Within more recent years, Ginkgo Biloba has been highlighted as a memory and mental health booster. However, it is much more than that. Being used to treat a wide range of full-body ailments, users have taken this supplement for anything from an earache, to asthma.
This supplement is nothing new. Within Chinese medicine, this herb dates back thousand of years. It was used to enhance libido, improve energy, and resolve muscle and joint pain. Although these benefits can be enjoyed by users, more recently, Ginkgo has been used for its cognitive effects.
A Little History on Ginkgo in China
When focusing on medicinal herbs, it’s important to study their effects and uses throughout history. This species of tree is believed to have been present on earth for the past 270 million years. With that being said, it’s now considered to be a living fossil, with no close relatives.
Although Ginkgo only grows in the provinces of Tian Mu Shan and Zheilang, it still remains to be the most used herbal supplement in all of China. In fact, this herbal remedy is believed to have history within Chinese medicine, for the past 1500 years.
Healthy, everyday people take this supplement to enhance energy levels, improve circulation, and improve thought processing. This increase in energy flow, helps to boost one’s overall well-being. Throughout the West, the most common use for this herb is improving memory and sharpening thoughts.
How Ginkgo Benefits the Human Body
The key benefits of Ginkgo originate in one’s circulatory system. The most popular and effective nootropics, typically have the ability to enhance circulation. Gingko supports the release of thromboxane A2 and prostacyclin. These help protect vessel walls, while blocking platelet formation. The end result is improved circulation in all major tissues and organs in the body.
Having excellent brain circulation is critical, because if circulation is poor, it can lead to severe imbalances. In more mild cases, individuals can experience headaches. In more severe cases, individuals could have a stroke. When you have good brain flow, these instances can be prevented.
This increased blood flow helps maintain healthy neural tissues. When neuron and synapse growth are supported, memory formation is enhanced. Gingko works by acting as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. This aids in the protection of acetylcholine levels. When all these effects are combined, they lead to greater neuroplasticity. This is the brain’s ability to adapt over time, which is key to mental power long-term.
While focusing on neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, Gingko acts as a Mono Amine Oxidase inhibitor. Since this chemical generally decreases the amount of these neurotransmitters, Gingko helps to boost mental energy, clarity, and focus (by elevating levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine).
Some of the Key Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba
The benefits of the herbal supplement, are mainly focused on memory enhancement. When taking this supplement, users are able to enhance their ability to recall facts. This has been seen throughout history, more specifically the last thousand years.
When taking Gingko, you can also improve your intellectual ability, while boosting mental clarity. Since it’s known as an energetic supplement, it can help you lift a poor mood, minimizing symptoms of depression. If you are someone that experiences a hyperactive mind, this could be a great solution, because it helps calms thoughts without creating sedative effects.
As mentioned, this herbal supplement supports enhanced circulation. This is not only within the brain, but the whole body. Tissues and major organs benefit from this boost in circulation, as oxygen and nutrient-rich blood reach these areas of the body. Due to this core benefit, Gingko has been prescribed for a wide range of ailments. Some of these include, symptoms of PMS, muscle and joint pain, and asthma.
What Risks are Associated with Gingko?
There are so many benefits associated with Gingko, they far out-weigh the side-effects. When taking this supplement, only a few people react negatively to moderate doses. The seeds from the Gingko tree are rare, but are avoided. This is because they are toxic, and can lead to seizures.
When taking supplement capsules however, the powder is produced from the leaves of this tree. The leaves are non-toxic, which is why they have been used for thousands of years. If you suffer from a liver condition or have concerns about your blood clotting, this is not a recommended supplement for you.
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, once again please refrain from using Gingko. Since this supplement has some stimulating effects, it is not suitable for children or women who are carrying a child. If you have any concerns, please speak with your healthcare provider.
Enhancing the Effects of Gingko with Other Nootropic Options
In order to get the most out of this supplement, you will need to take the proper dosage. Although the FDA has not approved this supplement, users generally take anywhere between 120 mg and 600 mg. For majority of users, the lowest dose generally produces noticeable effects. Always start with the lowest dose when trying any supplement for the first time.
If you would like to boost the cognitive effects of Gingko, you should stack is with a choline-enhancing supplements. These are known as cholinergics, and include options such as Alpha GPC and Citicoline. By stacking with a choline supplement, you can amplify positive effects.