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The Benefits Of Gingko

Updated on October 15, 2014

A Gingko Tree


Gingko is an herb that is extracted from a tree that dates back to the Jurassic days. My wife and I had a long history of dementia and Alzheimer's in our families and we feel from what we read that this herbal supplement may help in preventing us from getting Alzheimer's.

From what I read, ginkgo is often used for memory disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. It is also used for conditions Ginkgo has been used in the treatment of many things for many years in Chinese medicine. Here in the U.S. ginkgo has been a big hit for the past several years for many different things. The biggest hit for ginkgo has been the possible help for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The ginkgo leaf extract is used for increasing blood flow to the brain which seems to help with many memory disorders which also includes depression.

Gingko Leaves

What is gingko?

What is ginkgo (ginkgo biloba)? We have heard so many things in the past few years about ginkgo, and even my wife has me taking ginkgo for the past few months. Come to find out that ginkgo is one of the oldest living trees in the world. It is one of the most studied trees by scientist also. Ginkgo is an herb, the leaves of the ginkgo tree are used to make the extracts that are used to make medicine or supplements.

Another name for gingko is maidenhair tree, besides it being one of the oldest living trees in the world that dates back to the dinosaur age according to scientist that have found evidence in fossils. The tree has a number of therapeutic properties and contain high levels of terpenoids that are antioxidants to help protect against cell damage in humans.

How and where does gingko grow?

Gingko grows in several different parts of the world, from here in the U.S. to China. Fossil records show that gingko trees were widespread more than 150 million years ago according to researchers. Gingko trees grow slow usually twelve to twenty four inches a year, but they can reach a height of a 100 to 150 feet tall. Gingko seems to grow best in deep, moist, sandy soil where to can have full to partial sun during the day. Gingko can thrive in a wide range of ph levels especially after the tree has been established.

The one thing that most people including myself is that there is a male and a female gingko tree. The reproduction takes place when the male and female haploid reproductive seeds and pollen (cells) come together. Both the female and male tree must be growing in the presence of each other for the fertilization stage to take place. After the fertilization stage takes place the diploid zygote begins to grow, after many cells divide and grow through the mitosis process the tree reaches a maturity level. After maturity the tree starts its own haploid reproductive cells. This process is called meiosis.

Gingko Trees in Japan

Gingko for sexual dysfunction

For people that have sexual dysfunction some studies have shown that gingko may enhance the effects of nitric oxide which helps the blood flow in the penis. Studies on this have been small, there is still additional research that needs to be done before the FDA can recommend this for sexual dysfunction

I would have to think that since gingko helps with blood flow to the brain, legs and etc. then why would it not work for the penis? It just makes common sense. Well I hope that I can come back one day and say it worked for me, since I take medications that does cause me to have sexual dysfunction. I am not taking gingko for this problem but if I can reap this benefit out of taking gingko also I will be more than happy. I will keep you informed of my findings.

How does gingko work?

So how does gingko work? The gingko extract works to improve blood circulation. As a person gets older the blood circulation tends to slow down, causing leg cramps, dementia, eye issues such as glaucoma, hearing problems Improving thinking in young people, vertigo and dizziness, and sexual performance problems (which can also be brought on by taking certain medications).

Since gingko has been around for so many years the gingko extract has been used and tested for many different things, much to long of a list to write about here. I personally am taking this supplement since on my father’s side of the family has suffered with Alzheimer’s disease for generations. I am taking gingko as a last resort to help the blood circulation to my brain to help prevent me from getting this awful disease.

Gingko Poster

Gingko Side Affects

First the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the herbs and supplement industry. One should always read product labels and seek out medical advice from your physician before taking any supplement or herb.

Gingko appears to be safe for most healthy consumers. There has been some rare situations when with raising or lowering of a person’s blood pressure, some rare situations of drowsiness. Also some people that are diabetic’s may have a situation where gingko may lower their blood sugar levels.

Since gingko is used to increase blood flow, if a person has a bleeding disorder gingko may increase the risk of bleeding. If you are on any kind of drug for a bleeding disorder then it is advised that you do not take gingko. Also if you are planning on any surgical procedures it is advised that you do not take gingko two to three weeks prior to surgery.

Most side affects are rare from what I read. I have been on gingko for awhile now and I have not had any adverse side affects that have happened to me. But like taking any supplement or herb, it is always best to let your physician know what you are taking and what the dosage is for what you are consuming.

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