Gingko Biloba, also known as the maidenhair tree, is a unique species of trees recognizably similar to fossils dating back 270 million years. It is the only extant taxon in the Ginkgophyta division, recognizably similar to fossils dating back 270 million years. These are large trees, normally reaching a height of 20–35 m; however, some specimens in China are seen to be over 50 m. The tree has an angular crown and kind of erratic branches and is usually deep rooted and resistant to wind and snow damage. The young trees are slim with a good height slender and the crown becomes broader as the tree ages. The Gingko leaves turn light yellow in autumn and fall for a short span of 7 to 15 days. Gingko has a combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts that make it long-lived. The Gingko trees in planted in temple campuses in china are considered to be more than 1500 years old while few of them are claimed to be more than 2500 years old. Being a relatively shade-intolerant species, Gingko is believed to grow best in the well-drained and well-watered environments. The species has a prodigious capacity for vegetative growth and to prevent the disturbances, such as soil erosion, it is capable of sprouting from embedded buds near the base of the trunk. The older species can produce aerial roots on the undersides of large branches to prevent disturbances such as crown damage, as these roots can lead to successful clonal reproduction upon contacting the soil. The strategy has been found very crucial for their persistence. Like the most trees, Ginkgo branches also grow in length by the growth of shoots with regularly spaced leaves. The Gingko leaves are usually 5-10 cm long (sometimes up to 15 cm with fan-shaped with veins radiating out into the leaf blade.
In China, the Gingko Biloba has been used for both mental and physical enhancement since ancient times. Both the Gingko leaves and seeds have been used for thousands of years in China, however, the modern researchers are limited to the Gingko Biloba Leaves (GBE) that is prepared from old and dried Gingko leaves. These extracts are highly concentrated and considered better to treat health problems (particularly circulatory problems) rather than the non-standardized leaf alone. Scientists have found two major components in Gingko that have medicinal properties: flavonoids and terpenoids that are useful to treat a number of disorders men as well as women.
Dementia and Alzheimer disease: Ginkgo is widely used in us Europe for treating dementia. Initially, it was considered that it helped because it improves blood flow to the brain but the afterward researchers suggest that it may repair the nerve cells that are damaged in Alzheimer disease as well. Gingko Biloba is enriched with flavonoids that protect the nerves, heart muscle, blood vessels, and retina from damage. Several studies have revealed that Ginkgo has a positive effect on memory and thinking ability in people with Alzheimer disease or vascular dementia.
Along with Alzheimer disease, Gingko is also claimed to
- Improve thinking, learning, and memory (cognitive function)
- Have an easier time performing daily activities
- Improve social behavior and
- Have fewer feelings of depression
Few types of research have found the Gingko may also be used as a prescription medicine for Alzheimer and to delay the symptoms of dementia, however, it’s not tested against all the drugs prescribed to treat Alzheimer disease.
Sexual Dysfunction: Being rich terpenoids, Gingko is believed to improve the blood circulation in the body and the same theory is implemented to cure a number sexual dysfunctions. As it ensures a proper blood flow to penile tissues, it helps to cause a bigger harder and comparatively longer lasting erections in order to cure the erectile dysfunction in men. The leaves of the Ginkgo Biloba tree contain flavonoids that have been proven to increase sluggish blood circulation and relax blood vessels. This allows the blood to flow more freely to the genitals and makes it easier to achieve and sustain the erection, enhances sensitivity, and increases semen output. It also increases the libido in men as well as women and provides a better control over erection. Gingko is considered as a remedy for premature ejaculation in men and it helps a man to maintain an erection for a longer time and is frequently used in several male enhancement supplements. Though all the supplements in the market aren’t trustworthy and may have little or less Gingko Biloba.
Intermittent claudication: As Ginkgo is rich in terpenoids, it improves blood circulation by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of platelets. Because it improves blood flow, it has been studied to treat the people with intermittent claudication, or pain caused by reduced blood flow to the legs. Usually, people with intermittent claudication have a hard time walking without feeling extreme pain. As per an analysis of 8 studies, people taking ginkgo tended to walk about 34 meters farther than those taking other medicines. In fact, ginkgo has been revealed to work as well as a prescription medication for improving pain-free walking distance. However, regular walking exercises are considered to work better than ginkgo in improving walking distance.
Other benefits: Along with the above-mentioned ailments, Gingko is also used to treat memory loss, headache, ringing in the ears, vertigo leg pain, depression, g glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Gingko also helps in pre-menstruation syndromes such as breast tenderness as well as mood changes.
Possible Interactions: There are various prescription and non-prescription medications that include Gingko Biloba but if you are planning to take any of such medicines, you should talk to your doctor first of all as there are few possible interactions or side efforts of the same. Gingko Biloba may interact with the medications that are broken by liver. As there are a number of medications that are processed through liver, you are supposed to keep extra precaution for that. Gingko Biloba is supposed to interact with anti-seizure drugs and may affect the effectiveness of those drugs. Also, if you are taking Ginkgo along with a kind of antidepressant called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), it may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome which is considered as a life-threatening condition. Gingko is claimed to lower the blood pressure inside vessels, so if you are on a medication for high blood pressure, Gingko may cause your blood pressure to drop very low.