Refs: "Ginkgo--The Wonder Drug?" Argon La Croix. 1947 "Herbal Remedies" Constance Healley. 1995 "Herbal Guide gingko biloba circular #645" Daenara Maltese. 1995

Ginkgo biloba Maidenhair Tree (aka Ginkgo Tree)

Ginkgo biloba(Gb) is from the Maidenhair Tree, a deciduous conifer from far eastern gardens. The tree was introduced to Europe in 1730 and was widely used for it's actions on the cardiovascular system.

Character: Sweet,bitter,astringent,neutral.

Constituents Leaves: flavone glycosides, (including ginkgolide), bioflavones, sitosterol, lactones, anthocyanin.

Seeds:fatty acids, minerals, bioflavones.

Actions Leaves: relaxes blood vessels, circulatory stimulant.

Seeds: astringent, antifungal, antibacterial

PARTS USED Leaves: they are used for circulatory diseases, including increased blood flow to the brain. Research has shown that ginkgolide can treat irregular heartbeats as well as standard pharmaceutical drugs that are now used. The leaves are also used for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and leg ulcers. A fluid extract of the l eaves, are used to treat cerebral arteriosclerosis in the aged, and are also used to improve circulation in the extremities. Tincture of the leaves, combined with other cardio herbs, such as periwinkle and lime flower, or with king's clover for venous problems. An infusion of the leaves, can be used as a wash for varicose veins, and hemorrhoids.

Seeds:act on the lungs and kidneys. they are traditionally used in the treatment of asthmatic disorders with thick phlegm. They are also used for incontinence and excessive urination. The seeds are only found in the female plant! In China, the seeds are called bai gou, so it may be listed as such at the local herb shop. A decoction of the seeds and Ma Huang(ephedra sinica) can be used to treat asthmatic disorders or persistent coughs.

CAUTIONS Excessive dosage of the seeds can lead to skin disorders and severe headaches. Contact with the fruit pulp can lead to contact dermatitis. ****the fruit pulp is not used medically**** Although the herb is considered safe for long term use, concurrent usage with strong herbal and chemical vasodialators can cause problems.

Other uses of Gb, that is not of the main usage: It has been shown to improve memory in some testing and help reverse the effects of senility. (probably through the increased blood flow through the brain) The effects of vertigo and tinnitus have also been decreased, also due to the increased blood flow through the inner ear. Some studies have show Gb to have strong antioxidant effects, slowing the formation of free radicals--believed to be responsible for the effects of aging and cancer cell formation. In 1988, Doctor Elias J. Corey, professor of chemistry at Harvard University, synthesized a compound called ginkgolide B--The drug is now being studied to be used as potential drug, to stop the rejection of transplanted organs.