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Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba

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  • Summary
  • Side Effects
  • Other Names
  • Uses
  • Details

Ginkgo Biloba Overview

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.

Potential Ginkgo Biloba Side Effects

  • Headaches
  • Allergic Reaction
  • Seizures
  • Excessive Bleeding
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Raise Blood Sugar Level

Other Names for Ginkgo Biloba

Abricot Argenté Japonais, Adiantifolia, Arbre aux Écus, Arbre aux Quarante Écus, Arbre du Ciel, Arbre Fossile, Bai Guo Ye, Baiguo, Extrait de Feuille de Ginkgo, Extrait de Ginkgo, Fossil Tree, Ginkgo biloba, Ginkgo Extract, Ginkgo Folium, Ginkgo Leaf Extact, Ginkgo Seed, Graine de Ginkgo, Herba Ginkgo Biloba, Japanese Silver Apricot, Kew Tree, Maidenhair Tree, Noyer du Japon, Pei Go Su Ye, Salisburia Adiantifolia, Yen Xing, Yinhsing

Ginkgo Biloba Nutritional Uses

  • Alzheimer's
  • Circulation
  • Dementia
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Memory
  • Tinnitus

Ginkgo Biloba Source

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.

Ginkgo Biloba Benefits and Claims

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.

  • Memory in dementia patients: In studies where ginkgo is showed to have a clear benefit, people with dementia show improved memory, which results in better social skills and behavior.
  • Erectile dysfunction: Another claim that is made about ginkgo is that it can benefit men with erectile dysfunction. This is not supported by studies but is assumed because studies do show that ginkgo improves blood flow throughout the body, which may allow for improved erections.
  • Tinnitus: Some claims have been made that ginkgo is beneficial for those with tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and there were several studies that showed this to be true. However, some studies that showed positive results didn’t past clinical muster. Further studies show that in 1200 people over the course of several weeks, not a single person showed improvement while taking ginkgo.
  • Circulation: One claim about ginkgo that is true is that it improves circulation. Studies show that people with poor circulation had improved circulation with ginkgo. What’s more, people who had leg pain because of their circulation problems found that their pain was reduced and they were able to walk further and longer without pain. In addition, ginkgo thins the blood, which can prevent blood clotting.
  • Alzheimer's: The truth is, gingko biloba still holds promise for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and also for circulation, but outside of that, little proof exists that ginkgo biloba has much benefit for healthy individuals.

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.

Ginkgo Biloba Components

The key components of ginkgo biloba are flavoniods and terpenoids. Flavoniods are antioxidants that are found in plants. Flavoniods may benefit the:

  • Nerves
  • Heart
  • Blood vessels
  • Eyes

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.

Ginkgo Bilboa Side Effects

The most common side effects in healthy people are:

  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Allergic reaction (usually to the seed)

Gingko, however, interacts with many different medications like:

  • Blood thinners
  • Aspirin
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Drugs that suppress the immune system
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Diabetes medication

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!

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