While the Ginkgo plant is still in tree form, it produces fruit that is not edible; inside of the fruit are seeds that are poisonous to humans. Most of the studies that are currently being conducted on Ginkgo are being done on the leaves of the Ginkgo (GBE). Although many components of the Ginkgo tree have been studied only two have been directly related to the big success of Ginkgo, as mentioned above. This is why Ginkgo is showing a much more structured relationship with treatment of Alzheimer's and Dementia. Because Ginkgo is so effective in improving blood flow to the brain and because of its antioxidant properties, the evidence that Ginkgo can help these patients is extremely promising.
It is suggested that Ginkgo truly can improve cognitive functions such as thinking, learning, and memory, improve activities of daily living and social behavior, and lessen the feelings of depression. Further studies are showing that the flavonoids can also help with retinal problems, people with circulatory problems in their legs, memory impairment, and tinnitus. Many doctors are recommending Ginkgo for treatment or discomfort associated with altitude sickness, asthma, depression, disorientation, headaches, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, and vertigo.
Ginkgo may also reduce the side effects of menopause, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. The option of Ginkgo has a lot more appeal these days then the options of prescription medication which has unpleasant side effects. Children under the age of 12 should not use Ginkgo and in adults it usually takes about 4-6 weeks before you will see any significant results. There has been a relationship developing between Ginkgo as an anti aging aid since it is such a powerful antioxidant that wards off the free radials.
It is very common and becoming even more so for healthy people to include Ginkgo as an herbal supplement on a daily basis for better concentration and enhanced memory. People claim that in general they feel that Ginkgo reduces any mental fatigue that daily life has a tendency to bring forth. Many men are taking Ginkgo to improve impotence as well as increase fertility. The Chinese have used Ginkgo Biloba for many years and have found great success with it so it seems that they might be on to something here because this herbal remedy looks like it going to be around for a very long time.
Here is a small study where people got twice as much as above. German researchers gave 20 people with Alzheimer's either a placebo or 240 mg of ginkgo a day. After 30 days the people on placebo had no improvement. Of the 10 on the ginkgo, one had progression of the disease, 2 stayed the same and 7 experienced an improvement of mental function.
1. HelpsAlzheimer’s Disease and Other Forms of Dementia
This is what ginkgo biloba is the most well known for-- improving memory. Is this why an elephant never forgets (they eat these tree leaves). A webpage says:
Some evidence shows that taking ginkgo leaf extract by mouth modestly improves symptoms of Alzheimer’s, vascular, or mixed dementia.
Now at this point someone can say "Didn't the U.S. government, specifically the 26th National Institute of Health (NIH), the NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) do a large study that shows that ginkgo is ineffective at doing the above?"
2. Helps Anxiety
From above webpage: "Preliminary clinical research shows that a specific ginkgo extract (EGb 761, Tanakan) can reduce symptoms of anxiety in adults with generalized anxiety disorder or adjustment disorder with anxious mood."
3. Recovery from Stroke
It helps people recover from a stroke caused by a clot.
4. Hearing Loss
Many health problems are caused by a lack of blood circulation.
5. Help with Vertigo and Dizziness
6. Helps PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
It is a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing gradual loss of sight.
8. Helps with ADHD (Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder)
9. Improves Thinking Problems Caused by Old Age
10. Improves Thinking in Young People
WebMD.com has a webpage about the benefits of ginkgo biloba mentioned above. It says:
Ginkgo improves blood flow to the brain and acts as an antioxidant.
Some studies have found that in healthy people, ginkgo might modestly boost memory and cognitive speed.
Several ginkgo studies have shown that it can help with memory problems caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers have studied ginkgo for many other conditions, including ADHD, depression and other psychological conditions, multiple sclerosis, and tinnitus from a vascular origin.
University of Maryland Medical Center has a page about ginkgo biloba. It says:
Ginkgo leaves have two types of chemicals (flavonoids and terpenoids) that are antioxidants.
Laboratory and animal studies show 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.
11. Helps with MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
12. Lowers High Blood Pressure
13. Age Related Problems with the Eyes like Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is a a gradual loss of the central part of the field of vision usually affecting both eyes that occurs especially in the elderly.
14. Helps Headaches
15. Helps with Intermittent Claudication, PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) or PVD (Peripheral Vascular Disease)
This is when you have severe pain while walking due to the blood vessels in the legs becoming too clogged up.