Ginkgo Biloba is one of the oldest living tree species, dating back over 300 million years. Individual trees can live for over 1,000 years. Ginkgo Biliboa is the best selling herbal product in the world. It is an extract from the green leaves of the Ginkgo tree which is native to Asia, however, is grown worldwide. The active ingredients in the extract are the Ginkgoflavoneglycos, Bilobalide, and terpenelactones including ginkgolides A, B and C. In Asia, ginkgo tree extracts have been used for over 5,000 years to treat cardiovascular problems as well as lung disorders.
Ginkgo’s most powerful effect is on the circulating system. Ginkgo flavenoids directly dilate the smallest segment of the circulating system, the micro-capillaries, which increase both blood circulation and oxygen levels in the brain as well as in other critical organ tissues. Ginkgo also prevents platelet aggregation or clumping inside the arterial walls. This increases arterial wall strength and flexibility and decreases the opportunity for the formation of arteriosclerostic plague. Since ginkgo increases oxygen flow to the brain and enhances the brains uptake and utilization of glucose it also is being researched for its role in the senility, forgetfulness, headaches and Alzheimer’s disease and its role in improving alertness, memory and mental performance. Recent studies indicate that some patients exhibiting the symptoms of these ailments enjoyed marginal improvement in cognitive abilities after using Ginko. In addition to the benefits provided to the brain by Ginko, it has been shown that Ginko can also help reduce the frequency and intensity of depression.
Related to circulatory improvement, German researchers have also been studying ginkgo as a treatment for atheroclerotic peripheral vascular disease. This disease impairs walking and ginkgo has been shown to help blood flow to the legs allowing people to walk further with far less pain. Ginkgo is a highly important antioxidant shown to have a special affinity for scavenging the superoxide radicals.