Ginkgo is a tree. This tree has been found in fossils dating back 270 million years ago. It mainly grows in China, Japan, and Korea. The main factor in ginkgo is its ability to increase “Nitric Oxide.” Nitric Oxide is great for people with high blood pressure and those who need to increase their oxygen. It was used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years before modern medicine scientifically proved its benefits. It’s been shown to help improve cognitive function, reduce the effects of aging on the brain and memory loss, reduce inflammation throughout the body, increase blood flow toward the brain and eyes, as well as treat multiple sclerosis symptoms. Ginkgo has also been found to be effective at treating ADHD behavior issues. Here are 15 amazing benefits of “Gingko Biloba” for your overall health. Read on to know!
What is Ginkgo Biloba? (Living Fossil)
Ginkgo (Gingko Biloba) is a big tree with fan-shaped leaves. These leaves are commonly incorporated in supplements and taken orally for memory concerns. Being native to China, Japan, and Korea, it is now grown in Europe and the United States. It is also known as the maidenhair tree. It is one of the oldest plants that ever bloomed on the planet Earth, presenting it the title of the “living fossil.”It appears to enhance blood circulation and might also act as an antioxidant that tends to slow down changes in the brain. Because ginkgo has existed around for such a prolonged time, people have used it for multiple health pursuits. It’s generally taken by mouth for memory booster and focus issues, anxiety, vision difficulties, and many other ailments. Still, it requires better scientific evidence to support most of its claims regarding its uses in the health domain.
15 BENEFITS OF GINKGO BILOBA
Health benefits related to Ginkgo Biloba are owing to its seeds and leaves, out of which the most are related to the use of extract taken from the leaves. The Chinese tradition used ginkgo leaves for various health goals like managing brain and circulatory problems. This extract includes two main elements, flavonoids, and terpenoids, with potent antioxidant qualities. These may help slow the advancement of age-associated disorders by discouraging damage to tissues, cells, and DNA. If your diet is crappy, this won’t work for you. But if your diet is good, it may help you.
According to what research has found, here are the following health benefits of ginkgo biloba:
1. PROVIDES ANTIOXIDANT SUPPORT
Antioxidants are very vital accessories for our bodies. They help to fight free radicals. Free radicals harm the body and cause many problems, like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Antioxidants stop these free radicals from damaging your cells. It has shielding effects against “mitochondrial damage” and oxidative stress. It can aid in lowering inflammation and free radical damage, two underlying reasons for most ordinary health illnesses. Also, it can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce high blood pressure, which is common with diabetics and people who have high blood pressure problems.
Among the most important benefits of ginkgo biloba is its antioxidants that help prevent strokes by preventing blood clots from forming in the brain or heart arteries. This can be very helpful for those who are at risk of strokes, such as people with diabetes who have high cholesterol levels or people who smoke cigarettes regularly on a long-term basis since smoking is known for increasing one’s chances of suffering from many chronic diseases such as cancer along with cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks or strokes caused by blood clots forming within an artery due to nicotine addiction (addiction).
2. MAY HELP TREAT MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS)
MS is an autoimmune chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS). The most common symptoms are:
- Other symptoms may include visual disturbances, balance problems, dizziness, and fatigue.
While specific chemical elements of Ginkgo biloba acts as antioxidants, others act to inhibit platelet-activating factor (PAF). PAF is a compound mix concerned with blood clotting and inflammation, so inhibiting it could decrease inflammation. Research has been accomplished using animals with EAE, an experimental sample of MS. In these studies, PAF has been linked to a worsening of MS. Consistency in these findings, Ginkgo biloba has been accredited with improvement in few studies.
What do the studies say?
A 1992 study is often cited as precedent for the logic behind suggesting Ginkgo biloba for MS. In the study, eight of the ten people living with MS people using Ginkgo biloba noticed improvement. However, in 1995, a much more extensive study saw that Ginkgo biloba was ineffective in treating MS seizures.
For slowing down the disease cycle of MS, Ginkgo biloba is not beneficial in the short term. The effectiveness of long-term use is still being determined.
Some preliminary work has suggested Ginkgo biloba may help with MS-associated cognitive crises. However, further research can prove its definite therapeutic effects. To date, no known cure for MS, but the following treatments help manage symptoms:
- Medication to reduce swelling in the brain and spinal cord
- Medication to relieve nerve pain (neuropathic)
- Physical therapy to help improve mobility
- Mental health counseling (so you can better cope with stressors in your life)
- Lifestyle changes (like exercise or yoga could be beneficial)
3. IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION
The role of Ginkgo Biloba in enhancing blood circulation is owing to its effects of dilating blood vessels and thinning the blood too. Besides antioxidants and phytonutrients, the main factor in ginkgo biloba is its ability to increase nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator. Another name for this is an endothelium-derived factor. Basically, what it does in your arteries is:
- It relaxes the smooth muscles in the arteries.
- It creates vasodilation, giving you more blood flow, circulation, and oxygen to different body and brain parts. So you have improved memory and good better circulation in your lower legs. There is a condition called intermittent claudication in which your legs become very painful when you exert yourself or exercise. It is also effective for that.
As a side note: nitric oxide comes from nitrates and vegetables. When you consume vegetables, you are increasing this compound. It’s perfect for people with high blood pressure and those who want to improve their oxygen intake. The ginkgo can increase “Nitric Oxide.” Thus, ginkgo can help control blood pressure and heart health.
4. GINGKO PROMOTES HEART HEALTH
Many of ginkgo’s health benefits are accredited to its power to boost blood circulation. According to traditional Chinese medicine, ginkgo actually unlocks channels in the body. It facilitates vital organs like the lungs, liver, and brain. Individuals at risk of heart attack and stroke cannot dilate well for blood to flow in blood vessels.
In a study of Phytotherapy Research, volunteers received ginkgo biloba. They had instant increases in blood flow with a 12% increase in nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is essential to heart health, enabling dilating blood vessels.
Another random study stated that healthy elder adults underwent increased blood flow and blood vessel dilation with ginkgo biloba, meaning it may help reduce the risk of growing heart disease in elderly people.
Reduces Risks of Atherosclerosis
Specific investigations concerning people at higher risk for heart disease have discovered that patients on ginkgo biloba observed a less buildup of atherosclerotic plaque (which leads to arteriosclerosis) and oxidation of LDL cholesterol levels. So the primary use of this herb for heart soundness appears to be its exceptional antioxidant ability — taking this supplement boosts the activity of some of the most potent antioxidants in the body, like superoxide dismutase and glutathione.
Consuming ginkgo extract by mouth or IV, combined with a prescription, could improve thinking, memory, and the ability to complete routine activities in people recovering from a stroke. IV is more effective than taking ginkgo extract by mouth. But IV products can only be suggested by your healthcare provider.
5. FIGHTS ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
The benefits of Gingko Biloba, in this case, is promising. The chemical balance of ginkgo is very effective in treating ADHD symptoms without any side effects, as medication often causes ADHD behavior. ADHD is a mental condition that causes hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. It’s a neurobiological disorder affecting a child’s educational achievement, emotional health, and social skills. People with ADHD tend to be at risk for developing other co-morbid states, such as depression or anxiety disorders while growing up. Ginkgo biloba enhances blood flow to the brain, inducing increases in blood circulation in the visual cortex.
In a 6-week study on children with ADHD, ginkgo biloba yields better productive results against the symptoms than a placebo. While ginkgo supplementation may benefit people with problem focusing, it doesn’t necessarily improve optimal brain performance.
6. MAY HELP ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA SUFFERERS
Ginkgo assures improvement in reversing the symptoms for dementia patients, which means it may also help defend against neurodegeneration in healthy masses. In a meta-analysis of studies including ginkgo biloba and Alzheimer’s patients, researchers inferred that supplementation for 3-6 months of ginkgo biloba could enhance cognitive role in patients with Alzheimer’s. Still not an absolute cure, prevailing scientific publications indicate that ginkgo might benefit adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Taking 240 mg by mouth daily may slightly improve dementia signs.
A 2016 synopsis of methodical reviews published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience finalized, “there is clear proof to support the effectiveness of GBEs for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Besides, the question of the ability to control cognitive drop is still unanswered.”
Multiple studies have investigated the effects of ginkgo on negating Alzheimer’s signs in patients already experiencing standard AD treatment. But when groups of AD patients taking ginkgo supplements compared to those not taking ginkgo-combination medicines over at least one year, notable improvements in cognition and quality of life have been witnessed.
Some researchers still consider that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of ginkgo. The “Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) Studies” established that when consumed at doses of 120 mg twice a day, it was ineffective in downsizing all-cause dementia and Alzheimer’s dementia incidence in elderly patients with standard cognition or with mild cognitive impairment.
Ginkgo Biloba treats memory loss due to placenta accretion in the brain.
The placenta is a temporary organ that supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus. Too much fluid buildup in this area can lead to conditions such as hydrocephalus (water on the brain) or high blood pressure. In some cases where these conditions are not treated appropriately, they can cause short-term memory loss. Ginkgo Biloba helps reverse this effect by helping reduce excess fluid around your brain and spinal cord.
7. MAY BOOST LIBIDO
One of the common reasons for a repressed sex drive or lower libido is the usage of anti-depressants. In a study on men and women taking serotonin inhibitors and other anti-depressants, ginkgo biloba enhanced sexual craving, lubrication, and orgasm in 84% of the volunteers.
Ginkgo biloba improved sexual function in females for those incapable of enjoying intercourse due to SSRI adverse effects. In female volunteers, it was 91% successful.
Other studies have found that ginkgo biloba efficiently increases libido and sexual role in postmenopausal women. Results are somewhat inconsistent, but it appears suitable that ginkgo biloba affects libido, as it helps blood flow and relaxes smooth muscle tissue. Interestingly, the most important result so far has been the possibility of treating sexual dysfunction affected by psychotropic drugs.
8. UPLIFT COGNITIVE FUNCTION
It is one of the important benefits that this herb offers. A study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 1997. This examination reported that Ginkgo biloba seemed to be an effective therapy for cognitive issues in the elderly. This is the main reason why most people take Ginkgo Biloba supplements. The herb increases blood flow to the brain and protects it from degeneration, which can cause cognitive decline as you age. It also improves memory, concentration, mental alertness, and other aspects of cognition necessary for success at work or school. In addition to helping prevent the oxidation of cholesterol and slowing down plaque formation in the brain, ginkgo biloba can also help slow down the progression of debilitating diseases.
The exact mechanisms behind how this happens are not yet clear, but studies have shown a positive effect on mental function in people who’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. One study found that patients taking 240 mg of ginkgo daily improved cognitive performance on memory tests compared with those taking a placebo.
Another study showed that after six months, 30% of participants who took 120 mg per day had improved scores on both digit span (a test for short-term memory) and verbal fluency (a test for executive function). This increase was more pronounced than for participants taking lower doses or placebos (around 3%)
9. MAY PREVENT SKIN AGING
In many instances, ginkgo improves skin health when consumed regularly. Supplementation of ginkgo biloba yields a slight but marked improvement in symptoms of vitiligo. This pigmentation condition causes white, spotted skin patches. At 120 milligrams per day, participants in two studies observed detectable skin repigmentation and a decrease in the sizes of their lesions.
In the form of face cream, flavonoids in ginkgo biloba imparted smoothness, reduced wrinkles, and raised skin moisture. However, this was only one study with a small sample size. Using a face cream having ginkgo biloba might slow the aging process.
10. GINGKO BILOBA MAINTAINS EYE HEALTH & VISION
One of the benefits of Ginkgo biloba is that it is a natural supplement proven to improve your vision. This plant extract contains high levels of the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Lutein and zeaxanthin
Ginkgo biloba extract also contains flavonoids, antioxidants that help prevent damage from free radicals in the body (source). These flavonoids can protect you from conditions such as macular degeneration or cataracts, which are common eye problems caused by aging (source). In addition to helping ward off age-related vision loss, ginkgo biloba is also thought to be very effective at preventing or slowing down macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a condition that causes the breakdown of the macula, which is an area located in your retina at the back of your eye. The breakdown can cause vision loss if not treated properly. Macular degeneration occurs as a result of genetics and lifestyle choices such as smoking, being overweight, and sun exposure. To prevent this condition from occurring or getting worse, try consuming ginkgo Biloba supplements daily by taking 30mg daily for up to 4 months at a time.
11. GINGKO BENEFITS PMS SYMPTOMS
Elementary research suggests that ginkgo may help treat both premenstrual syndrome’s physical and psychological symptoms (PMS). It has been seen to ease PMS symptoms in women. A study looked at 165 women over three menstrual cycles; breast tenderness and pain were relieved by ginkgo biloba and neuropsychological symptoms.
For this use, start during the 16th day of the menstrual cycle and continue until the 5th day of the following process.
Another study that looked at just two successive processes unveiled that 40 mg of ginkgo biloba leaf extract improved symptoms of PMS better than a placebo, both physical and psychological. One older study of 85 college girls reported a 23% drop in PMS symptoms when consuming ginkgo. Interestingly, the placebo group in this study also experienced a minor decline in PMS symptoms. However, it was too lower, at around 8.8%. Further research can better affirm these claims.
12. MAY HELP LOWER ANXIETY & FOSTER A GOOD MOOD
Researchers found that the highest amount of this extract given was more effective. However, it decreased the symptoms but only reached statistical importance after four weeks. 480 mg of ginkgo biloba daily relieved the symptoms comparable to a placebo in a 4-week study on 107 people with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Another study suggests that these outcomes are due to ginkgo’s ability to modulate gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. One good-designed clinical trial saw that a higher dose exceeding 480 mg of ginkgo biloba reduced generalized anxiety symptoms by the end of four weeks.
Eating a specific ginkgo extract called “EGb 761” (Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals) orally for 4 weeks can lessen anxiety symptoms slightly. (WebMD)
However, this herb doesn’t seem to treat depression from the root. But it has been shown to increase cerebral blood flow by up to 30%, which can improve mood by increasing oxygen levels in the brain. Increased oxygen levels mean more energy for your body to use on essential tasks like thinking clearly and being creative!
13. GINGKO CAN INCREASE THE EFFICACY OF SCHIZOPHRENIA THERAPY
Regardless, the impact is not believed to be noteworthy; ginkgo may help lessen positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia when combined with antipsychotic medications. Gulping ginkgo leaf extract by mouth daily, along with routine antipsychotic medications for 8-16 weeks, can make a difference in lowering some symptoms of schizophrenia. It might also decrease the harmful effects of antipsychotic drugs, like thirst, constipation, and tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder. It may also help to enhance reactions to these medications for patients who are “treatment-resistant.” Dosage ranges from 240-360 mg per day in the various examinations testing this effect.
14. CAN RELIEF JOINT INFLAMMATION & FATIGUE
One of the leading benefits of ginkgo contributing to pain relief owing to its ability to reduce joint inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of this herbal supplement can help relieve pain and swelling and reduce the risk of further joint damage.
Inflammation happens when the body naturally responds to injury or invasion by a foreign substance. Some chronic diseases activate an inflammatory reaction even when no sickness is present. This excessive inflammation can permanently harm the body’s tissues and DNA with time.
Study after study on animal and test-tube research shows that ginkgo extract can decline inflammation in human and animal cells in different health conditions.
Some specific conditions in which ginkgo extract has been shown to reduce inflammation include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Heart disease
Fortunately, data is promising, but more human studies can draw the definite role of ginkgo in treating these complex diseases.
A couple of studies have found that supplementing with CoQ10 and ginkgo increases the quality of life for people with fibromyalgia (a disorder of the nervous system) that can cause fatigue; headaches; difficulty with sleep, anxiety, and depression. These results are most uniform when subjects take 240 mg up to five days before mountain climbing. However, it’s vague why ginkgo biloba has been shown repeatedly to reduce symptoms of acute mountain sickness when taken before a climb.
15. MAY TREAT TINNITUS (RINGING IN THE EARS)
A current clinical study has proved the effectiveness of using Ginkgo biloba in tinnitus cure. US in a peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Otolaryngology – ENT researchers concluded, “According to the study, Ginkgo biloba is a better drug when compared to Caroverine in the long-term treatment, whereas Caroverine has a better response immediately after administration.” The researchers concluded, “According to the study, Ginkgo biloba is a better drug when compared to Caroverine in the long-term treatment, whereas Caroverine has a better response immediately after administration.” The researchers deduced, “Ginkgo biloba is a better drug when compared to Caroverine in the long-term treatment, whereas Caroverine has a adequate response instantly after administration.”
Ginkgo by IV and regular medications can help treat hearing in patients with premature hearing loss. Clinically, this herb is used to treat inner ear disorders such as hearing loss, dizziness, and tinnitus in European countries and elsewhere. It needs to be clarified if oral Ginkgo is helpful. A healthcare provider can only provide IV products.
WHO SHOULD AVOID GINGKO BILOBA
Ginkgo LEAF EXTRACT is safe for most people. It can cause minor harmful effects such as stomach upset, headache, dizziness, and allergic skin reactions.
Don’t eat roasted seeds of ginkgo, as they can cause seizures. Eating FRESH SEEDS may cause death because seeds are poisonous.
Pregnancy: If used near that time, it might induce early labor or bleeding during delivery.
Breastfeeding: There isn’t sufficient evidence to know whether ginkgo is safe when breastfeeding. So avoid using it and stay safe.
Children: Do not let your children eat the ginkgo seed, as it causes seizures and death in children. When combined with ginseng, it is safe for them.
Diabetic Patients: Ginkgo might interrupt the administration of diabetes. If you have diabetes, observe your blood sugar closely.
Infertility: Ginkgo use might interrupt getting pregnant. Discuss using ginkgo with your gynecologist if you want to conceive it.
Surgery: Don’t use ginkgo at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
The Key Takeaway:
In conclusion, Ginkgo Biloba is a powerful herbal supplement used for centuries by Chinese medicine practitioners. It offers many health benefits and can treat many conditions, including memory loss, anxiety, depression, ADHD behavior, and much more. It’s also very helpful in improving neurological function as well as maintaining eye health by warding off cataracts and macular degeneration.