Have you heard about Ginkgo?

In a world where herbal medicine is evolving each day, Ginkgo is one of the rare species that has many implementations in different health issues. Known as maidenhair, can be found in different formulations and dosage forms to adjust different health problems, especially those related to declining memory as Alzheimer's .

 Ginkgo biloba, also known as maidenhair, is an ancient plant extract that has been used in China, Japan and Korea medicinally to heal different health problems for thousands of years (Dr.Josh Axe). Ginkgo is a large tree with fan-shaped leaves, growing in Europe since around 1730 and in the United States since around 1784 (WebMD,Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database,2009). Chinese herbal medicine has used both the dried ginkgo leaf and seed for thousands of years. The supplement is found as liquid extract, capsules and tablets. However,the main focus is in ginkgo biloba liquid extract made of the plant’s dried green leaves.Nowadays, Ginkgo is one of the top-selling herbal medicines worldwide, as the oldest living tree  species (Nordqvist, J. , 2017).

According to Chinese Medicine and current clinical studies, ginkgo biloba is safe, effective and benefits the body in numerous ways, especially circulatory problems and those related to declining memory (Dr.Josh Axe).

But what makes Ginkgo so effective? Ginkgo extract contains two most important constituents of 40 different other components found within the extract; flavonoids ( plant based antioxidants) and terpenoids, which have strong antioxidant properties in the organism and  are believed to help reduce the risk of cancer. They are said to lower the oxidative stress, which is believed to worsen as someone ages (Dr.Josh Axe).Flavonoids protect the nerves, heart muscle, blood vessels, and retina from damage, while ginkgolides ( terpenoids) improve blood flow by dilating blood vessels.

Ginkgo’s been widely studied for its effective anti-inflammatory, platelet-forming and circulation-boosting effects, which might help the brain, eyes, ears, and legs function better (Nordqvist, J. , 2017). According to current researches published in JAMA, ginkgo biloba benefits include improved cognitive function, positive mood, better social behavior, better ability to perform everyday tasks, increased energy, improved memory and improved thinking. It is said to cure symptoms related to multiple chronic diseases — for instance, it’s been used as an asthma natural remedy, ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder) natural remedy and dementia treatment. It is taken orally to treat asthma, allergies, bronchitis (Nordqvist, J. , 2017). Ginkgo components might kill the bacteria and fungi that cause infections in the body (Emedicine Health, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database,2009) .

The therapeutic properties of ginkgo plant are said to include treatment for eye problems,such as diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as autism, heart disease and heart complications, high cholesterol, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and bloody diarrhea (WebMD,Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database,2009).

Ginkgo extract is also used for the treatment of numerous diseases including central nervous system disorders, such as neurodegenerative disorders. It may slow down Alzheimer's disease by interfering with changes in the brain that interfere with thinking, since it maintains cognitive health and is a brain-boosting herb. Ginkgo extract is taken orally for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), schizophrenia, and to prevent winter depression. It is also used to prevent mountain/ travel sickness and aging, improving liver and gallbladder function and controlling stomach acid.

No matter why you're using ginkgo, experts suggest starting at a low dose (120 milligrams daily) and increasing gradually. Always get your doctor’s advice (WebMD,Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database,2009).


COPYRIGHT: This article is property of We Speak Science, a nonprofit institution co-founded by Dr. Detina Zalli (Harvard University) and Dr. Argita Zalli (Imperial College London). The article is written by Elona Xhemaili (State University of Tetovo, Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Macedonia)