Ginkgo biloba is also known as ginkgo or maidenhair tree. This tree is native to China. It has been grown for thousands of years for a variety of uses. As per research, it is the last living species in the order of ginkgoales, which is said to first appeared over 290 million years ago. The leaves of ginkgo biloba are unique among seed plants, being fan-shaped.
In autumn the leaves of this plant turn a bright yellow and then fall, sometimes within a short space of time. Ginkgo leaves extracts contain phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins, and flavonoid glycosides, like myricetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, quercetin, and terpene trilactones ginkgolides and bilobalides. The plant leaves also contain unique ginkgo biflavones, alkylphenols, and polyprenols. The wood of this plant ginkgo biloba is used to make furniture, chessboards, carving, and casks for making sake as the wood is fire-resistant and slow to decay.
Health Benefits Of Ginkgo Biloba
1. Improve depression
Ginkgo biloba can be effective at improving depression. According to studies individuals with depression when combined with an antidepressant, ginkgo biloba can effectively improve symptoms of depression and decrease levels of S100B. However, more studies are needed to understand the relationship between ginkgo biloba and depression.
2. Improves brain function
According to studies, ginkgo can enhance brain function in healthy individuals. It increases mental performance, memory, focus, attention span, and perceived well-being. However, more studies and research is needed to confirm these benefits.
3. Protects the aging brain
According to research ginkgo can improve symptoms for dementia patients. It can help protect against neurodegeneration in healthy individuals. As per studies injecting ginkgo biloba supplement in Alzheimer’s patients for a few months can improve cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Treat headaches and migraines
As per research, ginkgo is considered a very popular traditional Chinese medicine to treat headaches and migraines. Ginkgo biloba contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. If an individual is suffering from headaches caused by excessive stress in this case this plant can be useful. While if an individual is suffering from headaches caused by e excessive dilation of blood vessels in this case ginkgo can have little to no effect.
Ginkgo Biloba Side Effects
- Ginkgo biloba leaf extracts in moderate amounts are considered to be safe.
- Ginkgo biloba leaves can cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
- Consuming ginkgo in excessive amounts can cause an increased risk of bleeding, gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heart palpitations, and restlessness.