Ginkgo Biloba

An Ancient Tree That Helps Your Memory


Ginkgo is one of the most ancient tree species in the world today. There's evidence of this tree dating back 150 million years! The therapeutic use of Ginkgo is also ancient as it's been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and continues to this day. The seeds and the extract of the Ginkgo leaf is commonly used to treat a variety of symptoms and ailments like loss of memory, asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, intermittent claudication and tinnitus. Basically, it improves circulation in the body and thus provides for better nourishment of the body's organs, including the brain. And guess what? It's also an antioxidant, that means it can help you keep the effects of aging in check and fight cancer!

Memory loss is a common problem with the elderly and probably the most prevalent reason for ginkgo consumption, here in the west at least. Ginkgo Biloba has been found to possess curative powers to aide in age-associated memory impairment and improve verbal recall. Recall is a key function involving brain memory centers. Ginkgo Biloba improves recall by rejuvenating the brain's memory centers. There is more and more research validating Ginkgo's ability to help with memory loss.

Brain NutritionA study conducted at UCLA on the impact of Ginkgo on age-associated memory impairment involved two groups of patients, aged 45 to 75 who had mild dysfunctions in memory. One group received 120 milligrams of Ginkgo Biloba twice daily and the other group received a placebo. Brain metabolism was measured by positron-emission-tomography (PET) scans before and after the trial. Cognitive tests were used to measure verbal recall. Both showed significant improvement among the group that was given Ginkgo compared to the group that was given the placebo.

The Journal of Gerontology published a study carried out in France that showed evidence of the useful role of a special extract of Ginkgo Biloba, called EGb761 in at least delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease. The study revealed that participants taking the extract over the long duration of the study, maintained cognitive performance longer than those who did not. The study also showed Alzheimer's symptoms were also delayed for quite some time due to the therapy.

Ginkgo is commercially available in the form of tablets, capsules or teas. Therapists recommend 80 milligrams to 120 milligrams of standardized Ginkgo extract as a good dose to begin with. Some side effects like headache, nausea, diarrhea and stomach upset are often reported. Few studies also indicate that Ginkgo can increase bleeding risk. So, persons on anticoagulation drugs or having bleeding disorders should consult a healthcare provider before commencing Ginkgo therapy.

More information on Ginkgo Biloba here.


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