The herb we know as ginkgo biloba has been cultivated and used by the Chinese and other Asian cultures for thousands of years, and it has traditionally been used to treat a wide variety of illnesses and ailments. Ginkgo biloba takes its name from the tree from which it is derived, the ginkgo tree, and this tree is well known throughout Asia.
The latest research indicates that the Ginkgo tree has been a part of the earth’s environment for between 150 and 200 million years. Fossils of ginkgo have been found that date back to the Paleozoic era. With such a long history, it is no wonder that ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest, and most thoroughly researched, of all herbal remedies. For many thousands of years, ginkgo biloba has been used in traditional medicine to improve blood flow, to improve sexual performance and even to increase the life span of those who took it.
Ginkgo has been used to improve the heart and lungs functionality, and to treat coughs, asthma, and acute allergic inflammations. With more than 1,000 published studies, ginkgo biloba is one of the best known and excellent-documented herbal nutritional supplements available.
One of the most well known effects of ginkgo biloba has to do with blood circulation, and ginkgo biloba is thought to have a strong impact on maintaining normal blood flow and reducing tissue damage. In addition, the herb is thought to help maintain optimum levels of oxygen and glucose in the blood. Ginkgo biloba is also a rich source of the antioxidants which are so important to reducing damage done by free radicals in the modern environment.
The ability of ginkgo biloba to influence and increase blood flow extends to the brain as well, and ginkgo is thought to enhance memory by increasing the amount of blood flow to the brain. Many clinical studies continue into the memory enhancing effects of this popular herbal remedy. Ginkgo biloba has also shown great promise as a way to combat stress and anxiety, and many clinical studies continue into the emotional effects of this popular remedy.
The tree can reach heights up to 125 feet and is extremely hardy. It is resistant to many insects, diseases and pollution. A single tree can live as long as 1000 years. The species name “biloba” refers to the two distinct lobes, typical of the tree’s leaves.
The best quality of ginkgo leaves are obtained from plantations located in Europe and America. Ginkgo leaves are picked when they are green. Then they are dried and milled. Milled leaves are extracted with an acetone-water mixture. The extract is processed, dried, and standardized to a potency of 24 percent flavonoids and 6 percent terpenes.