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If you haven’t heard about ginkgo biloba, then it is very possible that you have been living in a monastery somewhere. For many years, ginkgo biloba has been touted as the memory supplement, and one that promotes all around good health.
In fact, ginkgo is possibly one of the best studied plants in the world with dozens of studies dedicated completely to the benefit of ginkgo for memory. There are also dozens of other studies to determine its benefits in many other areas (mentioned below).
Gingko biloba is actually a tree; however, it is only the leaves that are typically used when making gingko supplements even though the tree bears fruit. The reason for this is because the seeds of the fruit on the tree are considered poisonous, although some people still eat them.
There appear to be no health benefits to the gingko seed, and that is the part of the tree that causes the most severe reactions. If you do insist on eating the ginkgo biloba seed, make sure it is toasted, as there are fewer reactions from that.
The gingko biloba tree can grow to be nearly 120 ft high. What’s more, a single tree can live to be over a thousand years old. Originally found mainly in the Far East, ginkgo trees can be found all over the world and can thrive in any sunny environment.
Interestingly, gingko supplements are the best selling in the world regardless of the fact that most studies show that gingko’s benefits are not nearly as beneficial as the claims for gingko say.
One of the major claims of ginkgo is that it will enhance your memory. Unfortunately, studies show that ginkgo has no affect on the memory of someone with a healthy brain/memory. The benefit is mainly for men and women who are elderly and suffer from dementia. Even in these patients, results have been conflicting.
In some cases, when combined with ginseng, ginkgo improves memory in healthy middle aged people. However, this was not achieved with ginkgo alone or with ginseng alone, which is why you should consider supplements that combine several good herbs.
The key components of ginkgo biloba are flavoniods and terpenoids. Flavoniods are antioxidants that are found in plants. Flavoniods may benefit the:
Terpenoids dilates the blood vessels. It is believed that this improves mental acuity in every facet.
There are actually nearly 60 more components of ginkgo, however none of the other components are believed to be necessary or beneficial to human health.
The most common side effects in healthy people are:
Gingko, however, interacts with many different medications like:
Severe reactions include excessive bleeding and seizures. If you have any seizure conditions or bleeding disorders, do not take gingko products!
If you have diabetes, any heart conditions or are on blood thinners, do not take gingko. In addition, do not combine with other herbs that thin blood! Gingko can raise your blood sugar levels, which is why if you are diabetic or pre diabetic, you should not take gingko.
If you have any health conditions, are taking any medications or are pregnant or nursing, you should not take gingko biloba without consulting your doctor. Use the free supplement finder to compare options now!