Ginkgo leaf is a popular herbal medicine which originated in the Far East, but is now one of the most widely sold herbal treatments available in the U.S. Ginkgo leaf comes from the Ginkgo Biloba tree, also known as the maidenhair fern or the living fossil tree, as its species has remained virtually unchanged for 200 million years.
Ginkgo leaf was first used to treat ailments in patients in around 2800 B.C., and it was then described as a plant useful for the treatment of respiratory disorders, as well as brain and head diseases.
Uses of Ginkgo
Ginkgo leaf has been taken for respiratory problems for many centuries, but it is now widely used as an aid to circulation too. Taking Ginkgo leaf extract is considered to help patients suffering from Claudication—narrowing of the arteries in the legs—and also can help increase blood flow. The ginkgo leaf herb is also used to prevent muscle pains, cramping or degeneration, and has been used in connection with the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Health Benefits of Ginkgo Leaf
As already noted, the ginkgo leaf is believed to help patients who want to improve their circulation. Many people have trouble with narrowing arteries, poor blood flow, and cramps and aches caused by bad circulation. Taking Ginkgo leaf herb can assist in these problems by dilating the blood vessels and inhibiting the clumping of platelets in the blood.
Ginkgo leaf can also assist those who suffer from mental health problems, including Alzheimer’s disease, panic attacks, depression, mood swings, loss of short term memory, and ADD.
The Ginkgo leaf extract has been shown to assist in patients with impotence or erectile dysfunction, and it benefits vasoactivity in other areas of the body. Studies have also shown that people who suffer from ear problems such as vertigo, tinnitus, and travel sickness may also benefit from taking the herb.
Using Ginkgo Leaf
It is possible to obtain packets of dried ginkgo leaf from health food stores and Chinese herbalists; it is also possible to pluck it yourself from a ginkgo tree, and dry it out in the microwave.
The best way to take ginkgo leaf is by making it into a tincture. To do this, place around 150 grams of dried ginkgo leaf in a jar, and add 500 ml of vodka. Keep in a dark place, such as a linen closet, for a month, shaking daily. After a month, strain the leaves, pressing all of the liquid from the ginkgo leaf. Store in a glass container and take one teaspoon a day.
It is also possible to consume ginkgo leaf as a tea, making it in the same way as you would a normal cup of tea. The ginkgo leaf tea is often sweetened with honey or sugar in order to give a better flavor, but drinkers of the tea need to have 2 or 3 cups every day.
Ginkgo leaf extract is also sold as capsules or powders in health food stores.