Ginkgo Biloba: Nature’s Best Cognitive Enhancer [2019 Updates]

Many know Ginkgo biloba as a panacea for all kinds of memory or focus problems. In fact, many practitioners of alternative health argue that it is one of the very best cognitive enhancers among many popular nootropic substances.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Ginkgo Biloba represents longevity and vitality and has had a presence in TCM for over 5,000 years.

Traditionally you can use Ginkgo leaves to improve blood flow and to treat memory loss and dementia.

You should never consume raw Ginkgo biloba seeds as they are toxic. However, I have been taught that when processed correctly they can be used to relax your breath, ease asthma and bronchitis.

Let’s continue reading to learn a little more about this special tree and it’s many health benefits.

Ginkgo biloba treeThe Ginkgo Tree

Ginkgo biloba or the fossil tree has many regional names in China and Japan such as Japanese Silver Apricot, Kew tree, Maidenhair tree, Yen Xing and Yinhsing.

It is said to be a tree with the longest of lifespans that you can see grow to heights of 20-50 meters. They have roots that reach deep into the earth to resist damage from wind and snow. The color of a Ginkgo tree varies from yellow to yellowish orange or green. Starting in their youth Ginkgo Biloba trees are tall and slender, only growing stronger with age.

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Ginkgo Biloba is a dioecious plant (has both male and female species) and requires both a Male and female plants for reproduction. Male ginkgo parts bear small pollen cones while the female ginkgo produces a vomit-like smell. Undeveloped female ginkgos grows slender shoots along with new leaves and produce pods or nuts that have a fruit-like appearance, but are in fact seeds.

Benefits of Ginkgo Leaf Extract

Best Cognitive Enhancer

Ginkgo biloba has become popular as an herbal remedy for it’s effects on memory, memory loss, concentration and headaches. Making it your go-to choice for any mental ailment you might have. The scientific community is giving it more and more attention and some studies have researched its acute nootropic effect in healthy older humans. An extract of Gingko leaves called EGb 761 is a powerful brain-booster and antioxidant and is comprised of standardized flavone glycosides (flavonoids) and terpenes (ginkgolides and bilobalides). More reading on ginkgo as a nootropic can be found here.

Hearing

It has been effectively used to treat vertigo, difficulty hearing and hearing disorders.

Circulation

Studies have shown that Ginkgo can increase your blood circulation. By extension it helps your brain, eyes, ears, and legs to function better. Because of this it has been used to treat problems related to poor blood flow like ‘Raynaud’s Syndrome.

Anti-Histamine and Anti-Inflammatory

Studies show that ginkgo leaf extract has Flavonoid Glycosides such as Myricetin (anti-oxidant) and Quercetin (an effective bronchodilator and helps reducing histamine and other allergic or inflammatory chemicals of the body).

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Mood Stabalizer

They are the reason Ginkgo improves mental processing speed and skills and is used for thinking disorders related to ‘Lyme disease’, depression and to treat symptoms of PMS, naturally stabilizing your mood.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Research by German scientist resulted in most of the modern applications of ginkgo biloba. They have found strong evidence that shows effectiveness when treating Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia for elderly persons.

Other

It also treats glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and sexual performance.

The Science: Ginkgolides and Bilobalides

Ginkgolides and Bilobalides are found present in Ginkgo leaf extract and are thought to be the source of most of it’s benefits.

Ginkgolides have the an ability to act as PAF receptor your body and can help treat cardiovascular disease.

Bilobalides have neuroprotective effects and can trigger the production of liver enzymes.

Ginkgo Seed Benefits

Ginkgo seedsGinkgo seeds have their own place in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Breathing Disorders

TCM practitioners often prescribe Ginkgo biloba seeds as a lung tonic. They contain substances that could kill bacteria and fungi that cause infection in the body and lungs. Often used for coughs, asthma and bronchitis.

Other Uses

Ginkgo biloba seeds are used for digestive disorders, scabies, and skin sores.

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Side Effects of Ginkgo Biloba

Raw ginkgo biloba seeds are unsafe when taken orally. They can cause stomach upset, dizziness, constipation, and seizure when taken in large quantities.

People that are allergic to urushiol should not take Ginkgo. Urushiol is an oily organic allergen found in poison ivy, mango rind, poison sumac, poison oak, cashews.

Allergies to urushiol can cause a severe reaction called Stevens-Johnson syndrome that includes skin blistering and sloughing-off.

Ginkgo Biloba increases the risk of bleeding.

Not enough is known about its effect on pregnant or breastfeeding women to make it safe for their use.


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6 thoughts on “Ginkgo Biloba: Nature’s Best Cognitive Enhancer [2019 Updates]”

  1. Hi,

    Has anyone come across herbal treatment for a macular hole.

    I have this dx. I have changed my diet to one of vegetables and fruits high in antioxidant vitamins.

    I am not smoking or drinking, other than the occasional glass of red wine.

    I am drinking green tea together with fennel and dandelion root. I am also taking twice a week 25 drops of Hawthorn tincture and have a blood pressure of 127/74.

    I am most grateful for any suggestions. Thank you very much in advance.

    Kind regards
    Sylvia

    • Well you might want to try a high linoleic acid seed oil, only cold-pressed, unrefined! I am a follower of the Budwig Protocol, but modify her supplement by adding a high linoleic seed oil like sunflower oil, safflower oil, etc. I daily take 30 grams of Sunflower oil + 10 grams of flax oil mixed in 100 grams of cottage cheese/quark. Here is my story:

      I want to tell you my experiences with taking a DIY sunflower black seed oil. As far as I know, I have no serious health problems, but I have been for the last few years plagued with vision problems. I seem to have a slight double vision that often would come-and-go in the beginning, but has since become much more permanent. It was getting so bad that when driving, I would shut one eye to avoid the double vision effect that was most irritating when there were oncoming cars or I had a median line in my vision! I also had problems reading the menu on TV screens at night though I didn’t really notice double-vision when an actual image was on TV. I have been pressing my own flax seed oil and mixing it in cottage cheese/quark for at least 3 years prior without it seemingly having any effect on my worsening vision. Then, I decided to add sunflower oil to the mixture at about a 3:1 ratio in favor of sunflower oil over flax oil about 6 weeks ago as I am writing this. Well, within about 3 we
      eks on this new oil supplementation, my vision was suddenly much improved. I had not remotely expected that to happen! No more double vision or shutting of one eye! I swear, I did nothing else that I can think of other than adding sunflower oil, an unadulterated high linoleic acid seed oil! I am convinced that this is a pretty good clue how important linoleic acid is to our over all tissue health! I suspect if one is trying to overcome cancer, one should not rely on only flax oil with such a low Linoleic acid content!

      To back up my claim of improved eye health, there are a number of scientific studies out there that links the Omega-6 Linoleic acid to treating dry eye syndrome in modern medicine. I also just translated a German text by Dr. Budwig entitled, Das Fettsyndrom (Fat Syndrome). She wrote how the seed oils effect the mucilaginous system of the body and the eyes:

      “Effects of fat metabolism on the function of the sensory organs:

      The sense organs are closely linked to the function of the brain. This is most evident in the eye. The retina and the visual conduction are to be understood as parts of the diencephalon. The visual fields and visual impressions are dependent on brain function and nerve conduction. The anatomical prerequisites for the intact function of vision and optical impression are very complicated. Here, only a few facts are to be pointed out which have not been considered enough so far: the particularly important mucilaginous substances in the eye naturally require the surface-active fats which serve to build up the mucilaginous substances. The following facts should be even more plausible: Behind the eyeball in the eye socket, surrounded by the muscle strands that rotate the eyeball and direct the line of sight, there is a fat body. This fat is retained as fat for a long time, even with severe emaciation. It has been observed that especially in cancer patients, it shrinks so that the eye sinks
      back strongly. Is it any wonder that these patients, after a short change to the oil-protein diet, report that their eyesight and visual acuity have improved? Not only in cancer patients, whenever the consistency of the orbital fat became too hard due to incorrect fat nutrition, or the fat mass in the connective tissue disappeared, better vision was restored by normalization of the fat nutrition. A very skeptical ophthalmologist answered before she intensively dealt with my new view of these connections: “These are purely optical, physical data, which are changed there. The distances cannot be influenced.” Yes, they can be influenced. They depend not least on the consistency of the orbital fat behind the eyeball. But lens opacity and other symptoms of eye disease are also associated with fat metabolism. In corneal diseases, there is often a lack of the smoothing component that constantly greases the cornea with a lipoid layer. The consistency of the fats in the lid talc glands is n
      ot insignificant. Much could still be said about the function of the eye as a function of body fat. The dependence of the formation of the visual purple on the interaction of unsaturated fats with sulphurous protein can be proven, and Tyng-fei-Hwang in China has already pointed out the importance of this. These indications may be sufficient to show that the eye function is strongly influenced by good or bad greasing.?

      So I guess, the moral to my story is that Budwig is just not a cancer treatment, but good for other problems as well!

    • Are you taking a statin?

      My BF took them for several years (first thing he noticed when he started taking them was less strength at the gym). When his cholesterol looked pretty good, I suggested he ask his doctor if he could stop taking statins.

      He has been getting injections into his eye monthly, which is keeping his AMD stable. One day he suddenly noticed that he could see the letters on his keyboard without magnification (he has lighted magnifying things all over the house and in his car). I immediately emailed his ophthalmologist (in his name, he does not type) and told him about this and asked if he had changed medication (for the eye shot) or provider. Doctor said no, please come in early for the next appt. When they did the computer scan they found that the bubble (or whatever it is that thickens) on his macula had decreased 25%. That is significant!

      On the way home from that appt., BF suddenly remembered that he had stopped taking the statins just a week or two before.

      When we got home I immediately got on the computer and started looking.

      Worsening AMD and loss of strength are some of the side effects of statins.

      Not herbal, but just in case someone on here needs to know.

      Whatever, good luck.

  2. Sylvia,

    I saw flax oil and cottage cheese perform a miracle on my osteosarcoma dog. I was literally going to put her down in hours and tried this as a last ditch hope. It was amazing. I still don?t believe what it did! And the second time with sunflower oil added was with my own eyes which was really worrying for me.

    The lessons which I learned from all of this is that the original Budwig formula is not really enough! You need to add a high linoleic acid seed oil to the formula at about a 3:1 ratio. Sunflower oil to flax oil. Secondly, you have to be sure you are using fresh seed oils! This is extremely important as much of the commercial oil out there is rancid or going rancid as you buy it! A rancid seed oil is toxic to your system! Taste is the best indication of freshness when it comes to these highly oxidizable seed oils. If it tastes the least bit off, it is probably in the process of going rancid?even if sold by the best of companies! I found this out the hard way and finally ended up pressing my own oils as I needed them. If you plan to go this route long term, that is probably your best option.

    Most people do not want to spend the money for a seed oil press and prefer to buy the product already made. I cannot blame them for that as presses can be expensive though cheap, if you decide to go long term. Buying commercial, I would go with a cold-pressed seed oil, unrefined that has been treated with antioxidants to slow rancidity. I know, if you study Budwig, she warns against antioxidants, but I have not found this to be the case in both personal use and in logic. My first use of Flax oil was with the brand Jarrow?s. It had antioxidants added to it and when I received it, tasted nice and pleasant. When I needed another bottle, Amazon was out of stock, so I had to go with another brand which was pure 100% flax oil and it arrived with a slightly off-taste. My dog went down hill on that while she had been improving on the Jarrow?s! Lesson learned! Same would hold true for a high linoleic seed oil. Make sure it is pleasant tasting and antioxidants added would probably be good. So
    me suggestions of where to buy:

    Opps! I just tried to locate some Jarrow?s for you, but it appears they have changed their formula to 100% pure flax oil. Don?t know what to tell you about finding another brand that uses antioxidants as preservative. The old Jarrow?s formula contained blends of organic sunflower oil, organic rosemary extract, mixed tocopherols, ascorbic acid and citric acid as preservatives. The new formula seems not to! I am not sure how much sunflower oil was added to their old formula, but maybe that was the key to my dog?s fantastic recovery? More linoleic acid oil in it!

    But like many of the oils, it seems to be 100% pure. Just be sure when you do purchase oil, it is pleasant tasting!

    doug

  3. Where do you get fresh oil, and how do you know if it is fresh? How do you know the flax seeds are fresh if you press or grind your own?

    I usually buy online, usually vitacost, but again, how do I know what I am getting?

    I feel sure that vitacost moves stuff faster than the HFS?s. And I often get my order the next day, even when ordered Sunday afternoon.

    Doris

  4. Actually, I bought Vitacost 100% flax oil after my bottle of Jarrow?s was done. That was the oil that had an off-taste and which my dog didn’t do well on. You have to remember that flax oil and all Essential Fatty Acid oils can go rancid in minutes under the right conditions! One has to be very careful!

    The whole flax seed along with other types are biologically designed as little storage containers for their enclosed component oils. So, as long as the seed is well stored, preferably in a cool dry place, it should maintain a well preserved inner oil for many months, if not years. The problem is when they are cracked or ground, that envelop is ruptured and the essential fatty acids are exposed to air, etc and start oxidizing. I would never buy already ground flax seeds in a bag.

    As far as pressing your own seed, if you use good quality seed, it comes out fresh! Store it immediately in the refrigerator or if you plan long term storage, freeze it!

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