Ginkgo biloba is an extract from the leaves of the oldest tree in recorded history. The Chinese has been using this extract for various ailments and illnesses for hundreds of years. The key to ginkgo’s success in healing is attributed to the active flavonoids and terpene lactones found in the leaves. These chemicals are believed to be responsible for most of the biological action of the plant in humans.
The main use of ginkgo is to stimulate blood circulation. Extensive research has established the importance of ginkgo in improving blood flow to the brain and thus aiding in memory, concentration and preventing age-related dementia.
In addition to improving circulation to both the brain and extremities of the body, ginkgo is known to regulate the tone and elasticity of blood vessels, hence making circulation more efficient. This is why it has been found to assist in cases such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and Raynaud’s syndrome (cold hands and feet).
Ginkgo is often used in Raynaud’s syndrome, where there is a reduction in blood flow to the hands and feet. It is a circulatory disorder characterised by spasms of the arteries that carry blood to the fingers and toes.
Gingko’s beneficial effect on the circulatory systems has positive implications for tinnitus. Tinnitus is the general term used to describe a condition in which a person perceives sounds that have no acoustic origin. The noise can be in many forms: whistling, buzzing, humming, or roaring and can range from a soft hum to a high-pitched squeak.
Disorders with a circulatory basis, ranging from short-term memory to ringing in the ears to numbness in the toes will see improvements with this herb- ginkgo biloba.
- Andrew H Muir, Rosalind Robb, Margaret McLaren, Fergus Daly and Jill JF Belch (2002). The use of Ginkgo biloba in Raynaud’s disease: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Vasc Med 7: 265.
- Pierre L. Le Bars, Martin M. Katz, Nancy Berman, Turan M. Itil, Alfred M. Freedman and Alan F. Schatzberg (1997). A Placebo-Controlled, Double-blind, Randomized Trial of an Extract of Ginkgo Biloba for Dementia. JAMA October 22/29 278:16.