Ginkgo Biloba: what is it for and how should you take it

This content is part of the Alternative Medicine category and may contain information that lacks scientific studies and/or medical consensus.

The ginkgo biloba is a Chinese tree, which reaches 40 meters in height and can live for over 4,000 years. She has become quite famous lately thanks to promises to stimulate memory , improve concentration and even end dizziness. ( 1 )

In addition to fulfilling all of this, ginkgo is also excellent for promoting blood circulation, which contributes to lowering blood pressure and preventing varicose veins. Best of all, it can be consumed in tea, tincture or capsules, which is the most common form.

Want to learn more about ginkgo’s therapeutic properties? So keep reading, as all this and more will be explained by the naturopath specialist in herbal medicine, Danilo Ramon, below:

After all, what is ginkgo biloba for?

Improve memory and concentration

“Ginkgo biloba is an ancient plant widely used by the Chinese, known for its action in the treatment of problems in circulation and memory, and no wonder, it is excellent for improving the entire neural system”, attests Danilo.

The specialist in herbal medicine explained that this happens because of the herb’s vasodilating properties that “increase blood vessels, facilitating the passage of blood while oxygenating the region.” The result is that the brain is able to function better and thus retain more information.

In addition to increasing blood flow to the brain, some of the compounds found in the herb prevent oxidation (degradation) and the consequent death of nerve cells. ( 1 )

Thanks to this, the plant is able to protect the body against cognitive loss , which occurs in age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, for example. Another factor that helps to stimulate long-term memory. ( 2 )

“In the formulas that I recommend to my patients, I always use this plant in cases of depression, mental fatigue , Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other neural or psychological problems”, informs Danilo.

Relieves symptoms of labyrinthitis

“Furthermore [ginkgo biloba] is great for labyrinthitis, especially if it is combined with wild perobinha”, stressed Danilo, explaining that this is due to its vasodilator action, which improves oxygenation.

That’s why the herb is able to alleviate the main symptoms of this disease. Inflammation that affects an area of ​​the ear called the labyrinth is characterized by dizziness and persistent tinnitus .

What happens is that inflammation occurs when the body sends more blood than necessary to a certain area of ​​the body, causing symptoms such as pain and redness. In the case of labyrinthitis, the infection also causes an uncomfortable ringing in the ear and dizziness, as it affects the organ that makes the balance.

By improving circulation, ginkgo also prevents any place from receiving excess blood, thus stopping the inflammatory process.

Reduce the appearance of varicose veins

Did you know that thanks to the great potential that ginkgo biloba has to improve circulation, it helps to reduce the appearance and symptoms of varicose veins?

Well, the naturopath explains that the herb mainly relieves pain and swelling, as it makes the blood circulate better through the lower part of the body.

The ginkgo extract improves circulation as it forces the blood to move through the body and is thus able to definitively treat problems related to venous insufficiency.

To understand why this is important, it is necessary to know that varicose veins arise when the veins in the legs receive more than they can handle, they become large and lack the strength to pump blood. They usually appear in people who spend a lot of time sitting.

These vessels become swollen and apparent and symptoms develop. The herb makes the entire circulatory system work again and therefore prevents the appearance of new varicose veins. ( 3 )

control blood pressure

The stimulation of blood circulation and the increase in its amount of oxygen help to reduce and control blood pressure , as explained by Danilo.

With this, the correct consumption of this extract is able to reduce the load placed on the heart, as it makes the blood circulate more smoothly through the body and, in addition, relieves the headache, which is a very common symptom. of high blood pressure.

A curiosity is that this reduction in pressure also favors the treatment of other problems related to hypertension , such as glaucoma, which occurs when the pressure in the eye is high.

Improve physical performance

Regular consumption of the herb also “improves physical performance, since it oxygenates and dilates  vessels and arteries, also eliminating fatigue in the lower limbs”, pointed out Danilo.

But why does this happen anyway?

When you make some physical effort, the body needs to send more blood to the limbs that are being used, which need to consume more oxygen and energy.

Thus, by sending more blood, the muscles can work for longer , which ends up directly contributing to an improvement in exercise time.

How to take ginkgo biloba?

Gingko biloba is usually consumed in capsules , especially for its practicality. However, Danilo explains that it is possible to prepare the tea and also an extract with the leaves of the tree and that these two methods also preserve its therapeutic properties.

Regarding the indicated dosage, “in capsules, 1 capsule of 350 milligrams can be taken twice a day, in the form of a tincture or extract, it is recommended to take 10 drops, also twice a day”, he said.

To make the tea, the professional explains that it is only necessary to put 1 tablespoon (dessert) of the plant’s leaves in 1 cup of boiling water. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes to extract all the therapeutic properties and then strain and drink a maximum of two cups a day.

“These dosages are safe, but care must be taken not to prolong their use without monitoring , as it can weaken the blood vessels using it in the long term and without guidance”, warns Danilo, ending with the guidance that the dosage may vary according to with the evaluation made by a health professional, therefore, always seek the guidance of a specialist before starting any treatment.

Care and contraindications

The naturopath advises that it is necessary to avoid overuse of the herb, as it can thin the blood. In addition, the supplement “ cannot be used because you are using an anticoagulant or have a history of bleeding. If the person is about to undergo surgery, they should talk to their herbalist, discontinue use and inform the doctor, so as not to result in hemorrhages during the surgery”, he added.

People who have some risk of having aneurysm (dilation of a weakened part of an artery wall) should consult a specialist, as the daily dosage needs to be lower than normal and also “during the menstrual period the woman should avoid it, if she suffers from a lot of flow”, because with increased circulation there is a risk of further increasing the volume of menstruation.

Finally, Danilo clarifies that ginkgo biloba is not toxic and is quite safe, as long as its use is accompanied by a specialist, who will indicate the necessary dose for each case and the duration of the treatment.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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