Herbal Supplements

The Herb and Supplement Index

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Name ginkgo biloba

Origin China

Scientific Name Ginkgo biloba

Description During the Ice Age, all members of the Gingkoaceae family were wiped out except for one: Gingko biloba. This one of the oldest species of trees on earth that has survived in China for more than 200 million years. A concentrated form of herb, ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) is used to the supplement.

Uses Ginko may have beneficial effects on both circulatory and the central nervous system. It increases blood flow to the brain and to the arms and legs by regulating the tone and elasticity of blood vessels. Ginkgo is useful for reducing the pain, cramping and weakness caused by narrowed arteries in the leg, a disorder called intermittent claudication. Ginkgo appears to have antioxidant properties as well, mopping up the damaging compounds known as free radicals. The fact that ginkgo aids blood flow to the brain, thus increasing oxygen, is of particular relevance to older people. Ginkgo has shown promise in treating senile and presenile dementia including dementia related to Alzheimer's disease.


Possible Side Effects In rare cases ginkgo may cause irritability, restlessness, diarrha, nausea or vomiting. People using the herb may also notice a headache during the first day or two of use.

REMINDER If you have a medical condition such as a heart condition, high blood pressure, palpatations, high blood sugar or other medical conditions talk to your doctor before taking supplements.