Ginkgo biloba

Summary

Medicinal plant known to improve brain performance, such as memory and vascularity, but several studies have been critical of its effectiveness. Ginkgo biloba is usually found in standardized capsules or tablets.

names

Portuguese name: ginkgo biloba, maidenhair tree
Binomial name: Ginkgo biloba L.
French name: Ginkgo , ginkgo biloba , arbre fossile
English name: Ginkgo
German name: Fächerblattbaum , Ginkgo
Italian name: ginkgo , ginko , ginco

Family

Ginkgoaceae

Constituents

– Flavonoids
– Diterpenes: ginkgolides A, B, C
– Glycosides
– Terpenic lactones

parts used

ginkgo biloba leaves

Effects

Antioxidant, platelet aggregation inhibitor, brain vascularization regulator.

Indications

For internal use (pills or drinkable solutions)

To combat memory loss, for example in the elderly (possibly Alzheimer’s disease, see notes), concentration disorders, peripheral vascular disorders, ringing in the ears or vertigo, anxiety (according to studies from 2007).

Thanks to its molecules, ginkgo biloba also has an antioxidant and protective effect. This plant may have preventive properties against tumors and atherosclerosis.

Secundary effects

Possible gastrointestinal side effects such as stomach pain or constipation, headache, dizziness, heart palpitations, allergic skin reactions.

contraindications

Pregnant women, nursing women, people with hemophilia (also see below under Interactions ), 48 hours before surgeries.

Interactions

Warfarin and other anticoagulants (clopidrogel, aspirin, heparin) can lead to increased bleeding, especially during daily consumption. Alprazolam (Xanax): Possible reduction of effect of Xanax. Epilepsy drugs: possible decrease in the effects of anti-epileptic drugs. Antidepressants (eg, fluoxetine, imipramine): Possible decrease in the effects of antidepressants. Some statins, such as simvastatin or atorvastatin: possible reduced effects of statins. Ibuprofen: May increase the risk of bleeding. Diabetes medications: may change the effect of diabetes medications.

Preparations

– Pills, ginkgo biloba capsules

– Ginkgo biloba infusion (as in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM): 5gr of dried ginkgo leaves per cup of infusion. We note that the effect of ginkgo biloba infusion is contested, as the active principles (ginkgolides) are not soluble in water .

– Decoction

– Tincture (to use in the form of drops, for example)

Note: Avoid eating raw or roasted ginkgo biloba seeds, they can be toxic.

Where does ginkgo biloba grow?

Ginkgo biloba originates from Asia and can be found mainly in China and Japan. Ginkgo is grown in southern Brazil.

Comments

– Ginkgo preparations are among the best-selling herbal medicines in the world, but in the 2010s, the turnover dropped significantly. The New York Times estimated in July 2019 the turnover of ginkgo products to be around $250 million per year in the United States.
The Mayo Clinic, which published an article on its website in April 2018 about ginkgo biloba, also criticized the effectiveness of this plant against memory loss. This reference American institution believes that the effect of ginkgo in improving memory has contradictory results. Although some studies have suggested that ginkgo extract may modestly improve memory in healthy adults, most studies indicate that this plant improves memory, attention or brain function. Compared to dementia, as in cases of Alzheimer’s disease, the  Mayo Clinic believes that there is not enough evidence to support the use of ginkgo to prevent dementia or treat people with mild cognitive impairment.

– It should preferably be taken in pills or capsules, avoid drinking infusions as they are less effective. It is interesting to note that the ginkgo biloba tree survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and numerous studies have been done since then, thus proving the enormous resistance of the tree.

– Scientists estimate that the most useful components of ginkgo are the flavonoids, which have a strong antioxidant action; and terpenoids, which help improve circulation by dilating blood vessels and reducing platelet stickiness.

– Like the horse chestnut , ginkgo biloba is often found as an ornamental tree in public places such as squares, streets and avenues to provide shade. The great advantage of ginkgo biloba is its great resistance to pollution, disease or fire.

Criticism on the effectiveness of ginkgo According to the French reference journal Prescrire of December 2019, ginkgo biloba, used in cognitive disorders in elderly patients, has not demonstrated efficacy compared to a placebo, but exposes patients to bleeding, digestive disorders , skin (skin) problems, seizures and hypersensitivity reactions. More info on the Prescrire website (link worked on 12/16/2019)

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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