Enhances oxygen utilization and this improve memory, concentration and other mental faculties. This herb has also shown to significantly improve long-distance vision and may reverse damage to the retina of the eye. Studies have also confirmed its value in the treatment of depression in elderly persons. It has an antioxidant effect, and anti aging effects, reduces blood pressure, can treat impotence and tinnitus/ringing in the ears. It is also known as the smart herb.The fossil record dates the ginkgo tree to some 200 million years ago from itís origin in Ghana.
Chinese medicine has valued the fruits and seed of this tree for nearly 3000 years.
Western medicine, however, discovered a therapeutic use of the leaves of this tree only about 30 years ago, and its popularity has increased by leaps and bounds to the present time. Recent clinical studies of the extract of ginkgo leaves have supplied evidence supporting a therapeutic role for ginkgo in medicine.
Although traditional folklore views gingko as a uterine stimulant an antibacterial, an anti-inflammatory and a vasodilator, ginkgo is most often used today in the treatment of conditions characterized by vasualar insufficiency in the brain and less. On area of particular clinical interest for the use of gingko is for memory loss associated with early symptoms of Alzheimerís disease a disease charactered by cerebral changes associated with hypoxic injury. Gingko is known for its ability to dilate vascular smooth muscles and reduce oxidative stress by scavenging free radicals. †If also appears to inhibit platelet aggregation which may account for part of its effectiveness in treating circulatory disorder involving post thrombotic events.
Ginkgo typically contains a 50:1 concentrate of ginkgo leaves. The pharmacologically active constituents of the extracts are believed to be a mixture of four ginkgosolides (A, B, C and M) and a sesquiterpene bilobalide.
The ginkgolides and bilobalide appear to impart the ginkgolide B inhibits platelet activatin factor (PAF) glycosides. The flovous are potent and effective scavengers of fee radicals. Adverse effect with ginkgo are uncommon but typically consist of upset stomach,headaches,anxiety,insomnia and rarely allergy .Patients taking anticoagulants or inhibitors of platelet aggregation should avoid ginkgo because of the risk of an additive interaction.
It is a reflection of the current legislative disparity between the regulation of drugs and herbs †that gingko is widely promoted as a memory enhancing agent for the general population, although clinical evidence supports only such memory enhancing effects in elderly patients with pre-existing memory deficits.
This disparity underscores the need for health professionals to be well informed on the subject of herbal medicine.