How Ginkgo Biloba Can Change Your Life

Monday, 22 Nov 2010 03:22 PM

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The herb ginkgo biloba is the oldest living plant species known to man. It is said that a form of the ginkgo first appeared 300 million years ago and flourished during the age of the dinosaurs. Charles Darwin called it a “living fossil.” Ginkgo biloba, also known as the maidenhair tree or duck’s foot tree, is sacred to Buddhists and is usually found outside temples in China and Japan.
 
Ginkgo biloba is a herb that have been used for thousands of years and is quite popular in the United States. For at least 5000 years ginkgo leaf extract has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its supposed benefits for the heart and lungs. It is also believed to provide relief in case of cough, asthma, and acute allergic inflammation.

Ginkgo leaves are believed to contain compounds that make the blood thin and help improve muscle tone in the walls of blood vessels, enhancing blood flow.
 
Various ginkgo supplements are used throughout the world for their efficacy. Primary benefits of their use include improved blood circulation and decreased age-related memory loss. Memory enhancing properties of ginkgo biloba are so widely known that it has become top selling brain enhancer.

Other benefits attributed to g
inkgo biloba include iimproving mental function, lowering age-related memory loss, slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, limiting of macular degeneration, and curing sexual dysfunction
 
Scientists attribute the wonders of medical effects of ginkgo to two of its constituents: flavonoid glycosides and terpene lactones. The former are responsible for the herb’s antioxidant effects, while the latter are known for their ability to increase the blood circulation to the brain and other parts of the body.
 
However, ginkgo’s side effects may sometimes outweigh its benefits. Research has indicated that consuming ginkgo biloba can cause internal bleeding, headaches, dizziness, digestive problems, allergic skin reactions, muscle weakness, and even seizures (especially with epilepsy patients). Moreover, some of the elements of the ginkgo leaves may lead to blood clotting.

Fresh ginkgo seeds may cause indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Roasted ginkgo seeds (10 or more) may cause breathing difficulties, seizures, unconsciousness, and even death. People who combine prescription drugs with ginkgo biloba may have to face unsavory drug interactions. Because, ginkgo can ratchet up the effects of antidepressant drugs and blood thinners.
 
Hence, it is not advisable to take ginkgo without a proper examination and advice.
 

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