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Gingko biloba comes from the oldest living species of tree, and supplements made from it are one of the highest-selling herbal medicines on the market. It is used traditionally in Chinese medicine, and they are also known to eat the stones of the Gingko biloba fruit.
What Is It?
Gingko biloba has been used to treat both disorders of blood circulation and memory deficiencies for many years. It contains both terpenoids and flavonoids, which are antioxidants. It is believed that these antioxidants help to increase blood flow to the brain as well as throughout the rest of the body, thereby improving memory and circulation.
What Are The Claims?
Brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, stroke and memory loss are all reportedly improved by taking gingko biloba. It is also claimed that gingko can help reducing and preventing feelings of anxiety. Some eye disorders such as glaucoma are said to improve following treatment with a gingko preparation.
Fact Or Fiction?
There has been some scientific evidence of gingko biloba improving memory and can speed up the thought processes. However, these results are minimal, so it does not really have a major effect on how we think or recall. The same results are seen in those with dementia and Alzheimer’s, though more study needs to be done to identify what the positive effects are and why they only work on some people and not others.
With glaucoma, symptoms of pre-existing disease do seem to reduce after taking gingko biloba treatments, but again, this isn’t scientifically proven to the point where it can be said that it works effectively. This could be due to an individual’s personal circumstance and whether they are more susceptible to the treatment provided by gingko biloba, as it does not seem to be as effective for everyone.
There have been cases of claudication, or leg pain, being improved due to the increased circulation of the blood that occurs with gingko biloba. Also, small studies have shown an improvement in symptoms of schizophrenia provided the gingko is taken as well as the regular medications used to treat the disorder.