Contained within the ancient ginkgo tree is a treasure trove of beneficial flavanoids and terpenoids. These powerful antioxidants fight against disease and increase circulation. Today, people can access ginkgo through pills or liquids containing the extract from the tree or through the leaves, crushed and dried for tea.
A Piece of History
Gingko trees have been around for 200 million years in the same form they exist in today. They are the oldest tree on earth. They were present when dinosaurs roamed. Although they are now extinct in the wild, they flourish in cultivation. Nowadays, this tough, cold hardy tree mostly grows along streets in urban settings. Planting this tree can give you a piece of history and a look into a different era.
Intermittent claudication occurs when the arteries harden in the legs, reducing blood and oxygen flow. This causes extreme pain when walking. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, if people with this disease take ginkgo extract, they feel less pain and can walk farther. This occurs because the ginkgo opens up the hardened arteries, allowing more blood to flow to the legs.
Increased Brain Function
Ginkgo is most famously known as the "brain herb." This is because it may improve brain function for those with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, people with these diseases who take the supplement may improve brain function and memory, improve daily life activities, improve social behavior and decrease feelings of depression. However, further research is needed, as clinical results have been mixed.
For people with glaucoma, taking 120 mg of ginkgo extract a day may improve vision, according to the University of Michigan Health System. It relieves the tension in the eyeball that causes the disease. Taking ginkgo in the early stages of macular degeneration may help stop or lessen retinal problems. This disease primarily affects older people and is the number one cause of blindness in the United States. The ginkgo, in this case, may help preserve vision.