Habitat & Cultivation : Originating from China, ginkgo trees are cultivated in extensive plantations across China, France, and South Carolina in the United States. These trees yield fan-shaped leaves with radiating veins, ranging in color from green to yellow, along with round fruits measuring approximately 3 cm (1 in) in diameter. Harvesting of both leaves and fruit takes place during the autumn season.
- Circulatory tonic
- Clinical trials : Comprehensive research conducted since the 1960s has highlighted the significance of ginkgo in enhancing inadequate cerebral circulation and supporting memory and concentration. Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated the utility of ginkgo in treating dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, although certain studies have reported no discernible positive effects. Additional research suggests potential applications in diverse conditions such as depression, glaucoma, and impaired peripheral arterial blood flow.
- Anti-inflammatory action : Ginkgo’s ability to reduce inflammation makes it valuable in conditions where nerve tissue is damaged by inflammation, for example multiple sclerosis.
- Platelet activating factor : (PAF) Ginkgo inhibits PAF, a substance released by a range of blood cells that causes the blood to become stickier and more likely to produce clots.
Traditional & Current Uses
- Chinese herbal medicine : Ginkgo seeds are employed to alleviate wheezing and reduce phlegm. They are also administered to address issues like vaginal discharge, a weak bladder, and incontinence. Additionally, the leaves have a traditional use in treating asthma.
- Western herbal medicine : Western interest in ginkgo has primarily focused on the remarkable capacity of the leaves to enhance circulation, particularly addressing poor circulation to the brain. Additionally, the herb’s anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory properties contribute to its efficacy as an herbal remedy for asthma. Ginkgo stands as a top-selling herbal medicine in France and Germany, where millions of individuals consume it daily from middle age onward. Its use aims to sustain and enhance cerebral circulation and memory, as well as reduce the risk of stroke. Furthermore, it proves valuable as a post-stroke remedy, believed to support nerve tissue and reinforce circulation.