education

All About Ginkgo: The Herb that Supports Brain Health & Focus

Published on May 10, 2022


By Gaia Herbs

Gaia Herbs

All About Ginkgo: The Herb that Supports Brain Health & Focus
All About Ginkgo: The Herb that Supports Brain Health & Focus

From the moment you step onto the Gaia Herbs Farm, Ginkgo treesgreet you with their beauty and wisdom. It is the oldest surviving species of tree, known to be at least 250 million years old, which means that the Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) shared space on the planet with the dinosaurs. And its hardiness doesn't stop there. Ginkgo is the only known living species of its family. This amazing ancient tree has withstood countless seasons and adapted and survived throughout the centuries.

Potential Health Benefits of Ginkgo

With its ancient knowledge and ability to survive and thrive, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have relied on Ginkgo to address various ailments and support overall health for centuries.

Maintaining cognitive health and supporting mental focus and recall is the traditional use of Ginkgo in alternative medicine.* Today, science recognizes Ginkgo's potential health benefits, particularly regarding brain health. 

Let's take a closer look at the potential health benefits of Ginkgo.

Scientific Studies

Ginkgo and its constituents have been the subjects of more than 400 scientific publications, making it one of the most researched herbal products. Numerous clinical trials have documented Ginkgo's positive effects on cognitive function. Researchers believe that the flavonoids and terpenoids in Ginkgo extract can have various effects on the body.

According to anecdotal evidence and some research studies, Ginkgo extract is a popular herbal supplement that can help support brain health, cognitive function, and mental focus. Ginkgo extract may help address age-related cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment, a concern for many older adults.REF#1499

Another potential benefit of Ginkgo extract is that it may help manage feelings of anxiety.REF#1501 A specific Ginkgo extract, EGB 761, may also help promote focus and concentration, especially in those who tend to struggle with focus.REF#1500

Nitric oxide is a molecule that helps relax and widen blood vessels, supporting blood flow and circulation. Ginkgo extract may benefit the body's cardiovascular system by supporting nitric oxide production and protecting against oxidative stress. Ginkgo extract can also help support cardiovascular health by supporting vascular function and blood circulation.REF#1502

Ginkgo may also have potential benefits for eye health. One meta-analysis found that Ginkgo extract may help protect the retina against oxidative stress in the eyes. Ginkgo extract may also help support overall ocular health and wellness and may address age-related macular degeneration.REF#1503

Additionally, Ginkgo extract may help address premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. One randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that Ginkgo extract may help soothe symptoms of PMS, including irritability, mood swings, and breast tenderness. However, the study noted that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on PMS symptoms.REF#1504

Ginkgo Herbal Supplements

At Gaia Herbs, Ginkgo is one of our staff favorites, and we carry multiple herbal products. If you're experiencing brain fog, can't concentrate, or feel your memory needs a boost, consider adding a Ginkgo-based herbal supplement to your daily routine.

It is also important to note that not all Ginkgo supplements are created equal. 

When choosing a supplement, look for a standardized extract that contains a specific ratio of flavone glycosides and terpene lactones. It’s also important to avoid ginkgo supplements that contain ginkgo seeds or dried leaves, as these may contain harmful substances.

Mental Alertness 

Lack of focus can make everyday activities a struggle. Mental Alertness is made with a synergistic blend of Gotu Kola, Eleuthero, Peppermint, Rosemary, Fo-Ti, and Gaia-grown Wild Oats herbs traditionally for supporting healthy mental clarity and memory.* This is a great formula for anyone feeling overtaxed and distracted to help restore focus.*

Energy Vitality

The body must adapt to daily stressors to feel consistent energy. Energy Vitality helps promote energy and stamina with herbs such as Ginseng and Schisandra, which enable the body to adapt to stress healthily.* Additionally, organic Green Tea and Ginkgo offer antioxidant support that helps protect the body from free radical damage.*

Emotional Balance™

Maintaining a healthy emotional state is key to an optimal quality of life. Emotional Balance™ is an award-winning formula designed to support mental and emotional well-being.* By combining herbal extracts traditionally used to help the body cope with daily stress, nourish the nervous system, calm the mind, and support a balanced mood, this formula helps foster a better outlook on life.*

Ginkgo Leaf

A Ginkgo tree can live up to 1,500 years of age, so it's safe to say this tree knows a lot about healthy aging. Try our Ginkgo Leaf capsules for maintaining healthy circulation and brain function.* Gaia Herbs Ginkgo Leaf is certified organic and extracted without toxic solvents.

Ginkgo Gotu Kola Supreme

Ginkgo Gotu Kola Supreme is a blend of herbs traditionally used to support a clear and sharp mind, including Gotu Kola, Eleuthero, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Gaia-grown Wild Oats.* A favorite for busy professionals, college students, and anyone trying to keep their brain fit for the long term.*

Potential Side Effects

Ginkgo extract may also have potential side effects, including headaches, dizziness, and gastrointestinal issues. However, these side effects are generally mild and may go away with continued use.REF#1499

Ginkgo extract may also interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and antidepressants.REF#1499 It can also increase the risk of bleeding, especially if taken in high doses.REF#1499

Seeking medical advice from your healthcare provider before taking dietary supplements is important, especially if you take any medications or have any underlying health conditions.

Evidence-based health benefits of Ginkgo extract are promising, but more research is needed to understand its effects on various health conditions.

A Healthy Brain As Vital As a Healthy Body

As one of the most vital organs in the human body, the brain controls most of its critical functions. It is the center of thought, understanding, and memory. The brain, like your muscles, performs best with sufficient rest, good nutrition, and plenty of exercise.

Whether you incorporate herbal products into your life, you should strive to keep your brain engaged and healthy. With a few small and consistent steps, you can create a legacy as strong, intelligent, resilient, and adaptable as the unique Ginkgo tree.

REFERENCES:

  • 1. Mayo Clinic., "Ginkgo", . https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-ginkgo/art-20362032 1 1. Mayo Clinic., "Ginkgo", . https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-ginkgo/art-20362032
  • 2. Mount Sinai, "Ginkgo Biloba", . https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/ginkgo-biloba 2 2. Mount Sinai, "Ginkgo Biloba", . https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/ginkgo-biloba
  • 3. Garakani. A., et al, "Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders: Current and Emerging Treatment Options", The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry. (June 2021). https://focus.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.focus.19203 3 3. Garakani. A., et al, "Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders: Current and Emerging Treatment Options", The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry. (June 2021). https://focus.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.focus.19203
  • 4. Mesquita TRR, de Jesus ICG, Dos Santos JF, de Almeida GKM, de Vasconcelos CML, Guatimosim S, Macedo FN, Dos Santos RV, de Menezes-Filho JER, Miguel-Dos-Santos R, Matos PTD, Scalzo S, Santana-Filho VJ, Albuquerque-Júnior RLC, Pereira-Filho RN, Lauton-Santos S., "Cardioprotective Action of Ginkgo biloba Extract against Sustained β-Adrenergic Stimulation Occurs via Activation of M2/NO Pathway", Front Pharmacol. 2017 May 11;8:220. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5426084/ 4 4. Mesquita TRR, de Jesus ICG, Dos Santos JF, de Almeida GKM, de Vasconcelos CML, Guatimosim S, Macedo FN, Dos Santos RV, de Menezes-Filho JER, Miguel-Dos-Santos R, Matos PTD, Scalzo S, Santana-Filho VJ, Albuquerque-Júnior RLC, Pereira-Filho RN, Lauton-Santos S., "Cardioprotective Action of Ginkgo biloba Extract against Sustained β-Adrenergic Stimulation Occurs via Activation of M2/NO Pathway", Front Pharmacol. 2017 May 11;8:220. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5426084/
  • 5. Isabel Martínez-Solís, Nuria Acero, Francisco Bosch-Morell, Encarna Castillo, María Eugenia González-Rosende, Dolores Muñoz-Mingarro, Teresa Ortega, María Amparo Sanahuja, Victoria Villagrasa, "Neuroprotective Potential of Ginkgo biloba in Retinal Diseases", Planta Med 2019; 85(17): 1292-1303. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/a-0947-5712 5 5. Isabel Martínez-Solís, Nuria Acero, Francisco Bosch-Morell, Encarna Castillo, María Eugenia González-Rosende, Dolores Muñoz-Mingarro, Teresa Ortega, María Amparo Sanahuja, Victoria Villagrasa, "Neuroprotective Potential of Ginkgo biloba in Retinal Diseases", Planta Med 2019; 85(17): 1292-1303. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/a-0947-5712
  • 6. Ozgoli G, Selselei EA, Mojab F, Majd HA., "A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba L. in treatment of premenstrual syndrome", Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine. 2009 Aug;15(8):845-51. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19678774/ 6 6. Ozgoli G, Selselei EA, Mojab F, Majd HA., "A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba L. in treatment of premenstrual syndrome", Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine. 2009 Aug;15(8):845-51. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19678774/