| ||Herbal Materia Medica: Ginkgo Biloba||
An abundance of research has been undertaken on this ancient
plant, revealing a wide range of profound and important therapeutic effects.
They can be grouped into cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic effects.
Here we shall focus on the cardiovascular indications. Please refer to the
sections on the nervous system and immune support for a review of the rest of
Laboratory research on Ginkgo's cardiovascular effects
- in one test, microscopic particles were injected into the carotid
artery of rats, mimicing arterial blockage. Ginkgo protected the unfortunate
animals from the destructive effects.
- increased levels of glucose and ATP were found, thus helping to maintain
energy levels within individual cells.
- it reduced the tendency for thrombus formation in veins and arteries,
suggesting a use in the prevention of coronary thrombosis and in recovery from
strokes and heart attacks.
- following injections there may be a hypertensive response, damaging the
blood-brain barrier. Initially only small molecules pass the barrier, but
eventually larger substances cross over causing cerebral edema. Ginkgo used in
the initial stages prevents the later stages developing. Stabilizing the membranes of the blood-brain barrier which are thought to involve
a direct impact on ionic balance across the membranes and an indirect effect on intracellular respiration, lessening cerebral edema and
- Patients with organic and neurological angiopathy were observed for
physiological changes resulting from exercise, after using Ginkgo. Results
indicate it would be useful in central and peripheral vascular disease,
including diabetic angiopathy.
- it lowered blood pressure and dilated peripheral blood vessels, in patients
recovering from thrombosis.
- microcirculation in the conjunctiva of patients with disturbances in cerebral
blood supply consistently increased. Capillary and venous blood flow to the
head increased because of decreased resistance to flow occurred. A toning
action occurs as it eases venular spasms that often occur in elderly and
arteriosclerotic patients. The herb can combat both vascular spasm and restore
tone and circulation in areas subject to vasomotor paralysis.
- it increases peripheral blood flow with no lessening of cerebral circulation.
Chemical vaso-dilators accumulate in the expanded vessels rather than circulate
to the veins that feed the central nervous system. Ginkgo, however, increasing
blood flow to both the periphery and the brain.
- in patients with peripheral arterial insufficiency improvement in all
experimental measures, including the ability to walk without pain and blood
flow to the legs.
- in Parkinson's disease secondary to cerebral arteriosclerosis, the herb
increased blood supply to the brain.
- 65% successful treatment of focal or diffuse cerebral vascular disease.
- 80% successful treatment of cerebral circulatory insufficiency, measured as
improvement in mental functioning, EEG parameters, and cerebral angiogram.
- 80% success rate in patients with chronic cerebral insufficiency measured by
symptoms such as vertigo, headache.
- 92% success rate in patients with cerebrovascular insufficiency and all
pathological findings disappeared after 18 days of treatment.
- 80% success in treating headache and lesser per cent success in case of
- 40% success in elderly patients with arterial insufficiency of lower limbs.
- 72% success in the treatment of chronic vasculopathies.
- successful treatment of chronic arterial obliteration.
Ginkgo has wide application for treating various forms of vascular and
neurological disease. It has been recommended for:
- vertigo, headache, tinnitus, inner ear disturbances including partial deafness
- impairment of memory and ability to concentrate
- diminished intellectual capacity and alertness as a result of insufficient
- anxiety, depression, neurological disorders : complications of stroke and skull injuries
- diminished sight and hearing ability due to vascular insufficiency
- intermittent claudication as a result of arterial obstruction
- a sensitivity to cold and pallor in the toes due to peripheral circulatory insufficiency
- Raynaud's disease: cerebral vascular and nutritional insufficiency
- hormonal and neural based disorders as well as angiopathic trophic
- arterial circulatory disturbances due to aging, diabetes and nicotine abuse
- sclerosis of cerebral arteries with and without mental manifestations
- arteriosclerotic angiopathy of lower limbs
- diabetic tissue damage with danger of gangrene : chronic arterial obliteration
- circulatory disorders of the skin, as well as ulcerations caused by
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Citations from the Medline database for the genus Ginkgo
Clinical and psychometric aspects of the therapeutic effects of GBE.
In: Effects of GBE and Organic Cerebral Impairment, Paris, London, John
Allain H Raoul P Lieury A LeCoz F Gandon JM d'Arbigny P
Effect of two doses of ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) on the dual- coding
test in elderly subjects.
In: Clin Ther (1993 May-Jun) 15(3):549-58
The subjects of this double-blind study were 18 elderly men and women (mean
age, 69.3 years) with slight age-related memory impairment. In a
crossover-study design, each subject received placebo or an extract of Ginkgo
biloba (EGb 761) (320 mg or 600 mg) 1 hour before performing a dual-coding
test that measures the speed of information processing; the test consists of
several coding series of drawings and words presented at decreasing times of
1920, 960, 480, 240, and 120 ms. The dual-coding phenomenon (a break point
between coding verbal material and images) was demonstrated in all the tests.
After placebo, the break point was observed at 960 ms and dual coding
beginning at 1920 ms. After each dose of the ginkgo extract, the break point
(at 480 ms) and dual coding (at 960 ms) were significantly shifted toward a
shorter presentation time, indicating an improvement in the speed of
Treatment of the disorders of aging with Ginkgo biloba extract. From
pharmacology to clinical medicine
In: PRESSE MED 1986 Sep 25; 15(31):1540-5 (Published in FRENCH)
Ginkgo biloba extract is prescribed in psychic and behavioural disorders of
the elderly, in peripheral vascular deficiency and in functional disorders of
ischaemic origin in the E.N.T. and eye areas. Numerous controlled clinical
trials justify these prescriptions and are in agreement with the
pharmacological data currently available. Experimentally, Ginkgo biloba extract
has proved active on the circulatory and rheological functions, on neuronal
metabolism threatened by ischaemia or hypoxia, on neurotransmission and on
membrane lesions caused by free oxygenated radicals. Concerning Alzheimer's
disease and dementia, no firm conclusion can be drawn for the time being due to
the lack of animal model. However, experimental data suggest that the product
may act on a number of major elements of these diseases. From what is already
known about Ginkgo biloba extract, it appears that it fulfills the conditions
laid down by the W.H.O. concerning the development of drugs effective against
Apaydin C Oguz Y Agar A Yargicoglu P Demir N Aksu G
|Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......more