GINGKO BILOBA (MAIDENHAIR TREE)

Gingko Biloba is a natural extract from the leaves of the Gingko Biloba tree, believed by many to be the oldest surviving tree on earth. It probably is one of the world’s most widely used therapeutic herbs, being held in high regard by traditional Chinese and Japanese herbalists for millenniums.

And what have they been using it for?

Asthma, chilblains, swelling of the hands and feet, regulating blood pressure as well as other vascular diseases.

That’s not all. Modern research indicates that the healing properties of Gingko may have other benefits as well.

Problems usually associated with aging such as stroke, heart disease, deafness, blindness, and memory loss it is believed may all be helped by Gingko. Further research has been conducted on the effects of this herb on a variety of health problems including headaches, tinnitus, eye disorders, Alzheimers disease and circulatory problems.

There is no wonder that Gingko is held in such high esteem.

And it doesn’t stop there. The apparent benefits of Gingko to the circulatory system explains why many aphrodisiac formulas also contain Gingko.

Aphrodisiac? Yes that’s right. As one of the major causes of impotency in men is due to blood flow problems it comes as no surprise to find this herb featuring in many male potency formulas.

This is more than just shamanism (or perhaps supposition). In 1989 research conducted by R Sikora (et al, published in the Journal of Urology 141:188A, 1989) concluded that in a study of 60 men over a 12-18 month period 75% noticed an improvement in the ability to maintain and sustain penile erections.

What was most significant about this study was that the 60 men participating in the trial had previously been using a common drug used in the treatment of sexual dysfunction – called Papaverine. All patients had previously found no noticeable improvement in sexual function with Papaverine treatment.

One of the most exciting possibilities of Gingko comes with its ability to interfere with PAF. Platelet activation factor (PAF) is involved in a number of the body’s biological processes such as asthma attacks, organ graft rejection and complications with arterial blood flow. Gingko’s abilities to inhibit PAF have corresponding benefit to a range of cardiac and circulatory issues.

Is it safe?

The characteristic of Gingko to interfere with PAF may cause some problems with people suffering blood-clotting disorders, as PAF normally plays a key role here.

Additionally, extremely high dosages have been known to contribute to irritability, restlessness, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. However, as it takes an inordinate amount of Gingko to produce any therapeutic effects, it is extremely unlikely that overdose will be an issue.

The use of this herb over the last several thousand years has indicated that recommended dosages of Gingko are safe and indeed beneficial to non-pregnant adults and non-lactating mothers.

So Gingko justifiably remains one of the most useful therapeutic herbs available to man (and woman) today.

 

This article copyright 1999-2016 by Mark Porter. All rights reserved.

This article was prepared with the assistance of “The Healing Herbs – The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines” 1991 by Michael Castleman (Rodale Press, Emmaus)

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