Healing ginkgo preparations are obtained by extraction from the leaves of the ancient ginkgo biloba tree, which grows in China for more than 200 million years. The concentrated extract of this plant is sold as a dietary supplement. Ginkgo is obtained by drying and milling the leaves from which the active ingredients are then extracted with acetone and water.
How does it work?
Ginko has a potentially beneficial effect on the bloodstream and central nervous system. It regulates the tone and elasticity of blood vessels (from the largest to the smallest) and thus increases blood flow through the arms, legs and brain. This plant works similarly to Andol, which reduces blood clotting and thus the risk of blood clots. It seems to also act as an antioxidant that cancels the action of free radicals and easily helps maintain cell health. According to some researches, ginkgo boosts the function of the nervous system by increasing oxygen and glucose delivery to nerve cells.
PREVENTION: most of the researches are focused on its effects on the prevention of memory loss, associated with aging. Also, there are data that this plant can improve concentration and memory in healthy individuals. According to today’s knowledge, ginkgo is most useful to people who already have memory problems as a result of disturbed bloodstream in the brain. It is researched whether the influence of this plant on preventing clotting may reduce the occurrence of heart and stroke.
MAIN USEFUL EFFECTS: increased blood flow to the brain, and thus increased oxygen delivery, is of great importance to older people whose arteries are narrowed due to cholesterol deposits or for other reasons. Reduced blood flow is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss as well as depression, anxiety, headache, tinnitus and dizziness – ginkgo can help in all these cases.
ADDITIONAL USEFUL EFFECTS: ginkgo increases blood flow through the limbs and can be useful for reducing pain, cramps and weakness (a condition called intermittent claudication) that occurs due to the narrow leg arteries. There are also indications that this plant could improve circulation in limbs of people who suffer from Raynaud’s disease and help people who suffer from scleroderma (rare autoimmune diseases).
Some researchers say that increasing blood flow through the nerve fibers in the eye and ear (following the use of ginkgo) may help treat macular degeneration or eye diseases associated with diabetes (the two most common causes of blindness), as well as some cases of hearing loss.
Some other ongoing researches study the potential effect of ginkgo on accelerating recovery from stroke and head injury. It may be useful in other conditions associated with poor circulation, for example, impotence, multiple sclerosis and nerve damage associated with diabetes mellitus. Prior to leaf extraction, traditional Chinese physicians used ginkgo nuts to treat asthma.
How to take it?
DOSAGE: take food supplements with ginkgo that contain concentrated extract.
To improve memory and poor circulation: take 120 g of ginkgo extract in two to three daily doses.
If yo have Alzheimer’s disease, depression, tinnitus, dizziness, impotence and other conditions caused by disturbed blood flow: take up to 240 mg per day.
USE GUIDELINES: in order to demonstrate the effect of these preparations, you need to use them four to six, and sometimes 12 weeks. This plant, at recommended doses, is safe in the long term. You can take ginkgo preparations with the food or regardless of meals. No adverse effects were observed in pregnant and breastfeeding women who had taken food supplements with ginkgo.
Possible side effects
Very rarely, gingko can cause nervousness, restlessness, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting; these side effects are mild and transient. Sometimes a headache appears at the beginning of the use. If it becomes too unpleasant, stop using ginkgo or lower the dose.
IMPORTANT: do not take any form of untreated ginkgo leaf, including tea: they contain strong chemical substances that can cause allergic reactions. Choose, therefore, the standardized extracts because those allergens have been removed in the production.