The huge ginkgo tree with the fan-shaped, notched leaves is one of the oldest plant species ever - its ancestors were already on Earth 300 million years ago. No wonder he has always been considered a symbol of hope, longevity, fertility, vitality and invincibility in Asia.
Ginkgo - a tree with many names
Ginkgo - or actually Ginkyo (a mistake in the translation from the Japanese) - has almost as many names as leaf colors: silver apricot, maidenhair tree, temple tree, duckfoot tree, fan (leaf) tree, elephant ear tree, forty-thaler tree and grandfather grandchild Tree are just a few of them.
He often owes these names to his leaf form, but also the color of his silvery seminal husk and history is reflected in it (in Asia he stands in many temples, 40 Taler have paid the French for the first trees purchased).
Ginkgo biloba: harmony and strength
Ginkgo biloba is the last of its kind - all its relatives of the plant family "Ginkgoaceae" have died out thousands of years ago. Their peculiarity: they discolored discolored leaves in autumn like the deciduous trees, but had a variety of different leaves, part of which looked like those of the coniferous trees. The figure of the ginkgo is more reminiscent of a conifer than a deciduous tree.
The ginkgo is usually dioecious-sexually separate - for propagation flowers of a male and a female specimen must come together. Interestingly, the ginkgo needs around 20 to 30 years to become sexually mature. Another feature: Ginkgo is extremely insensitive to external stimuli - he has survived the winter frosts at a young age, Ginkgo defied later without problems exhaust fumes, road salt, pests, climatic extremes and other influences.
No wonder he exists so long and a copy can become hundreds of years old. In Asia, the mixture of reverberant high stems and softness of the round leaves is honored - along with the bimanry symbol of harmony and the Ying-Yang principle. The "Tree of the Year Trustees" has named Ginkgo biloba as the "Tree of the Millennium" because of its amazing properties and history.
Ginkgo: Healthy and beautiful thanks to Ginkgo?
In Asia, especially China, the "miracle tree" has long been used for beauty care and especially as a medicinal plant - the seeds or fruits, but also leaves and bark are eaten in asthma, bronchitis, circulatory disorders, skin diseases, urinary incontinence and anxiety. However, they should be particularly effective in the case of poor concentration and memory disorders.
For years, the plant has a firm place as a remedy - about every third drug sold for circulatory disorders is a ginkgo preparation. Extracts of dried ginkgo leaves (GBE) are used, which are obtained in over 20 process steps. Particularly effective are the containing flavonoids and terpenoids, which are found in this special form and composition as Ginkolide and Bilobalide only in Ginkgo.
Extracts are used for two reasons: The valuable ingredients of the leaves are difficult to dissolve in water and can therefore only be used insufficiently by the organism. In addition, the consumption of the leaves may even be harmful because natural ginkgo also contains substances that can cause allergies. Modern ginkgo medicines therefore contain an extract, to which the desired ingredients are added and from which the unwanted substances are removed.
Ginkgo works! Indeed?
Areas of use are primarily diseases that are related to the disruption of the circulation and the performance of the brain and that occur more frequently with age. In this way, it should prevent aging dementia or improve or slow down the process that has already begun and improve the blood supply in the legs. It is designed to prevent migraine, to positively influence the course of multiple sclerosis, to improve premenstrual symptoms in women and tinnitus or to prevent acute hearing loss. It should also act against altitude sickness and reduce the visual limitations of glaucoma (glaucoma).
Ginkgo: effect of ginkgo extract
- Ginkgo extract makes the blood more fluid.
- The blood circulation in the fine vessels (microcirculation) is improved and thus the oxygen and nutrient content of the "gray cells".
- Ginkgo is also a so-called radical scavenger, which means that aggressive molecules that attack the cells are intercepted.
- The nerve cells are protected because Ginkgo counteracts the breakdown of nerve cells and increases the efficiency of existing cells.
In recent decades, numerous studies on the effectiveness of ginkgo have been carried out. The euphoria regarding the "miracle drug" was quite high for many years, followed by disillusionment: Several recent clinical studies showed that even the previously proven positive effects on dementia and memory disorder are in doubt. The numerous other propagated effects are also scientifically barely proven - and for any study that claims to have provided evidence, there is at least one other that shows just the opposite.
Ginkgo side effects and ginkgo application
Ginkgo supplements are available over the counter at the pharmacy; Only finished preparations made from ginkgo extract are used. Dosage forms include ginkgo tablets, ginkgo capsules, ginkgo dragees, ginkgo juices and ginkgo drops, which may differ in terms of drug concentration and composition. Treatment should be performed over a period of 8 weeks. Side effects with Ginkgo can in rare cases be circulatory disorders, gastrointestinal complaints, allergic skin reactions or phlebitis.
But: In some studies, patients are at an increased risk of having a stroke or one of its precursors. The increased bleeding risk has been known for some time, especially when ginkgo is taken with blood thinners (such as low-dose acetylsalicylic acid, for example, prescribed after a heart attack). Therefore: Never take ginkgo preparations without consulting the doctor!