Ginkgo biloba benefits

Gingko biloba medicinal properties


ginkgo leaves
Photo of leaves of ginkg

Components of ginkgo biloba

The main components of ginkgo are:

Internal use remedies with ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba for blood circulation

Photo of a ginkgo tree in a par

Ginkgo constitutes one of the best remedies to improve blood circulation. The reason is the power the extracts of this plant have to dilate blood vessels what makes blood circulate more flowingly. It seems that flavonoids exercise a vasodilator action on the walls of the arteries and capillaries at the same time that they prevent platelets to deposit inside them.

This property can be used to cure a series of illnesses based on a bad circulation. Among all they, we would would mention some important ones as arteriosclerosis, hypertension, blood clots, multiple sclerosis, or bad circulation in general, so much in grown-ups as in young people that begin to notice circulation problems for the first time.

Other more located ailments would be:

  • Bad circulation in the legs: Bad circulation in the legs is the reason of most of pains and fatigue in the inferior extremities. With the ginkgo circulation can be improved to avoid these nuisances.

It has been proved the use of the extracts of this plant can improve one of the the most painful circulatory illnesses in the legs that generally appears among the grown-ups: intermittent claudication.

This illness consists on a narrowing of the arteries of the legs, caused by atherosclerosis, that produces a deficient sanguine circulation because of the little oxygen that arrives to the muscles and, therefore legs hurt after exercise or walking, even with little effort. (The habitual dose is about 120 mg a day distributed in three takings)

Equally, as a consequence of bad circulation in the legs, it is very habitual in certain people to experience cramps in the calves when they are in the bed, mainly at night or at dawn when stretching the legs. (The administration of the same dose can help to solve the problem)

  • Bad circulation in the coronary arteries: Lack of irrigation of the heart as a result of the obstruction of the coronary arteries can be responsible for heart attacks. Without being so pessimistic, a faulty flow of blood to the heart muscle can produce arrhythmias, fast breathing and pain in the chest. (Take 60 to 240 mg daily distributed in 3 takings)
  • Bad circulation in the head: Bad circulation in the brain accounts for many serious paralyzing illnesses. One of the most dangerous are brain hemorrhages that can produce the death or paralysis of some parts of the body. The ginkgo extract improves the circulation of the brain capillaries and increases their resistance. The administration of 60 to 240 daily mg of this product does not only prevent strokes but it also avoids an entire series of symptoms associated with a bad circulation in the head: vertigo, dizziness, faulty speech, memory problems, concentration lack, migraine, hearing loss, Meniere’s disease, etc.
  • Alzheimer disease: Equally it can be used to combat the Alzheimer disease or schizophrenia not only by improving brain irrigation but but because of its antioxidant properties that are able to combat free radicals, responsible for cell deterioration and the appearance of many degenerative illnesses.
    The degeneration of the cells of the brain could influence in the appearance of this illness. (60 to 240 daily mg of extracts of leaves in 3 doses distributed along the day).
  • Raynaud phenomenon produces a bad circulation in the extremities so that fingers and toes become purple or whitish, especially when they are cold. The administration of ginkgo extract in the doses before recommended can help to improve the circulation in the extremities.
  •  Bad circulation in the eyes: Hardening of blood vessels can cause bad circulation in the the eye, producing vision lost because of macular degeneration. An inadequate feeding together with some aggressive environmental conditions and the own oxidation of the organism is the cause of the appearance of free radicals that can affect many body organs including eyes which are one the most sensitive. (About 120 mg a day of extract of Ginkgo distributed in three doses)
  • Altitude sickness: The ginkgo extract improves circulation to the capillaries of the brain, increases resistance and helps to prevent breakage. The administration of 60 to 240 mg daily of ginkgo extract not only guards against spills, but also prevents a range of symptoms associated with poor circulation in the head, including those occurring as a result of altitude sickness.

Other properties of ginkgo bilova

  • Allergy: Ginkgo contains a series of components that inhibit the Platelet activating factor (PAF) responsible for the inflammatory processes that unchain many illnesses of the immunologic system as hay fever, pollen allergy, allergy or asthma. (About 120 mg a day of extract of Ginkgo distributed in three doses)
  • Depression: The administration of ginkgo extract is suitable to treat depression in grown-ups, when this illness is related with a wrong brain irrigation. By improving circulation, a bigger contribution of blood takes place to the cells of the brain, which improves the depressive processes.
  • To combat hangover: There are studies that demonstrate that the administration of extracts of ginkgo seeds can help to overcome the symptoms of hangover, since they contain enzymes that metabolize alcohol more quickly.
  • Hair fall: Frequently, baldness takes place because of a bad blood circulation in hair follicle.By Ingesting 120 mg a day of extract of Ginkgo in three doses, we can increase irrigation in the pilous follicle and stop or delay alopecia.
  • Menopause: Many studies suggest that ginkgo extracts can be positive in the treatment of the negative symptoms of menopause like anxiety, depression, breast swelling, increase of weight, irritability, etc.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome: The capacity of this plant to increase cerebral blood flow is very useful to treat forgetfulness problems affecting many patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. (The usual dose is 120 mg daily, divided into two doses, taken as supplement)

Gingkgo biloba, an edible plant

Fruit and seed of ginkgo

The ” fruit ” of ginkgo is covered with a sticky smelly pulp. Inside it there is a very hard protection covering a sort of almond or nut. This nut is the only eatable part of the fruit, after we have removed with hot water the peel that surrounds it. These nuts were used as food in China and in Japan because of their nutritious power since they are very rich in carbohydrates. They are served toasted.

The rest of the ” fruit ” is irritating. (See toxicity details at the end of the article)

Contraindications of ginkgo biloba

Doses should be administered as recommended in the patient information leaflet. Administered correctly, it doesn’t usually produce contraindications.

If taken in bigger quantities it can produce sleep problems, edginess, vomits or diarrhea.

Sometimes it produces headache in the two first days of the treatment. In some cases, even using the admitted doses, it can produce the same symptoms mentioned previously.

These symptoms usually disappear soon. If they continue, leave the treatment and consult the doctor. Its capacity to produce drowsiness should be kept in mind when driving vehicles or working with dangerous machines. In the event of pregnancy or nursing, take medical advice. It should not be used with children younger than 2.

Its administration together with other medicines that fluidify the blood, as aspirins, warfarin or heparin, could produce bleeding problems. For this reason, ginkgo extracts should not be taken some days before having an operation or during a couple of months after it. It should also be avoided by hemophiliac people or those who present some blood clotting problem.

Only standardized controlled products should be bought. It is sold in form of pills, capsules, liquid, dye or powder. Homemade preparations of ginkgo leaves can be toxic and they can produce allergy. In the process of elaboration of the standardized extract the components that unchain the allergic processes are eliminated.

Toxicity of Ginkgo biloba

Although a kind of eatable nut appears inside its ” fruit”, the rest of it is toxic. Its contact with the skin can produce dermatitis and its ingestion can cause interior lesions in the digestive apparatus. However, its nauseous scent prevents people from tasting eat.

The ” fruits ” of ginkgo can produce allergic reactions.

punto rojoMore information about ginkgo biloba.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

21 November, 2023

Other interesting articles

This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical-online" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.