Nutrition and DietGinkgo: benefits, contraindications and how to take it

Ginkgo: benefits, contraindications and how to take it

Properties of ginkgo, a plant that provides benefits for memory that helps against various alterations in cognitive functions. And what are its contraindications? We discover it for you.

Known by the name of Ginkgo or as Ginkgo biloba -by its scientific name- we are faced with a tremendously popular shrub in many Asian countries, where it has a prominent position in Traditional Medicine. It is a tree native to China and Japan, and is more than 200 million years old. It is also known by the curious names of the tree of forty shields or as the tree of pagodas.

Be that as it may, its name derives from the Chinese word  yah-chino, which means “duck’s foot” precisely because of the curious shape of the leaves of this tree that are very reminiscent of the appearance of this animal’s leg. Later this name became “ginkgo” (Japanese word), and finally to “Yin Kuok” which means “golden apricot”. It is scientifically known as Ginkgo biloba L., and belongs to the Ginkgoaceae family.

There is no doubt that we are facing a very powerful tree. And it is that in addition to being the only survivor of absolutely all the geological and climatic changes that have occurred on earth, it seems that it has resisted the different most serious contaminations of the twentieth century.

The most important benefits of Ginkgo biloba

Good for circulation

The action of this tree seems to be directly related to the synergy between its different compounds, revealing itself to be especially effective in relieving circulatory problems, since its active principles are known to dilate veins, arteries and capillaries, as well as to improve blood pressure. Microcirculation and the viscoelasticity of the blood, something that prevents the formation of clots. Therefore, it becomes an excellent preventive against the formation of clots.

This quality is found thanks to the presence of flavonoids, which exert a vasodilatory action on the different walls of both the arteries and the capillaries. In turn, they also prevent platelets from settling inside blood vessels.

Ginkgo is ideal for poor circulation in the legs that tend to cause excessive fatigue and pain. In fact, some studies have found that a regular treatment based on this plant is useful to alleviate circulatory diseases that mainly affect the legs.

Relieves tired legs

Poor circulation in the legs influences the appearance of annoying and uncomfortable fatigue, which is usually known as tired legs.

In this sense, ginkgo extract is precisely useful when it comes to relieving tired legs as a result of poor blood circulation.

Excellent for memory and learning

In addition, various studies have shown that ginkgo has a beneficial effect on learning and memory faculties, increasing cerebral circulation, and providing oxygen and essential nutrients. Therefore, it is very useful to improve behavior and learning.

What’s more, it is especially recommended for the treatment of memory problems and impaired cognitive functions (associated with aging). This quality is found by the presence of a component known as bilobalides, which acts as a brain protector against senile dementia.

Reduces the discomfort of premenstrual syndrome

If you suffer from premenstrual syndrome every month, you may be interested in opting for ginkgo biloba as a natural treatment. And it is that by acting as a vasodilator it helps in a positive way when it comes to reducing menstrual pain.

Relieves depression in older people

It is common for many older people to suffer from depression as a result of poor brain irrigation. Since ginkgo improves blood circulation especially in some parts of the brain, by producing a greater supply of blood to the cells present in this very important and vital organ of our body, depressive processes improve.

In summary: properties of ginkgo

  • Recommended in the treatment of memory problems.
  • Useful in the treatment of alterations in cognitive functions.
  • Positive effect on learning and memory.
  • Relieves circulatory problems.
  • It dilates the veins, arteries and capillaries.
  • Improves both microcirculation and viscoelasticity of the blood.
  • Prevents clot formation.

Ginkgo contraindications to consider

Ginkgo, like any other plant with medicinal action, presents a series of contraindications that must always be taken into account before proceeding to its consumption. The most important are the following:

  • Consumption of anticoagulant medications: since ginkgo has a vasodilator action, its consumption is not recommended in people who follow a medical treatment based on anticoagulants.
  • Pregnancy and lactation: its consumption in pregnancy can cause premature births or major bleeding during childbirth. On the other hand, it is not recommended during breastfeeding because its safety has not been proven.
  • Before surgeries: precisely because of its vasodilator action, its consumption is not recommended when surgery is pending.

How to take ginkgo?

You can take ginkgo in capsules or in drops. You can find both products in herbalists and specialized health food stores. Of course, it is advisable to follow the doses indicated on the package since consuming more than the recommended amounts can cause nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea and problems falling asleep.

On the other hand, it is common for a headache to appear during the first days of treatment with ginkgo biloba. However, these symptoms tend to disappear little by little.

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