Ginkgo Biloba: The Medicinal Plant That Promotes Brain Health
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Ginkgo Biloba, also known as the Maidenhair tree, is one of the oldest tree species in the world. Native to the tropical region of Asia, ginkgo biloba has been grown in Europe since 1730 and in America since 1784.

The list of the health benefits that ginkgo biloba proposes is a long one, ranging from alleviating headaches to improving cognitive function. Our ancestors have used this special plant to heal a variety of ailments, proving this plant can be a powerful natural remedy.

Botanical Name and Family for Ginkgo Biloba

This astounding tree is known as the “living fossil” because it is the only surviving species of an ancient group Ginkgophyta, or Ginkgoaceae. Ginkgo biloba has been found in fossils dating back 270 million years ago, before the time of dinosaurs. Gingko biloba goes by many names and is also referred to as Fossil Tree, Bai Guo Ye, Maidenhair tree.

What Is Gingko Biloba?

Ginkgo Biloba: The Medicinal Plant That Promotes Brain Health
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Ginkgo biloba is considered the oldest living tree species in the entire world, as it can live as long as a thousand years. It has been prescribed in ancient, traditional Chinese medicine to treat bronchitis and asthma. Now gingko biloba is used all over the world for its healing capabilities, including its brain-strengthening properties.

Active Ingredients Found in Gingko Biloba

Ginkgo biloba mainly contains flavone glycosides, terpene lactones, sugars, and other compounds. The plant also includes:

  • Kaempferol
  • Quercetin
  • Isorhamnetin
  • Ginkgolides A, B, and C
  • Bilobalide
  • Ginkgolic acid
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Rhamnose
  • Glucose

Health Benefits of Gingko Biloba

Research shows this plant possesses valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects.

Traditionally, ginkgo has been used for neurodegenerative conditions such as memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been used to treat vertigo, mood disorders, headaches, hearing disorders, and concentration difficulties. Ginkgo has been tried as a remedy for diabetic eye disease, sexual performance problems, and mental disorders in people with depression and Lyme disease.

Different Ways to Use Gingko Biloba

The leaves of ginkgo are made into an extract and used to make tinctures and tea, and can be dried to be used as an addition to cuisines and other culinary dishes.

Side Effects of Gingko Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is generally safe for use, but certain conditions or over-consumption of this plant has the potential to cause complications in some individuals. Although rare, gingko biloba has been known to cause minor side effects such as dizziness, upset stomach, constipation, headache, allergic skin reaction, and forceful heartbeat. Gingko biloba must be used with caution by persons with diabetes, bleeding disorders, infertility, and seizures.

Quick FAQ 

How much ginkgo biloba should I take?

To slow cognitive decline in older adults, individuals are typically advised to take 40-120 mg, three times a day.

How can you take ginkgo biloba?

The leaves of ginkgo are made into an extract and used to make tinctures, supplements, and tea, and can be dried to be used as an addition to cuisines and other culinary dishes.

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Park YJ, Kim MJ, Kim HR, Yi MS, Chung KH, Oh SM. Chemopreventive effects of Ginkgo biloba extract in estrogen-negative human breast cancer cells. Arch Pharm Res. 2013 Jan; 36(1):102-8. doi: 10.1007/s12272-013-0002-0. PubMed PMID: 23335025.