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Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is the oldest living tree on the planet.

Unchanged for over 200 million years.

A living fossil.

The tree often grows to over one hundred feet in height and lives for centuries.

Medicinal Library

Gingko fruits and seeds have been valued in China for their medicinal properties for over three thousand years. 

According to Chinese medical literature, the leaves of the Ginkgo tree are beneficial to the heart and lungs, while the seeds have antitussive and antiasmatic properties.

There is good reason to incorporate this herb into the duet.

Chemistry

Ginkgo Biloba is the most prescribed medicine in Europe.

It is sold in the United States as a food supplement.

Gingko biloba extract is often standardized to contain 24% gingkosides (mostly flavonoid glycosides and quercetin) and 6% terpenes (gingkolides).  

Other standardized extracts have been marketed in several European countries.

The active components, the flavone glycosides (gingkosides) and terpenes (gingkolides) are unique to gingko and are not found in other plants.

Pharmacology

The active constituents of gingko (ginkgetin, isoginkgetin) exert a synergistic and profound effect on body tissues.

Gingko constituents (flavonoid component) act as an antioxidant to stabilize cell membranes by inhibiting lipid peroxidation. 

In addition, gingko components enhance the transport of potassium and sodium across cell membranes.

This improves cognition

Brain cells contain the highest percentage of unsaturated fatty acids in their membranes and are thus susceptible to free radical damage.

 Nerve cells therefore benefit from the scavenging activity of gingko.

Gingko stimulates vasodilation in arteries and capillaries, resulting in an increase in blood flow and lowering of blood pressure through the relaxation of smooth muscle in the vessel wall.

In folk medicine gingko is used in the treatment of coronary heart disease and angina pectoris due to its effect on circulation.

Medical Use

Ginkgo biloba extracts have received national attention due to its use in treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease.  Gingko has had more success in treating Alzheimer’s disease than conventional pharmaceutical drugs.

Gingko’s extracts are also believed to lower total cholesterol levels particularly LDL-cholesterol, and inhibit the aggregation and clumping of platelets.  It is believed that the tonic (daily) use of gingko extracts may prevent cerebral disorders and memory impairment. The effectiveness of Gingko biloba extract in treating reduced cerebral blood flow, short-term memory loss, headaches and tinnitus is documented in many animal and human studies.

Sports Application

Gingko’s inclusion as an ergogenic aid is founded on its antioxidant activity and the need for athletes to make instantaneous decisions during performance.

An athlete’s cognitive ability may be compromised by a diminished blood flow to the brain along with a reduced nutrient supply, a condition partially prevented with gingko supplements.

Last modified onSaturday, 12 July 2014 04:08

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