Introduction to Ginkgo Biloba
to Ginkgo Biloba Benefits & Medical Uses
Ginkgo Biloba is claimed to be the longest
living species of plants. There are fossils of Ginkgo
that are more than 270 million years old;
there is even a living specimen which is 3000 years old
and is reported in Shandong province in China. The scientific
classification and ginkgo scientific name is:
Physical Description of Ginkgo Biloba Tree:
Large, long lived, tough
trees which may live as long as 3000 years. They can
be as tall as 165 feet. The tree has long angular branches,
with strong deep rooted roots which make it stable in extreme
snow and windy conditions.
A combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant
wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes
ginkgos very long-lived. The tree is not ever green, the
leaves turn deep yellow during winters and fall considerably,
in winters it is no more than bare branches but in spring
and summers it is in full bloom and have the pollination
The leaves are fan shaped which have dichotomous venation.
The leaves are usually 5-10 cm (2-4 inches), but sometimes
up to 15 cm (6 inches) long.
Physical Description of Ginkgo Biloba:
The Ginkgo Biloba though has very strong
smelling fruit but it has only the seed in it, it can not
be eaten. This inedible fruit has reported to cause some
poisonous reactions when was eaten by humans.
Even the leaves are toxic and can not be taken directly.
Though the beneficial extract is drawn from the leaves,
but this is done by complex treatments given to the leaves.
The leaves either dried or the extract taken from it comes
in to the following forms:
A. Standardized extracts
containing 24 - 32% flavonoids (also recognized as flavone
glycosides or heterosides) and 6 - 12% terpenoids (triterpene
D. Liquid extracts
(tinctures, fluid extracts, glycerites)
E. Dried leaves
The general dosage in adults is 80 to
240 milligrams of a 50:1 standardized leaf extract taken
daily by mouth in 2 to 3 divided doses has been used and
studied (standardized to 24% to 25% ginkgo flavone glycosides
and 6% terpine lactones).
Other forms used include tea (bags usually
contain 30 milligrams of extract), 3 to 6 milliliters of
40 milligrams per milliliter extract daily in three divided
doses, and "fortified" foods.
Ginkgo seeds are potentially toxic and should be avoided.
Like seeds the intra venous solution is also harmful. Tebonin
is a German product of Ginkgo Biloba that was given intravenously
and had severe side effects and hence has been banned.
Ginkgo Biloba is widely used all over
the world for the improvement in certain health conditions
like Reynaud's phenomenon, weight
loss, hair loss,
glaucoma, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, vitiligo
extract treatment, memory problems and muscle cramps.
With such fame and easy availability
it is not a big deal to Ginkgo Biloba extracts anywhere
in the world.