In the world of medicinal plants, the Ginkgo biloba stands out as a millennial wonder. Native to China, this majestic tree with its fan-shaped leaves offers invaluable benefits for human health.
Rich in flavonoidsand terpenoids and other powerful active ingredients, Ginkgo biloba is renowned for its circulation-stimulating propertiesas well as for its proven role in maintaining cognitive functions such as memory and concentration.
In this article, we present the remarkable benefits and modern uses of Ginkgo bilobaa plant that has spanned the ages to offer us its therapeutic treasures!
Brief botanical description of Ginkgo biloba
Visit Ginkgo bilobaalso known as "the "40 écus tree, "Tree of Life or even "silver apricot treeis a non-flowering tree in the Ginkgoaceae family.
Native to Southeast Asia, it is now cultivated in many parts of the world, because its benefits to the human body have been recognized for centuries. in traditional medicine.
Here is a brief botanical description of Ginkgo biloba:
- Appearance: Male Ginkgo biloba has a slender silhouette (up to 40 meters high), while female plants have a more compact habit.
- Leaves : Ginkgo biloba leaves are flabelliform, i.e. fan-shaped, and delicately veined, changing from light green to golden yellow in autumn.
- Germination : This species produces neither seeds nor fruit. Male trees produce pollen and female trees ovules. The latter are commonly called "fruits".
- "Fruits Fruits: only females bear fruits (mature ovules), which are small, yellow berries about 3 cm long, containing a stone. Once ripe, these berries give off a highly unpleasant odor.
- Interesting fact: the Ginkgo biloba is the last representative of a group of trees that already existed at the time of the dinosaurs, even long before the latter appeared - over 250 million years ago! That's why it's also known as the "living fossil".
Phytotherapy: What is the composition of Ginkgo biloba?
In herbal medicine, it's the Ginkgo biloba leaves that are primarily used for their therapeutic properties. These leaves, fresh or dried, contain a variety of active compounds that contribute to the benefits associated with this plant:
Here are some of the main active compounds that give Ginkgo biloba its beneficial biological effects:
- Flavonoids: Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants found in Ginkgo leaves. They help neutralize free radicals, contributing to cellular protection against the damage caused by oxidative stress (premature aging of cells, etc.).
- Terpenoids (Ginkgolides and Bilobalides) : These specific compounds are considered inhibitors of platelet-activating factor (PAF), which has the positive effect of thinning the blood and improving blood circulation in the body. They can also help combat inflammation and regulate blood flow to the brain.
- Organic acids : Ginkgo leaves contain organic acids such as ginkgolic acid, which contribute to some of the plant's biological properties.
- Other compounds : Leaves also contain traces of essential oils, plant sterols and other minor compounds that may have health benefits.
The compounds of Ginkgo act synergistically to offer blood circulation stimulating propertiescirculation antioxidant effects and a cognitive function.
What are the health benefits of Ginkgo biloba? When should I use this medicinal plant?
Visit Ginkgo biloba is widely used in herbal medicine for a variety of indications, including its beneficial effects on blood circulation, cognitive function and general health.
Here is a list of the most notable benefits of Ginkgo biloba and some of the areas in which this plant can be used:
Improving blood circulation
The Ginkgo biloba is often used for its beneficial effects on the blood circulationparticularly in the extremities.
This property is largely attributed to the presence of specific compounds such as Ginkgolides and Bilobalideswhich can have vasodilatory effects and antiplatelet effects.
To put it more simply, Ginkgo biloba leaves contain in their composition active ingredients that dilate blood vessels (especially capillaries) that make blood more fluid. As a result, blood circulates better throughout the body, particularly in the extremities, providing cells with the elements they need to function optimally (oxygen and nutrients).
This property can be exploited, for example, in diabetic patients who often develop blood circulation problems (diabetic angiopathy, particularly marked in the extremities of the body, such as the tips of the toes and fingers).
A Chinese study published in 2003 in the Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation also revealed that a therapeutic protocol based onGinkgo biloba extract was able to improve brain circulation in mice in which a sub-arachnoid haematoma (cerebral haemorrhage) had been deliberately induced. In this way, it may be possible to help patients who have suffered a cerebral haemorrhage to regain a normal circulation. microcirculation in the brain after surgical treatment, for faster, more effective recovery !
Thanks to its beneficial properties on blood circulationcirculation Ginkgo biloba can be an interesting treatment for situations such as :
- Intermittent claudication : Intermittent claudication is characterized by pain and cramps in the legs during physical activity due to poor blood circulation. Ginkgo biloba can be used as a supplement to help improve blood flow to the lower limbs and potentially reduce symptoms !
- Poor peripheral circulation: Conditions such as Raynaud's disease, cold hands and feet, numbness and tingling in the extremities can be linked to poor peripheral blood circulation. Ginkgo biloba could help stimulate blood flow to these areas in people with this problem .
- Cerebrovascular disorders: Since Ginkgo biloba is able to improve blood circulation, it may be considered as a supplement for people concerned with cerebrovascular disorders such as strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).
- Age-related disorders : the elderly can benefit from Ginkgo biloba's effects on blood circulation to improve vascular function and potentially reduce the risk of circulation-related problems .
- Glaucoma: Some research suggests that Ginkgo biloba may have a beneficial effect on blood circulation in the eyes, potentially helping to reduce symptoms of glaucoma, a condition linked to high intraocular pressure .
- Circulatory tinnitus: Some small-scale work suggests that Ginkgo biloba may be able to treat tinnitus (hearing whistling, buzzing, popping, etc.) caused by circulatory disorders, but further evaluation is needed to confirm these findings .
It should be pointed out that scientific evidence concerning the use of Ginkgo biloba in these conditions may vary. Therefore, before using Ginkgo biloba for circulation problems, consult your doctor to discuss your symptoms, treatment needs and the possibility of incorporating Ginkgo biloba into your care plan.
Memory and brain function support
Extracts of Ginkgo biloba extracts are also well-known in traditional medicine for support memory and brain function (virtues recognized by the World Health Organization and proven by numerous studies).
In fact, Ginkgo's active compounds can have beneficial effects on cerebral blood circulation and the protection of nerve cells (neuroprotection).
Here are a few mechanisms through which the Ginkgo biloba may improve memory and brain function:
- Improved cerebral circulation: Active compounds such as Ginkgolides and Bilobalides found in Ginkgo biloba leaves can help dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow to the brain. This can contribute to better oxygenation of nerve cells and supply of nutrients .
- Antioxidant effect: Antioxidants in Ginkgo biloba help neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules linked to aging and cell damage. This can help protect nerve cells from oxidative stress, thus preserving brain function and cognitive performance , .
- Supporting brain plasticity: Some research suggests that Ginkgo biloba may influence brain plasticity, i.e. the brain's ability to adapt and form new neuronal connections, which is crucial for learning and memory .
- Reduced inflammation: Ginkgo biloba's compounds may also have anti-inflammatory properties, which could help preserve brain health by reducing chronic inflammation .
- Prevention of cognitive decline: Some studies suggest that regular intake of Ginkgo biloba may be associated with a slowing of age-related cognitive decline and memory loss, although results vary .
Although its effects are not always conclusive, and further research is needed, here are some conditions and situations in which Ginkgo biloba may be useful. Ginkgo biloba can be considered to support memory and cognitive functions:
- Age-related cognitive decline.
- Prevention of senile dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
- Mild memory impairment.
- Improved concentration and mental clarity.
- Support after stroke.
- Support for cognitive function in young adults.
- Attention and concentration disorders in children.
Of course, if you plan to use Ginkgo biloba to support memory and cognitive functions, consult a healthcare professional first for personalized advice.
The antioxidant power of Ginkgo biloba is one of the plant's most widely studied and praised properties , .
It should be noted that antioxidants antioxidants are compounds that help protect the body's cells against damage caused by free radicalsfree radicals unstable molecules produced during the normal body metabolism as well as by external factors such as the pollutionpollution stress and ultraviolet radiation.
Damage caused by free radicals can actively contribute to premature agingand chronic diseases and health problems.
Visit Ginkgo biloba contains various antioxidant compoundsincluding flavonoidsflavonoids terpenoidsterpenoids Ginkgolides and Bilobalidescompounds that have been widely shown to neutralize free radicals and protect cells against oxidative damage.
The antioxidant power of Ginkgo biloba can be very beneficial to health by :
- Cell protection : the antioxidants present in Ginkgo biloba help protect the body's cells, including nerve cells (neurons), from damage caused by free radicals.
- Support for heart health: Ginkgo biloba's antioxidant properties can help maintain healthy blood vessels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Better neuroprotection: Ginkgo biloba's antioxidant properties may also play a role in protecting nerve cells, helping to prevent cognitive decline and neurological disorders.
- Anti-inflammatory role: Some of Ginkgo biloba's antioxidant effects can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is important for the prevention of many chronic diseases.
Herbal tea, mother tincture, dietary supplement, buds... What form should Ginkgo biloba be used in to make the most of its virtues?
Visit Ginkgo biloba is available in a variety of forms, each with its own particular benefits and characteristics. The choice of form depends on your specific needs and how you prefer to consume supplements.
Here's an overview of different ways of using Ginkgo biloba :
- Food supplement (capsules, tablets, capsules)
Food supplements based on Ginkgo biloba (capsules, tablets, etc.) are widely available and easy to consume. They are oftenstandardized to contain specific quantities of active ingredientsfor precise dosing.
Supplements are very practical for those who are looking for a specific simple method and regular to enjoy the benefits of Ginkgo biloba.
- Mother tincture
Tinctures are an option for those who prefer a more traditional absorption fast and are practical for fine-tune dosage according to need.
- Herbal tea or infusion
Dried Ginkgo biloba leaves can be used to make herbal tea. However, Ginkgo's active compounds are more soluble in alcohol than in waterwhich limits the effectiveness of this form of use.
Some Ginkgo-based preparations include bud extracts. Buds contain specific compounds and may offer similar benefits to leaves.
Herbal teas and bud preparations are generally appreciated by those who prefer more traditional approaches, despite the greater efficacy and convenience of dietary supplements.
Ginkgo biloba cure: what dosage of Ginkgo biloba is recommended?
Visit dosage recommended dosage of Ginkgo biloba varies depending on several factors, mainly the purpose of the intakethe concentration of extracts used and general state of health.
For standardized extracts of Ginkgo biloba, the current dosage is generally as follows between 120 to 240 mg per day. This dose can be divided into two or three doses throughout the day.
It is possible to take short course (4 to 6 weeks) for a one-off improvement in memory or blood circulation, for example.
Visit long cures (3 to 6 months) can be used to benefit from prolonged effects, particularly for people suffering from memory disorders (Alzheimer's, senile dementia...).
If you plan to take several courses of Ginkgo biloba over an extended period, it may be wise to take breaks between courses of treatment to avoid excessive build-up and allow your body to resume normal functioning.
What are the side effects of Gingko biloba?
Although most people tolerate it perfectly, the use of Ginkgo bilobaWhether in herbal tea form or as a dietary supplement, it can have a variety of side effects.
Here are some of the potential side effects of Ginkgo biloba:
- Headaches and dizziness: Some people may experience mild headaches or feelings of dizziness after consuming large quantities of Ginkgo.
- Gastrointestinal problems: nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation may occur in some people.
- Allergic skin reactions: skin rashes or itching in people sensitive or allergic to Ginkgo.
- Excessive bleeding: due to its anticoagulant properties, Ginkgo biloba may increase the risk of bleeding, particularly in people taking anticoagulants (aspirin, warfarin...).
- Severe allergic reactions: although very rare, severe allergic reactions can occur in some people, leading to symptoms such as breathing difficulties, swelling of the face or throat, and generalized skin rash.
- Drug interactions: Ginkgo biloba's active ingredients may interact with certain drugs, notably anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents, antidepressants and anti-seizure medications.
It is advisable to consult a health care practitioner before starting a Ginkgo biloba treatment, especially if you have any of the following conditions pre-existing medical conditionsare taking other medications, or are pregnant or breast-feeding.
If you experience any unusual or severe side effects after taking Ginkgo, discontinue use immediately and consult a physician.
What are the contraindications to taking Ginkgo biloba?
Avoid using Ginkgo biloba in the following situations:
- If you have allergy to Ginkgo biloba or other plants of the Ginkgoaceae family.
- If you have a coagulation disorder or if you are taking anticoagulant treatment (increased risk of bleeding).
- If you are planning a surgical operation (stop taking Ginkgo biloba at least two weeks before surgery because of the increased risk of bleeding).
- If you are a pregnant or breast-feeding (the safety of Ginkgo biloba in this category has not been proven).
- If you are taking medications (especially anticoagulantsanticoagulants antiplateletsantiplatelet antidepressants and anticonvulsants).
The Ginkgo biloba is a medicinal plant that offers a wide range of potential health benefits thanks to its antioxidant propertiesand its capacity à improve blood circulation, à reduce the effects of stress, àsupport cognitive functions and treat mild memory disorders.
A course of Ginkgo biloba-based dietary supplement may prove useful for people suffering from poor circulation circulationof memory disorders or concentration problemsas well as anyone wishing to improve their performance. health and well-being in a holistic way!
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