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Ginkgo Biloba Health Benefits and Side Effects - Ginkgo Biloba for Memory and Mental Benefits

Updated on January 30, 2014


  • Introduction
  • Facts about Ginkgo Biloba
  • Chemical contents
  • Benefits
  • Side effects
  • Personal experience
  • Anecdotes
  • Self-made Ginkgo Citron recipe (brain booster)


Ginkgo Biloba is a tree that grows in Asia. Its leaves can be made into a tea. Dried herbs can be made into capsules and there are also Ginkgo Biloba tinctures.

Ginkgo Biloba has been known to the eastern world for several thousands of years. It is one of the primary herbs in traditional chinese medicine. Its uses were mostly for memory loss prevention and longetivity. In the 17th and 18th century, it has grown a lot in popularity in the Western world. Nowadays, it is one of the most well-known, popular and researched herbs.


Facts about Ginkgo Biloba

The Ginkgo Biloba tree is one of the oldest trees in the world. It can become several thousand years old and there are even reports that a Ginkgo Biloba tree is older than 10000 years! Also, they become unusually tall. Normally, they grow 20-35m in height and sometimes, they even reach 50m!

It is assumed that the ginkgo biloba tree first appeared over 250 million years. It has survived many environmental extremeties and is known to be extremely resistent. That's why Asians maybe assign life-extending properties to ginkgo biloba.

The tree has fan-shaped leaves and fruits. These fruits smell bad and contain a seed in it. The seed is very poisonous and should not be consumed as it can lead to seizures and even death in the worst case.

It has become a very exciting study object and there is still a lot of research going on in the many benefits of the Ginkgo Biloba herb.

Chemical contents

Ginkgo Biloba contains more than 40 chemicals. Some of them, exclusively occur in ginkgo biloba and work in a very unique way. The chemicals do not work separately from each other. Most of the time, they become very effective when several chemicals are working as a group. There are still some key chemicals that are also often used in medicine and anti-aging products.

  • Flavonoids: plant based anti-oxidants that protect cells, the heart, retina and so on

  • Trepenoids: increases blood flow, makes it less sticky, improve blood flow in general

Benefits of taking Ginkgo Biloba

There are a number of benefits of taking the herb.

Ginkgo biloba improves the blood flow. This also means that the brain is getting more blood and this in return increases the performance in general. Also, since it also contains flavonoids, brain cells are protected and when necessary, they are also restored or rebuild. This is very beneficial if your short time memory is not working properly due to too much stress or other problems. That is the memory improving ability of Ginkgo Biloba.

You do not have to have a bad memory to benefit from this. Healthy minds can also become an improved memory. I believe that this can be achieved much higher if you meditate on a regular basis and before taking ginkgo biloba.

Flavonoids and trepenoids are also known to fight free radicals. Free radicals build up every single second in your body as you breathe (but on an extremely slow rate). What free radicals basically do is that they destroy your body. Your cells are damaged and over the time, your skin becomes older, organs are not working properly anymore, bones might be not so healthy anymore, DNA is destroyed and so on. So, they cause your body to become biologically older.

Flavonoids and trepenoids fight these free radicals and also protect your cells and DNA. This is the longetivity property of Ginkgo Biloba, since it slows down the ageing of cells.

Experiments have shown that people with Dementia benefit from improved memory and thinking. Also, their social behaviour becomes better.

Ginkgo biloba is also effective to ease premenstrual symptoms (PMS).

In some individuals, ginkgo biloba was able to cure them from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and winter depressions. Also, it can cure people from tinnitus.

There is still a lot of research going on and sometimes, experiements show very different results. It has also to do with the constituition of a person and thus, ginkgo biloba is fairly individual.

But it can be generally said, that Chinese tradition has shown that Ginkgo Biloba has memory improving and life-extending properties.

The herb works even better in combination with (Panax) Ginseng.

Side effects

For most healthy people or older people, there are no side effects. Of course, one can always overdo it. This can lead to dizziness, sickness, diarrhea, headaches, nausea etc.

If you take anti-depressants you should NOT use ginkgo biloba before talking to your doctor. Very severe side effects of the anti-depressants can occur. Also, if you take other medicaments, you should talk to your doctor first.

Also, you should stop using ginkgo biloba 2 weeks before an operation. Ginkgo biloba dillates the blood and even though it might be not a problem, you should go safe and make a break for 2 weeks before the operation.

Personal experience

I have been taking the ginkgo biloba tincture for 2 months now. I have noticed that my memory did indeed get better after some weeks. Also, as I have to deal with many things, I noticed that I have become clearer in thinking. Now, I am taking ginkgo biloba capsules (I think the one I am taking are not available in a store – your doctor has to prescribe them to you). They are working really great!

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As Hiroshima exploded, the landscape was mainly destroyed. The ginkgo biloba tree was the first tree and living organism to recover extremely fast and to grow again.

Goethe wrote a poem called "Gingo Biloba". It is a very amazing poem that is devoted to a friend and has been inspired by the ginkgo leaf.

Other names are: Maiden hair tree, kew tree and fossil tree.

How to harvest your own Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Citron Brain Booster Recipe

I have made a Ginkgo recipe, which boosts your mental performance immensely if you are very tired and cannot really focus on anything. It works instantly, even while your still drinking it, you will feel fully alert and awake.

You take a glass of water (about 200ml)

Then, you add enough citron juice. Be generous!

Then, you add about 18-20 droplets of Ginkgo Biloba. This depends though on the recommended daily dosage. The one I am using, they recommend to take 2-3 drops of it three times a day. So in my case, I am taking 6-9 times more than the company recommends.

Drink it in one go.

The effect should last for 3-5 hours. In my case, it is normally 4 hours and after, I feel that the effect is wearing off gradually, but there is no crash suddenly or something undesirable.

© 2014 Slaven Cvijetic


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