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Ginkgo biloba


Summary of Ginkgo biloba’s many benefits in the human bodyGinkgo biloba

  • Brain: keeps the mind alert, lifts the mood, regulates brain metabolism, enhances mental function, memory, concentration and focus.
  • Circulation: improved blood supply with oxygen and nutrients to peripheral body parts (especially helpful for winter hands and feet as well as impotence).
  • Senses: optimises eye health, balance, hearing.
  • Heart, lungs & cardiovascular system: increases oxygen supply, boosts circulation (improves blood flow), heals blood vessel damage: varicose veins, leg ulcers.
  • Protects nervous system.
  • Supports immune system.

Your heart, brain, body and Ginkgo biloba

This remarkable and well researched herb, (on earth for more than 10 000 years to benefit human beings’ health), has been used for a wide variety of health challenges. One of its main actions is the ability to increase the blood flow through blood vessels, especially in the brain.

Gingko biloba helps to improve the circulation of blood to the brain, thereby ensuring delivery of sufficient oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This enhances memory, mental agility, alertness and concentration. It can also be helpful in the management of mild depression, high blood pressure, forgetfulness, winter hands and feet, as well as impotence.

The following can also be used to improve general health of all systems, including the nervous system (as found in necessities for teens and young adults Heart-Brain-Body Support for over 30’s):

  • Daily combination of Ginkgo biloba (10-20mg per day) with the B complex vitamins: B1-6 (20-40mg), Folic acid (600mcg) and B12 (20mcg). Add inositol and choline 60-100mg each
  • Calcium (100-200mg in an amino acid chelate form) and magnesium (60-120mg in an amino acid chelate form) supplement. Take the calcium and magnesium with vitamin C (120-240mg) at night. This improves your sleeping pattern and helps the nerves and muscles to relax.
  • Also use an antioxidant with Vitamin A (1.2-3mg), Vitamin E (16-32mg), zinc and selenium, citrus and rutin bioflavonoids, boron, copper, manganese and potassium to also balance blood sugar levels
  • Vitamin D (10-20µg) is essential
  • Taurine (40-80mg) and Lysine (40-80mg)


Essential fatty acids are also very important (Click here to read more)

Use starflower oil, evening primrose oil and cold water fish (salmon, krill, cod liver) oil to support the body with enough omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids for optimal neurotransmission and nervous system health. Refer complete article.


Healthy lifestyle

It is important to remember that mental function, memory and concentration are also dependant on regular daily stress management techniques. The accumulation of daily stressoften leads to memory lapses, lack of concentration, tiredness and depression, to name but a few.

Research has proven time and again that effective stress management improves immunity, heart function, oxygen uptake by the body’s cells, self-image and sense of wellbeing. It also ensures lots of vitalising energy, lowers the levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin, which in turn provides various health benefits and prevents the occurrence of negative stress.


Extract from Health and Happiness by Dr Arien van der MerweHealth & Happiness Book

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba, maiden hair tree)

(10-20 mg a day)

Ginkgo is probably the most essential ingredient in a nervous system, cardiovascular and antioxidant supplement. As the life expectancy of humans increases, more attention is paid to the different ways of retaining mental alertness and clarity. Young adults (and teens) are interested in ways of keeping the mind clear and concentration optimal – it’s a good way of maintaining the advantage in a competitive business environment for meeting deadlines, improving exam performance, optimising focus, memory, concentration and productivity.

Ginkgo extract is made from the leaves of a tree known as Ginkgo biloba- the oldest species of tree in the world, a living fossil, indigenous to China. The leaves have the shape of the two lobes of the brain. This is the herb most commonly prescribed by doctors in Germany and France. Throughout the world Ginkgo is prescribed for all health problems concerned with blood circulation, especially in the brain. It is preferable for Ginkgo to be taken in standardised form, containing 24% glycosides and 6% terpene lactones.

A research study published in the journal of the Medical Association of America has shown that Ginkgo works much better than a placebo in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The side effect profile for this sensitive group of patients was also remarkably low.

Ginkgo improves the blood flow to the brain so that the brain gets more oxygen, glucose and other essential nutrients. On a cellular level Ginkgo stabilises cell membranes, disposes of free radicals, stimulates enzymes that allow the arterial smooth muscle to relax (important in hypertension and stroke) and suppresses platelet aggregation (important in the treatment and prevention of hypertension, heart attacks and stroke).

Ginkgo has two groups of active ingredients: the glycosides which include the bioflavonoids and the terpene lactones, which include the ginkgolides and bilobalides.

The bioflavonoids promote the antioxidant activity of Ginkgo in the brain and cardiovascular system. They also reduce platelet aggregation, allowing blood to run smoothly in the arteries and veins.

However, it is the ginkgolides and bilobalides that make Ginkgo unique. These are the ingredients that improve the flow of blood to the brain and other parts of the body so that the tissue gets more oxygen, nutrients and glucose for energy. They also protect the neurons throughout the body and are responsible for Ginkgo’s ability to improve memory and mental function. This is especially important for elderly people who are showing signs of declining cognitive function (the mental process in which knowledge is acquired, including memory and perception). Ginkgolides and bilobalides suppress the platelet activation factor, thereby preventing nerve damage, poor blood flow to the brain and constriction of the airways in the lungs, all of which result in a reduced oxygen supply to the cells.

Ginkgo is used to improve cerebrovascular insufficiency (reduced blood flow to the brain in the case of a stroke, ischaemic incidents and Alzheimer’s disease), intermittent claudication (severe cramping in the legs during walking or exercise), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo (dizziness), impotence, Raynaud’s disease and varicose ulcers.

Cerebrovascular insufficiency can lead to symptoms of depression, memory loss and confusion, which are often linked to cognitive degeneration in elderly people. Positive results can be expected within eight to 12 weeks after commencing treatment with ginkgo.

Elderly people are very sensitive to prescription antidepressants and many people stop taking them because of the side effects. Gingko biloba is a gentle, and very effective alternative option with proven positive results. Research has shown that many depressive elderly people have a reduced blood flow to the brain. Ginkgo is very valuable in this respect, but the dosage should be increased to 120 mg twice a day. Improvement in state of mind, motivation and memory is sometimes observed after only four weeks of using Ginkgo.

A dosage of 120 mg twice a day is recommended for Alzheimer’s disease. Considerable research has shown that symptoms of Alzheimer’s improve after only four weeks of Gingko biloba use.

Ginkgo’s side effect profile is very low. Fewer than 1 per cent of people get a mild upset stomach at first. People with cerebrovascular insufficiency sometimes get a slight headache which can last about 48 hours. This shows that the ginkgo is improving the flow of blood to the brain. Ginkgo shows no interaction with other medications; nor do the German Commission E monograph list any contraindications for the use of ginkgo during pregnancy and breastfeeding. German researchers compiled a series of monographs to document the research work they had done on herbal medicines and to set up specifications



The memory enhancing effects of Gingko biloba/ Panax ginseng combination in healthy middle aged volunteers.

The dose-dependent cognitive effects of acute administration of Ginkgo biloba to healthy young volunteers:

Effect of the herbal extract combination Panax quinquefolium and Ginkgo biloba on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a pilot study:

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