Understanding the Pros and Cons of Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba originates from the leaves of one of the oldest tree species. This herb is used these days in a standardized extract form (GBE) and is one of the best selling medication supplements, a top selling prescription in both France and Germany.
Now that this herb has been discovered, what are the great benefits of the extracts? It appears that it has been extensively preventing neurological damage and has a positive effect on memory. It has been promoted for the use in Alzheimer patients, but with only slight improvement. Experimentation in animals has also shown that GBE has reportedly been used in the treatment of tinnitus and hearing disorder therapy.
On the other end of these studies, the Journal of the American Medical Association states that there is really no conclusive evidence that GBE had effect on the cognitive function or on specific cognitive domains of memory, and is ineffective in preventing early symptoms of dementia or normal aging. A recent study with over 3,000 elderly patients over the age of 75 showed that, while some of the patients took the GBE and some took a placebo, there was no outstanding evidence that the GBE had any signs of effectiveness to prevent full blown dementia. There is no conclusive evidence to prove that, if taken for many years, the GBE may have some minor effectiveness in preserving memory function and improving a variety of health conditions, from MS symptoms to sexual dysfunction.
It has been proven; however, that GBE does have powerful antioxidant properties which can improve speed of processing in people 60 and older who take it for at least six weeks, believing that it helps improve oxygenation and circulation to the brain. There are pros and cons to all of the vitamin supplements including GBE and should be taken only in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle, per advice of your personal doctor. GBE can have some healing effects on the circulatory system, can aid in healing eyes and hearing problems, but not in and of itself. It is not a miracle type drug but more as a supplement in addition to what your doctor prescribes for your particular needs.
Just as there are some benefits of GBE, though not as much as we thought, there are downfalls as well. If you have a history of blood clots and on anticoagulant medications, or on anti-platelet and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) medications, you should not be taking Ginkgo Biloba as the combination of the medications and this supplement may produce negative effects. Pregnant and lactating women should not consider GBE. As always, it is best to speak with your doctor if you have concerns.
The healing effects of GBE are found in the leaves where they are dried and pulverized, mixed with organic solutions to release the chemical components that are used to heal. As with any other herb and/or supplement, there are pros and cons so be sure, if you are considering GBE, to do your research and find out all the information you need for your particular circumstances so that you can make an educated decision regarding your particular needs.