Unlock the Power of Ginkgo Biloba: The Science Backed Benefits You Need to Know
Ginkgo Biloba, a tree native to China, has long been praised for its medicinal properties and health benefits. With its unique fan-shaped leaves and powerful antioxidant properties, ginkgo biloba is often referred to as a “living fossil” and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. But what does the science say about this ancient plant? In this blog, we will explore the science backed benefits of ginkgo biloba and how it can potentially unlock a world of wellness for you.
The Science Behind Ginkgo Biloba
Terpenoids, on the other hand, have been found to have anti inflammatory and antiplatelet effects. This means that they can help reduce inflammation in the body and prevent the formation of blood clots, both of which can lead to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
Ginkgo Biloba Benefits
Some of the benefits of ginkgo include;
- Eye Health & Vision: Studies have also suggested that ginkgo biloba may have potential benefits for vision health. The antioxidants present in ginkgo biloba help protect the retina from damage caused by oxidative stress, which may help prevent age-related macular degeneration and other eye conditions. An article posted by Western Laser Eye Associate relating to current research reads Ginkgo Biloba, Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration.
- Anxiety & Depression: In studies, ginkgo biloba has been found to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. The flavonoids in ginkgo biloba have been shown to have an anxiolytic effect, helping to reduce feelings of anxiety and promote a sense of calmness. Additionally, ginkgo biloba may help improve mood by increasing the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to regulate mood.
- Cardiovascular Health: Another potential benefit of ginkgo biloba is its ability to enhance cardiovascular health. The antioxidants and anti inflammatory properties of ginkgo biloba help to improve blood flow, reduce cholesterol levels, and prevent the formation of blood clots. This can help lower the risk of heart disease and improve overall cardiovascular function.
- Anti Aging: Ginkgo biloba has also been studied for its potential anti aging effects, particularly in the Unites States and Western Europe. Research. Studies are ongoing into it’s effects on blood circulation and oxygen flow to the brain, enhancing cognitive function and memory, general blood circulation around the body and general mobility and communication.
- Naturally Rich In Antioxidants: As previously mentioned, ginkgo is high in active flavonoids and terpenoids, with a strong ability to reduce cellular free radical damage. This potential to reduce oxidative stress can result in more healthy body tissues, less wear and tear and less likelihood to develop age related conditions.
- Anti Inflammatory: In an inflammatory response, certain components of the immune system are recruited to fight against the foreign substance or to heal an injured area. Some conditions can trigger an inflammatory response even when there is no pathogen, illness or injury present. Whatever the reason for the inflammation, over the longer term it can potentially cause damage to body tissues and systems. Ginkgo biloba has shown promise in reducing the inflammatory markers in some conditions including heart disease, strokes, some cancers, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Cognitive Function & Dementia: Given it’s promise in improving blood flow to the brain, ginkgo has been studied in relation to age related cognitive decline and dementia. Research is ongoing in the area of Alzheimer’s where ginkgo is used in conjunction with western medicine. See study on Testing the Improvement of Cognitive Function of Ginkgo Biloba Extract in Healthy People and Alzheimer’s Patients.
- Headaches & Migraines: Although a popular traditional treatment for headaches and migraines, there has been very little research on ginkgo’s ability to treat headaches and migraines. However, given it’s anti inflammatory and antioxidant benefits plus it’s ability to improve blood flow to and in the brin, ginkgo may have benefit for migraines caused by restricted blood flow.
While ginkgo biloba does show promise in providing the above health benefits, it is important to note that further research is still needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action and effectiveness. Additionally, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have any pre existing medical conditions, are pregnant or are already taking medications.
Ginkgo Biloba Supplements, Which One Is Right For You?
When it comes to unlocking the power of Ginkgo Biloba and experiencing the benefits, finding the right supplement is essential. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the one that suits your individual needs. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a Ginkgo Biloba supplement;
- Quality and purity: check ingredients for artificial compounds or chemicals,
- Manufacture: where is your supplement manufactured and does it comply with food safety standards,
- Dosage: does your supplement mention recommended dosage and guidelines, if in doubt start with a lower dosage,
- Formulation: is the supplement in capsule, tablet or liquid form? Tablets can often be difficult to swallow and both tablets and liquid can have an unpleasant taste. Capsules are generally favoured as they contain pure dried herb extract and are easy to swallow and flavourless.
Ginkgo Biloba Side Effects
While ginkgo biloba appears to be safe within the recommended daily amounts, it can cause some side effects in larger doses. There is also the possibility that ginkgo isn’t for everyone and some may have an adverse reaction. So our recommendation is to only take recommended doses, or a lower dose if you wish and listen to your body. If you think you may not be able to tolerate ginkgo, then don’t take it.
Some adverse reactions can include
- Upset Stomach
- Heart Palpitations
- Allergic skin reaction
- If you are epileptic or prone to seizures then avoid ginkgo,
- If you are older or have a medical condition, we recommend that you consult with your healthcare practitioner before taking ginkgo biloba,
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, then avoid ginkgo,
- If you have a bleeding disorder, ginkgo may increase your risk of bleeding,
- If you are planning a surgery, we recommend you stop taking ginkgo at least 2 weeks beforehand,
- Ginkgo biloba is not recommended t=for those with diabetes as it may interfere with the management of your condition. If you do decide to take ginkgo, then monitor your blood sugar levels closely,
Ginkgo Interactions With Medications
Some possible interactions include the following medications;
- Alprazolam (Xanax): Gingko may reduce the effectiveness of this medication,
- Anticonvulsants & Seizure Medications: Large amounts of ginkgo may cause seizures and it may also lower the effectiveness of some medications,
- Anticoagulants & Anti Platelet Medications: Taking ginkgo may increase your risk of bleeding,
- Antidepressants: Ginkgo may decrease the effects of some antidepressant medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) and imipramine (Tofranil),
- Statins: Ginkgo may decrease the effectiveness of some statins including simvastatin (Zocor) and atorvastatin (Lipitor),
- Diabetes Medications: Ginkgo Biloba may alter your body’s response to diabetes medications,
- Ibuprofen: It is possible that combining ginkgo with ibuprofen may increase your risk of bleeding.
In conclusion, incorporating Ginkgo Biloba into your daily routine can have numerous science backed benefits for your cognitive function and general wellbeing. By following the tips outlined above, you can ensure that you can get the most out of this wonderfully powerful herb.
Choosing the right time to take your Ginkgo Biloba supplement is essential. Whether you prefer to kickstart your day with it, find it more effective in the afternoon, or prefer taking it in the evening, listen to your body and choose a time that works best for you.
It’s also important to follow the recommended dosage as stated on the supplement packaging. Exceeding the suggested dose may lead to unwanted side effects, so if you have any concerns or doubts, consult with a healthcare professional.
You have the option to take Ginkgo Biloba supplements with or without food, depending on your preference. Some find it easier to take with a glass of water, while others prefer to take it with a meal to aid absorption. Experiment and discover what works best for you.
Remember to be patient and give Ginkgo Biloba time to work. Like any natural supplement, its effects may take time to manifest. It is recommended to take Ginkgo Biloba for at least a few weeks to experience noticeable benefits. Keep in mind that individual results may vary as everyone’s body is different.
While Ginkgo Biloba can enhance cognitive wellbeing, it is not a magical solution. To optimise its effects, maintain a healthy lifestyle, engage in regular exercise, eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep and manage your stress levels. These lifestyle factors, combined with a Ginkgo Biloba supplement may very well contribute to your overall improved wellbeing and cognitive health.
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