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Herbology 101 - Herbal Remedies and Herb Information

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Ginkgo (Ginkgo Biloba)
Photo: Ginkgo (Ginkgo Biloba) Also known as: Bai Guo Ye, Fossil Tree, Maidenhair Tree,
Parts used: seeds, leaves.

An extract from the leaves of ginkgo biloba is used to invigorate and to improve circulation, and in particular, to improve blood flow to the brain. Extracts of Ginkgo leaves contain flavonoid glycosides and terpenoids (ginkgolides, bilobalides).

Ginkgo biloba clears the mind, improves short-term memory, lightens depression, improves the immune system, has an anti-inflammatory effect, and settles the stomach. Recently, careful clinical trials have shown Ginkgo to be effective in treating dementia, but not preventing the onset of Alzheimer's Disease in normal people.

Ginkgo can significantly improve attention in healthy individuals. In some studies the effect was almost immediate and reached its peak in 2.5 hours after the intake.

It has also been used in the treatment of tinnitus, to help calm the vertigo and nausea that accompany the ailment.

The seeds
The nut-like gametophytes inside the seeds are particularly esteemed in Asia, and are a traditional Chinese food. Ginkgo nuts are used in congee, and are often served at special occasions such as weddings and the Chinese New Year (as part of the vegetarian dish called Buddha's delight). In Chinese culture, they are believed to have health benefits; some also consider them to have aphrodisiac qualities.

Japanese cooks add Ginkgo seeds (called ginnan) to dishes such as chawanmushi, and cooked seeds are often eaten along with other dishes.

Some people are sensitive to the chemicals in the sarcotesta, the outer fleshy coating. These people should handle the seeds with care.

WARNING: Excess use may result in diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, chest discomfort, and/or loss of appetite.

When eaten in large quantities or over a long period, especially by children the meat of the seed can cause poisoning by MPN (4'-O-methylpyridoxine). MPN is heat stable and not destroyed by cooking. Studies have demonstrated that convulsions caused by MPN can be prevented or terminated with pyridoxine.

Used for:

  • Anxiety
  • Disappointment
  • Grief
  • Emotional Fatigue
  • Physical Fatigue
  • Sadness
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Stimulant
  • Immune deficiency
  • Loss of Concentration
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-dizziness
  • Depression
  • Tonic

Related studies, articles, and news items

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Disclaimer: This content is provided here for informational purposes only. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or treat. Check with a qualified Health Practitioner before using any herbal treatment. Use of these reference pages signifies acceptance of this notice and our Terms and Condition.

Information on this website is for information purposes only.
Please consult a qualified health practitioner before taking any course of action.
Always check for counter-results before deciding on a course of action.

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