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Pharmacological Action of Ginkgo Biloba

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 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 biloba properties

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, Japan.

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.