Ginkgo extract has proven benefits to elderly people. This ancient herb acts to enhance oxygen utilization and thus improves memory, concentration, and other mental faculties. The herbal extract has also been shown to significantly improve long-distance vision and may reverse damage to the retina of the eye. Studies have also confirmed its value in the treatment of depression in elderly people. The ginkgo extract may provide relief for those who suffer from headaches, sinusitis, and vertigo. It may also help relieve chronic ringing in the ears known as tinnitus.
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Ginkgo biloba L.
Plant Family: Ginkgoaceae
Ginkgo, the oldest living species of plant on earth, is more than 225 million years old. In this U.S. it has been one of the ten best selling herbs for more than 5 years and a standardized extract of ginkgo leaf is presently one of the most frequently used plant-based medicines in Europe.
Recent research into the plant has discovered a range of active compounds in the leaves and this has excited a lot of interest in the health-promoting potential of the plant. The leaves contain ginkgolides, these are compounds that are unknown in any other plant species. The leaves are best harvested in the late summer or early autumn just as they begin to change color. They are dried for later use.
Ginkgo leaf promotes healthy blood circulation.*
USES AND PREPARATIONS
The leaves are considered "sweet" and have a gentle effect. They can be used in teas, capsules, and extracts.
Gibberellin, cytokinin-like substances, ginkgolic acid, bilobol, ginnol, aspartine, calcium.
Native to China, the ginkgo tree is beautiful and unique, both aesthetically and biologically. Having lived for over 225 million years, the ginkgo is one of the oldest known species on the planet. Wild populations of ginkgo are rare, existing only in two known regions of the Zhejiang province in China. Nevertheless, ginkgoes are heavily cultivated across China and in some parts of the United States, with naturalized populations located in parts of Asia.
After the bombing at Hiroshima at the conclusion of World War 2, surveyors examined the effect of the blast on local plant populations. Throughout the devastation, six ginkgo trees survived the bombing, the closest of which still lives less than 1200 meters from the epicenter. This tree stands as an international symbol of resilience and the ginkgo itself is regarded as a "bearer of hope."
Remarkably hardy, ginkgo trees are slow to grow and can live over 1000 years. The female trees produce small globular fruits with a distinctive unpleasant odor. As such, many cultivators distribute only the male trees which do not produce the fruit.
Specific: Use in persons with coagulation disorders should be under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
For educational purposes only.
|The Commission E Monographs|
Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract
Ginkgo biloba bltter
Published July 19, 1994
Name of Drug
Dry extract (35 - 67:1) from Ginkgo biloba L. leaf [Fam. Ginkgoaceae], extracted with acetone/water. Active Ingredient Classification ASK No. 05939.Composition of Drug
A dry extract from the dried leaf of Ginkgo biloba L. manufactured using acetone/water and subsequent purification steps without addition of concentrates or isolated ingredients.
The drug/extract ratio is 35 - 67:1, on average 50:1.
The extract is characterized by:
22 - 27 percent flavonone glycosides, determined as quercetin and kaempferol, including isorhamnetin (via HPLC) and calculated as flavones with a molar mass of MMr = 756.7 (quercetin glycosides) and Mr = 740.7 (kaempferol glycosides); 5 - 7 percent terpene lactones, of which approximately 2.8 - 3.4 percent consists of ginkgolides A, B, and C, as well as approximately 2.6 - 3.2 percent bilobalide; below 5 ppm ginkgolic acids.
The given ranges include manufacturing and analytical variances.
The following pharmacological effects have been established experimentally:
The pharmacokinetics have been investigated both in animal experiments and in trials involving humans. An absorption rate of 60 percent was found in rats for a radioactively labeled extract (as specified under Composition of Drug). In humans after application of an extract specified as above, absolute bioavailability was 98 - 100 percent for ginkgolide A, 79 - 93 percent for ginkgolide B and at least 70 percent for bilobalide.
Both the acute and the chronic toxicity of an extract as specified under Composition of Drugis very low; accordingly, the LD50in the mouse was 7725 mg/kg body weight after oral application and 1100 mg/kg body weight after intravenous application.
Investigations with this extract as specified above showed no effects which were either mutagenic, carcinogenic, or toxic to reproduction.
No evaluation was performed on the transferability of the experimental results to extracts other than those investigated.
[Ed.note:This statement refers to the fact that only a few proprietary ginkgo extracts were used in the studies upon which this monograph is based. Whether these results can be extrapolated to other ginkgo extracts is uncertain.
(a) For symptomatic treatment of disturbed performance in organic brain syndrome within the regimen of a therapeutic concept in cases of demential syndromes with the following principal symptoms:
Memory deficits, disturbances in concentration, depressive emotional condition, dizziness, tinnitus, and headache.
The primary target groups are dementia syndromes, including primary degenerative dementia, vascular dementia, and mixed forms of both.
Note: Prior to starting treatment with ginkgo extract, clarification should be obtained as to whether the pathological symptoms encountered are not based on an underlying disease requiring a specific treatment.
(b) Improvement of pain-free walking distance in peripheral arterial occlusive disease in Stage II of Fontaine (intermittent claudication) in a regimen of physical therapeutic measures, in particular walking exercise.
(c) Vertigo and tinnitus (ringing in the ear) of vascular and involutional origin.
Hypersensitivity to Ginkgo biloba preparations.
Very seldom stomach or intestinal upsets, headaches, or allergic skin reaction.Special Cautions in Use
None known.Use During Pregnancy and Lactation
No restrictions known.Interactions with Other Drugs
None known.Dosage and Administration
Unless otherwise prescribed:
Indications (b) and (c):
Mode of Administration
In liquid or solid pharmaceutical forms, for oral intake.Duration of Administration
Administration for more than 3 months should be reviewed as to justification for continued administration.
None known.Special Warnings
None.Effects on Operators of Vehicles and Machinery