Ginkgo biloba

896px-Ginkgo_biloba_SZ136

Von Siebold, P. F., & Zuccarini, J. G. (1870). Flora Japonica, Sectio Prima (Tafelband). Retrieved from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ginkgo_biloba_SZ136.png

Botanical Name: Ginkgo biloba
Common name: Ginko (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
Family: Ginkoaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 597)
Parts used: Leaf, seed kernel (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 553)

Folklore: Perhaps one of the oldest living tree species, Ginko’s origin is believe to be remote mountainous valleys of Zhejiang. First introduced into Europe in 1690 by Botanist Engelbert Kaempfer, up until 350 years ago the medicinal knowledge was restricted to China (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 493). Traditional therapeutic use is not well documented (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 597).

Constituents:

  • Flavonols (inlc. quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, quercetin-3-beta-D-glucoside, quercitrin and rutin and coumaric acid esters of these flavonoids)
  • Terpene lactones (“terpenoids”) including bilobalide and ginkgolides A, B, C & J.
  • Biflavonoids, ginkgolic acids, sterols, procyanidins and polysaccharides

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 597)

 

Actions

  • Anti –platelet activating factor (PAF) activity (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Antioxidant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Tissue perfusion enhancer (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Circulatory stimulant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Nootropic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Neuroprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Anxiolytic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Adaptogen (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 553)
  • Vasodilator (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 553)
  • Digestive bitter (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 553)
  • Uterine Stimulant (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 553)

 

Indications

  • Restricted cerebral blood flow (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Memory and/or cognitive impairment (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Fatigue (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Stroke (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Vertigo (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Acute cochlear deafness (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Tinnitus of vascular origin (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Peripheral arterial disease (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Favorable modification or cardiovascular risk (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Early stages of Alzheimer’s-type dementia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Multi-infarct dementia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Reduced retinal blood flow (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Normal tension glaucoma (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Age-related muscular degeneration (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Congestive dysmenorrhea and PMS (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Hypoxia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Anxiety (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Adjuvant therapy in chronic schizophrenia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Symptoms associated with Multiple Sclerosis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Allergic conjunctivitis (topical) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Asthma (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Protections from radiation damage (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Idiopathic oedema (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)
  • Vitilogo (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 596)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

120-140 standardized extract/day

120-140mg dry extract (in divided doses)/day

4-8 weeks treatment for optimal results (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 554)

 

Cautions

  • Caution should be taken in individuals with coagulation disorders when used in conjunction with antiplatelet or anticoagulant medication, although clinical trials suggesting this are insufficient (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 617).
  • Individuals undergoing surgery are advised to cease taking it 5-7 days prior due to potential (minor) risk of increased blood flow (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 617)

 

Contraindications:

  • Known sensitivity (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 617)
  • If unusual bleeding or bruising occurs cease treatment immedietly (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 505)

 

Interactions: Theoretically Ginko may increase bleeding risk when taken in conjunction with Warfarin (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 505)

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