FEBRUARY 29: GINKGO BILOBA
It has been estimated that the Ginkgo tree has existed for more than 200 million years, making it the oldest known tree species on earth. A tree may live for 1000 years, with some trees claimed to be over 1500 years old! The leaves of the Ginkgo tree are the part used medicinally. It is important to recognize that the majority of research supporting the use of Ginkgo refers to the use of standardized extracts made from the leaf, rather than the leaf as a whole.
Many studies have demonstrated the ability of Ginkgo extracts to increase blood flow. It has been shown to increase the perfusion of blood in the skin and nails, increase coronary blood flow (to the heart), and increase cerebral blood flow (to the brain). Ginkgo extracts have also been shown to decrease red blood cell aggregation, and decrease blood viscosity, therefore thinning the blood and decreasing the formation of plaque. Furthermore, Ginkgo extracts appear to have the ability to relax blood vessels in spasm and constrict those that are abnormally dilated by increasing their tone.
To find out if Ginkgo biloba is an appropriate form of treatment for you, please come in to see us for an initial consultation!
If you’re interested in what the Ginkgo tree looks like, take a look at the two Ginkgo trees located outside the front of the Head to Toe Health Centre sometime this spring!
-Karen Hack, BHSc, ND
50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs; Boon, Smith; The Institute of Naturopathic Education and Research, 2004.