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Herb Spotlight - Ginkgo

Herb Spotlight - Motherwort - Sun God Medicinals

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)  

Family: Ginkgoaceae

Part Used: Leaf, Fruit

Flavor/Aroma: Sour, Sweet, Bitter

Energetics: Neutral


Herbal Actions: 

Antioxidant, Circulatory stimulant, Nootropic, Anti inflammatory, Antiplatelet Aggregation, Cardiovascular tonic, Neuroprotective, Anti thrombotic, Anti cancer, Anti angiogenic, Antidepressive, Sexual tonic, Phytoestrogenic, Thymoleptic

Overview:

Ginkgo trees are steeped in folklore, being most well known as the oldest, wisest trees in the forest- one tree can live up to 1000 years old, and they have been noted to have lived more than 225 millions years ago.

Botany:

The Gingko grows as a hearty tree, whos female species bears a distinct, unpleasantly odored, seasonal fruit. It can reach heights of 80 feet, and have leafy canopies with widths of 40 feet or more across. They develop best in sunny conditions with well-drained, sandy or clay like soil.

Cultivation and Harvesting:

The Ginkgo tree is native to China and is one of the oldest living species on earth. There are very few areas where wild Ginkgo trees can still be found, but they are cultivated widely across many regions of China and in some areas of the United States. The leaves of the Gingko tree all drop simultaneously in the late summer or early autumn months, and can be harvested from the ground.

Southern Oregon Cultivation:

Although thought to be extinct in the wild, few stands of Ginkgo remain- mostly found on the Washington side of the Columbia River. Locally, Ashland has planted Ginkgo trees in the early 1900’s, that can be visited in Lithia Park today. Ginkgo trees provide fruit for local scavengers and an abundance of shade for other land dwellers.

History and Folklore:

Traditional Chinese Medicinal Uses: Gingko was used to relieve asthmatic coughs, sore throat, to support brain and cognitive functions; and for its anti cancer properties. The leaves were chewed to remedy dental infections, and they were brewed as a tea for gastrointestinal distress and for urinary tract infections. Topically, the fruit was applied to fungal infections, to relieve dandruff, as well as mastitis.   

The Ginkgo tree is a national symbol of resilience and hope in China due to its ability to withstand the biological forces of the bombing of Hiroshima- six trees were discovered near the epicenter, all of which were unharmed.¹

Modern Applications:

Ginkgo is indicated to support a wide variety of psychological disorders including depression, anxiety, and mental sluggishness. It is also used to remedy atherosclerosis due to its ability to interact with antiplatelet aggregating factor, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.¹ Gingko also is a circulatory stimulant especially arterial blood flow and is found to support diabetes through increasing capillary integrity and blood flow to smaller vessels.² It is also used to support alzheimer's³, tinnitus, neuropathy, headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, acute and chronic muscular pains, and altitude sickness.4

Uses and Preparations:

Dried Herb Tea Preparation: 

Tincture: 

2-6 mL per day; standardized extract up to 240 mg/day.

Some herbal tinctures can have a strong flavor on their own. Adding your tincture to a glass of 6-8oz of water is one easy way to help, should you wish to dilute the flavor.  

Dosage:

It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended dosages are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the dosage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.  

Precautions:

Do no use with any blood thinners or other phytoestrogenic medications. We recommend consulting with your practitioner if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, or if you are using any other medications.

References:

  1. Ginkgo biloba. (n.d.). www.henrietttes-herb.com/plants/ginkgo/biloba.html 
  2. Chen, K., Lui, Y., Tian, J. (2017). Ginkgo biloba Extract in Vascular Protection: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28707602 
  3. Meng, XF., Tan, CC., Tan, L., Tan, MS., Zhu, XC. (2015). Efficacy and adverse effects of ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25114079 
  4. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cms.herbalgram.org/expandedE/GinkgoBilobaleafextract.html

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.