16th day of the menstrual cycle and continued until the 5th day of the following cycle.
Strokes - 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.
Other Conditions - 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.
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