By Sami Kennedy
Ginkgo, native to China, is the oldest surviving tree
known to man. Fossils of this plant have been found in China dating as far back
as the Mesozoic Era (225,000,000 to 70,000,000 years ago). This was the age of
reptiles, as well as the beginning of birds and mammals, and the first flowering
plants. Possibly one of the reasons Ginkgo has been around for so long is its
amazing resistance to disease, insects, and environmental pollution.
The Ginkgo was preserved as a sacred tree in China for
thousands of years, and was considered for many years to be almost extinct. The
Chinese monks cultivated it in their temple garden as a plant of healing. It was
considered a sacred plant that could only be used by the emperors of China and
could only be cultivated by the monks.
Further credence that this plant has been revered for
centuries as a plant of serious healing properties is the evidence that it has
been found on ancient carvings in China, Japan, and India in reference to
Ginkgo trees were introduced to Europe in the 1700ís but
truly not appreciated except by oriental herbalists until the 1900ís. In Chinese
medicine it was one of the first medicines of choice for heart and lungs, but
has been noted by modern science as an herb of many healing properties, as well
as a major antioxidant.
The same plant chemical actions that have allowed Ginkgo
trees to survive all these years are more than likely the redeeming factor that
allows it to be so effective in our bodies. Ginkgo is one of the many plants
that are being standardized. But it is important to understand that if it is not
in its whole state the total actions of its healing properties are not
available, therefore it is suggested that the organic whole plant derivative be
Genus, species: Ginkgo Biloba, also known as Maidenhair,
parts used leaf.
Contraindications: Due to its PAF (platelet-activating
factor) effects should be
used with caution for patients on anti-coagulant therapy.
Effects: Longevity herb; increases blood flow to the
brain, this causes an increase of oxygen and glucose utilization; reduces aging
processes such as loss of memory, lack of alertness; free radical scavenger;
increases flow of blood to vital tissues and organs; aids in combating
Forms of use: Extract, capsules, and tea (tea
form not as effective for major
The effects of Ginkgo can usually be seen in about eight
weeks if the imbalance is minor or, four to six months for major dysfunction.
The suggested daily dosage is 120mg to 240mg divided and taken with meals. With
Ginkgo the phrase of choice is, donít give up the ship. The longer it is in your
system the more effective the results.
It is wise to consider what you use on and in your body
and always discuss any changes in your bodyís functioning ability with your care
Sami Kennedy is a Naturalists, Herbal Instructor, and
Master Herbalist. For more information on the use of herbs and their effects
call Whole Health Connection at 888-797-4372.