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Ginkgo Biloba Properties

Ginkgo Biloba is acclaimed to be one of the oldest living tree species. Fossils of Ginkgo Biloba state it to be older than even 5000 years. A single ginkgo biloba tree can live as long as 1,000 years and grow up to a height of 120 feet.

The branches are short and the leaves are fan shaped. The fruit has strong odor and it contains an inner seed, and there has been a report of a human poisoning from ingesting the seed.

Although Chinese herbal medicine has used both the ginkgo leaf and seed for centuries, modern research has focused on the standardized Ginkgo Biloba extract, which is prepared from the dried green leaves.  

Out of 40 components that are being identified in Ginkgo Biloba tree, only 2 are only two are believed to be responsible for the herb's beneficial effects in humans and these are flavonoids and terpenoids.

Flavonoids have persuasive antioxidant effects. Studies have shown that flavonoids protect the nerves, heart muscle, blood vessels, and retina from damage. Terpenoids improve blood flow by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of platelets.

Antioxidants such as Flavonoids help in eradication of free radicals that are found in our bodies and are potential hazards to our health and the functions of normal systems.

Environmental toxins including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking, and air pollution tend to increase the number of these hazardous free radicals which can cause aging, cell death, heart diseases, cancer and Alzheimer's disease along with other possible forms of dementia.

Many studies are being done to make sure in which diseases Ginkgo Biloba is helpful and can be used.

Apart from successful results of weight loss, hair loss, dementia, weight loss, circulatory problems; there are recent studies going on to prove Ginkgo Biloba's worth in acidosis, acute cerebral infarction, aging, alcoholism, allergies, Alzheimer's disease, angina, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-rheumatic, anxiety, asthma, atherosclerosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autoimmune disorders, blood vessel disorders, blood clots, breast disease, bronchial asthma, bronchitis, cancer, cardiac rhythm abnormalities, cataracts, chronic rhinitis, congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease and cough.

Others include dermatitis, diabetes, neuropathy, retinopathy, indigestion, dysentery, eczema, fatigue, freckle-removing, genitourinary disorders, hearing loss, heart disease, heart attack, headache, hepatitis B, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hypoxia, insomnia, labor induction, menstrual pain, migraine, mood disturbances, Tinnitus, oral cavity cancer, respiratory tract illnesses, scabies, schizophrenia, seizures, sepsis, skin sores, swelling, traumatic brain injury, ulcerative colitis, varicose veins and thrombosis.

With so many benefits on the list, there are even some of the side effects and you may need to be aware on the danger of ginkgo biloba.

Ginkgo Biloba can cause some gastrointestinal discomfort and headaches. If you are taking anti-depressant drugs which are monoamine-oxidase inhibitors in nature than there is a possibility of a negative drug interaction.

It may also increase risk of bleeding, and should not be used if having a clotting disorder. Similarly not to be used during pregnancy and lactation. Other side effects include, headaches, restlessness, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting and in some cases minor skin itching and rashes. It is always the best option to consult your doctor before starting any of medication or herbal remedies.  

For more information you may want to refer to Ginkgo Biloba FAQs