One of the oldest tree species still around today, the ginkgo biloba originates from East Asia (Japan, South Korea, and Eastern China). These beautiful trees are hard to miss, and can be seen around the world in major metropolises as they are renowned for their beauty and stature. In Buddhist culture, the ginkgo tree is even held as sacred.
With stress so prevalent in modern life Ginkgo Biloba may be the solution. Being an adaptogen, it assists the body with overcoming stress, though there is research showing it is not useful for all types of stress. In a study performed on rats about the comparative effects of ginkgo biloba and Panax ginseng and their effects on stress, researchers found that ginkgo biloba was most useful when used for acute stress; there was little to no difference shown on the rats that were exposed to chronic stress while taking ginkgo biloba.
PMS symptoms can be very severe for some women – but there may be a decrease in symptoms with ginkgo biloba. It has been shown to alleviate headaches, stress, fatigue, muscular pain and mood swings, as well as being beneficial to mood and cognitive function in postmenopausal women. In a study performed on 90 women, the group that received ginkgo saw a significant reduction in severity of PMS symptoms. The severity of symptoms dropped from an average of 34.80% to 11.11%.
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Vision can be improved when taking ginkgo biloba, and even assist in slowing the rate of glaucoma. With an increase in blood circulation, the body is better able to protect the eyes through increased antioxidant production, resulting in less damage from oxidative stress. A study conducted by Italian scientists found that while ginkgo does have the ability to improve eyesight and slow down the degenerative course of glaucoma, it must be used regularly. Patients were given 40mg of ginkgo three times a day for four weeks, then had a period of 8 weeks where they received placebo. After the eight weeks, patients eyesight returned to base level, after having shown significant improvement while using.
Ginkgo biloba usage can be very safe and beneficial when used in modest amounts, for adults in good health. Although, anyone that meets any of the below criteria should avoid using ginkgo biloba.
- Epileptic or prone to seizures
- Older, suffer from a bleeding disorder or are pregnant, as this supplement may increase the risk of bleeding. (Do not take ginkgo up to two weeks prior if you are planning on having surgery done.)
- Ginkgo can inhibit the management of diabetes; if suffering from diabetes and taking ginkgo biloba be sure to measure your blood sugar levels very closely.
Possible Side Effects
- A headache
- Heart palpitations
- Upset stomach
- Allergic skin reactions
Do not eat raw ginkgo seeds as ingesting these seeds long term can lead to poisoning
For more info regarding safety and possible interactions with medication please visit the Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-ginkgo/art-20362032?pg=2.