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Ginkgo biloba - a fashion or a miracle?

Extracts of ginkgo biloba leaves have been used in Chinese medicine 5,000 years ago. Although Western science has been known to have the effects of this sacred tree of the East from the 18th century, it was brought to Europe only in 1972. What does ginkgo biloba do?

A traditional panacea

The ginkgo fruit, but especially the leaf extract, is healing. It contains many active substances, especially flavon glycosides, flavonoids and terpenic substances. Traditionally, they are attributed to a number of effects, the most famous of which are:
boosting memory,
improving the ability to learn,
relieving difficulty in losing ears, dizziness, headache and stroke,
eye enhancement,
improvement of glucose tolerance,
anxiety and depression

Ginkgo seeks also patients with vitiligo (skin stains due to lack of pigment) and Alzheimer's disease.

It is a painful body

Less well known is the fact that several of the active ingredients of ginkgo also have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. These substances appear to suppress the activity of enzymes that produce the molecules responsible for inflammation, or block these molecules directly. In a number of experiments, ginkgo has proven itself in inflammation of joints, eyes and skin. Although relatively few studies are available, experience shows that ginkgo also helps against certain types of pain. Combined with vitamins B and other antioxidants (selenium, vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid), it improves chronic pain in the locomotory system and helps alleviate fingernails in neuropathies. This allows patients with these problems to reduce the amount of medication used.

Beware of blood clotting

However, ginkgo-containing products must be avoided by those taking certain blood thinners (warfarin, heparins, acetylsalicylic acid). It could cause unwanted bleeding.

Due to the amount of active substances, scientists still have to investigate this tree. For example, it is necessary to explain the mechanism of action of ginkgo biloba and to know in more detail the action of the plant on the human organism.

Author: PharmDr. Irena Macků
Source: U lékař

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