• Ginkgo biloba Leaves

    Synonyms: Fossil Tree, Kew Tree, Maidenhair Tree

    Family: Ginkgoaceae

    Genus species: Ginkgo biloba

    Type: Deciduous dioecious tree

    Part Used: Leaves

    Location: widely cultivated

    Actions: Anodyne, antasthmatic, anti-inflammatory, antiatherogenic, antibacterial, anticoagulant (ginkgolide B is a platelet-activating factor (PAF) antagonist), antihypercholesterolemic, antihypertensive, antioxidant, antiperoxidative, antithrombotic, antituberculotic, antitussive, bronchodilator, capillary protectant, cerebral circulatory stimulant, cerebral vasodilator, helps glucose utilization, improves cerebral circulation, improves concentration, improves memory, improves hearing, improves peripheral circulation, increases levels of dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine, prevents atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries, vasodilator

    Indications: Absent-mindedness, AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, autism, brain trauma, cardiac disorders, chilblain, chills, coronary heart disease, deafness, dementia, depression, diabetic vasoconstriction with gangrene and angina, dizziness, eye disorders, failing memory, fatigue, filariasis, headache, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, intermittent claudication, kidney disorders, leg cramps, Parkinson's disease, poor circulation, postthrombotic syndrome, Raynaud's syndrome, rheumatism, senility, tinnitus aurium, tuberculosis, varicose veins, vertigo

    Chemicals & Nutrients: Bioflavonoids, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin C

    Preparation & Dosages:

    Infusion: 5 g dried leaves in 50 ml water

    Standardized Extracts (24% flavone glycosides, 6% terpenes)

    Fluid Extract: 1:1, 0.5 ml, 3x/day

    Leaf Extract: 80-120 mg/day

    Solid Extract: 40 mg, 3x/day

    Seeds: 4.5-15 g, prepared material, limit 10 seeds (boiled or roasted) per day; not for long-term use, do not exceed recommended dose. The pulpy fruit must first be removed. The fruit pulp contains ginkgolic acid which causes skin irritation and edema; internally, the pulp causes catarrhal allergic reactions in the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract.

    Contraindications: Pregnancy.

    Drug Interactions: May potentiate MAOI drugs. Due to the antihypertensive (hypotensive) action of this herb the following interactions are possible: when taken with anesthetics an increased hypotensive effect; potentiation of antihypertensives; when taken with diuretics difficulty with diuresis and hypertension may result; antagonism of sympathomimetics.

    Side Effects: (Possible adverse effects and/or overdose effects) Nausea, vomiting, increased salivation, anorexia, headache, dizziness, vertigo, GI disturbances, tinnitus aurium, orthostatic hypertension (with large doses). May have caused spontaneous hyphema (blood in the anterior chamber of the eye) when taken with aspirin (Rosenblatt, M., and J. Mindel. Spontaneous hyphema associated with ingestion of Ginkgo biloba extract. (letter). N Engl J Med. 1997; 336 (15): 1108 April 10.) May have caused subdural hematoma with chronic use (Rowin, J and S.L. Lweis. Spontaneous bilateral subdural hematomas associated with chronic Ginkgo biloba ingestion. Neurology 1996; 46: 1775-6.

    Warning: Gingkolic acid and its derivatives are chemicals that are structurally similar to the irritants in poison ivy. Persons sensitive to poison ivy may cross-react to ginkgo products. Ginkgolic acid acts as a vesicant. Standardized extracts should not contain more than 1-5 ppm ginkgolic acid.

    Note: It may take severals months (1-2) for effects to appear.

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