Ginkgo Biloba: Benefits, Side Effects
I guess that you have heard about Ginkgo biloba and its positive effects on humans but probably you do not know that Ginkgo is believed to be the world's oldest living tree and species at about 200 million years old! Even Charles Darwin called it "a living fossil".It naturally grows in Korea, China, and Japan.
Ginkgo biloba is extracted from both the seeds and the dried leaves of the ginkgo tree. The extract that comes from the seeds has also been used to ease asthma symptoms and support respiratory health.
On the other hand, several studies have been conducted on the effects that the leaf extract has on blood flow, nerve function, and memory.
This plant has been used in medicine for many ages now. Even Chinese have used Ginkgo biloba leaf in their traditional medicine for over 4,000 years.
Why is this supplement so effective? How does it affect the human body?
Nowadays, According to the journal American Family Physician, Ginkgo biloba tree is widely used as a tonic for cognitive functions such as memory loss and as a longevity elixir. As well, Ginkgo is used to treat respiratory ailments, to improve circulation and so on.
This plant and its leaves are responsible for a significant part of today’s supplement industry. Ginkgo is the top-selling medicinal plant in Europe and is one of the popular over- the-counter and prescription drugs in Germany!
Ginkgo is so widespread because of the positive effects that it may have on health. This plant has proven its effectiveness in treatment of many common diseases and disorders.
This herb is the main ingredients of medications that elderly people take to improve memory abilities and mental sharpness (cognitive functions), to ease symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia, to improve circulation. As well, many people take Ginkgo as anti-depressant and antioxidant.
When it comes to Alzheimer's Disease this herb has proven to be more effective in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease than the second generation of cholinesterase inhibitors such as metrifonate, rivastigmine, donepezil. As well, it is used to treat dementia, tinnitus and vertigo.
It has shown some positive effects on diabetes and various circulatory conditions including cyanosis and Raynaud's Syndrome. Impotent people take ginkgo biloba to improve their sexual function.
As well, it is able to prevent clot formation in the blood and thus to prevent serious health problems. Ginkgo biloba is a powerful antioxidant as well. It is used to decrease the damaging effects of chemotherapy, radiation and certain medications. Fortunately, Ginkgo biloba has insignificant side effects. Many tests have been performed and most of them have been conducted in Europe. Around 120 studies from Europe have been published.
The side effects of Ginkgo are limited but they may occur. People with blood circulation problems and especially those who take anti-coagulants such as aspirin and warfarin should avoid taking Ginkgo because they may have some undesirable effects.
As well, Ginkgo should not be taken by pregnant women and people who are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI). Remember that before you take any kind of medication you’d better consult with your doctor.
A list of the other Ginkgo side effects includes increased risk of bleeding, gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, and restlessness.
In case that you experience any of the listed side effects, you should stop the intake of Ginkgo. Take a daily dose of 40–200 mg but if the side effects continue, stop the intake completely.
The medication dose needed for treatment may be altered by Ginkgo Biloba.
: Odawara M,et al. Ginkgo biloba. neurology.1997; 48(3):789-90