Pharmacological Action of Ginkgo Biloba
is acclaimed to be one of the oldest living
species. Fossils of Ginkgo Biloba state it to be
older than even 5000 years. A single 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. These are some of the many ginkgo
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.
In Europe and the United States, Ginkgo
Biloba supplements are amongst the top selling herbal
supplements and medications and it remains as a top medicine
prescribed in France and Germany.
There is a research paper written on Pharmacological
modulation by Ginkgo Biloba extracts of cardiac ionic
channel currents and aortic vascular contractions. This
paper was written by Satoh, H. and Nishida, S and was affiliated
by Department of Pharmacology, Division of Crude and Herbal
Medicine, Nara Medical University, Kashihara, Nara 634-8521,
The abstract presented was mainly to give details about
the pharmacological actions caused by Ginkgo Biloba extract.
It stated that Ginkgo Biloba extract is mainly composed
of Flavonoids and Trepenoids. This research was subjected
on a Guinea pig. Ginkgo Biloba extracts caused marked changes
on the action potential in ventricular cardiomyocytes by
prolonging the action potential duration.
On the other hand Bilobalides shortened the action potential
duration. In voltage-clamp experiments, GBE markedly inhibits
the Ca2+ current, the delayed rectifier K+
current, and the inwardly rectifying K+ current.
On the other hand, bilobalide enhances the Calcium current
and the K currents concentration-dependently.
The other constituents are also not uniform at all the similar
vasorelaxation mechanisms. Flavonoids also produce the vaso-relaxation.
These results indicate that even at acute administrations,
GBE and the constituents produce the effective actions on
the APD and the underlying ionic currents in cardiomyocytes,
although each constituent does not exhibit a uniform response.
Also, the results suggest that GBE causes the vasodilation,
mainly due to the inhibitions of Ca2+ influx
through Ca2+ channel and the activation of NO
releasing in the endothelium and aortic vascular muscles.
Free radicals such as charged oxygen ions are present in
our bodies. These free radicals 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
cell mutations, aging, cellular death, heart diseases, cancer
and Alzheimer's disease along with other possible forms
of dementia. .
Flavonoids have persuasive antioxidant effects. Studies
have shown that flavonoids protect the nerves, heart muscle,
blood vessels, and retina from damage.
So overall, we have seen that Ginkgo Biloba extracts mainly
effects on circulatory conditions and as antioxidants. Let's
see what more studies show us and reveal us in future.