Gingko Biloba is one of those herbs whose name you recognize, even if you don’t know exactly what it is, how it’s used, or what it does for you. This plant is also called maidenhair, and is a tree that is native to China and has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine.
Just like a lot of the other herbal supplements I talk about on this site (like this one), a lot of the supplements we use today have a rich history from traditional herbal medicine. The reason? They work! Let’s get into the health benefits of gingko biloba. Here’s why you should be getting more of it in your diet!
What Benefits Does Gingko Biloba Have?
Enhances Brain Function
This is one of the main uses of gingko today. Studies have shown that gingko can increase your mental performance, bringing more clarity and focus to your mind. It can also enhance your memory retention and recall, as well as your attention span. Looking to cram for a test or need to put in a long night at work? Put down the nootropics and reach for this herb instead.
Reduction of Mental Disorders
This is similar to the above-mentioned benefit in how it affects the brain. There is a lot of evidence that gingko biloba can reduce the symptoms of many psychiatric and mental disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other mental issues that result in loss of cognition. Though more studies are needed to be more conclusive on these benefits, there have been tests conducted that indicated that supplementing with gingko can reduce these symptoms by increasing blood flow to the brain.
This has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, as it is believed that gingko biloba opens “channels of energy” to the body’s organs like the kidneys, brain, lungs, and liver. Taking away the mysticism of the “channels”, what’s really happening as a result of the gingko consumption is that it increases blood flow throughout the body. This boost to your circulatory system can help reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke.
Treatment for Anxiety and Depression
There are many root causes of these two issues. However, many believe that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can be helpful in treating depression and anxiety. The anti-inflammatories in gingko can help the body cope with stresses by reducing the levels of stress hormones. Likewise, the antioxidant properties. In one study, a group receiving a high dose of this supplement had a reduction in anxiety symptoms almost 50% greater than that of a placebo group.
Improved Sexual Performance
You may find this listed as an ingredient in a testosterone booster, and for good reason! Besides wanting more energy and building muscle, many men take testosterone to increase their libido. Because of its ability to increase blood flow, gingko is a powerful herb for treating sexual dysfunction by improving blood flow to the sexual organs.
Better Eye Health
I talked about this when discussing coriander as well, and the same applies here. Though more research is needed, the early evidence looks promising. Test subjects with glaucoma reported relief to their symptoms as a result of the increased blood flow to their eye. It can also be of benefit to those who suffer from macular degeneration.