Ginkgo biloba is a herbal medicine derived from the ginkgo tree, also known as the maidenhair tree, and is native to China. It can grow beyond 130 feet, live for more than 2,500 years and it was traced in fossils that go back 270 millions years in history.
Ginkgo biloba is a popularly sold supplement in capsules, tablets and liquid extracts. The herb is prescribed in many European countries, while traditional Chinese medicine uses dried leaves and seeds from the tree.
Research today, however, is focused on checking the potency of the liquid extract, which is considered to have a positive effect on cognitive functioning. The extract is referred to as EGb761 and GBE in scientific terminology.
Flavonoids and terpenoids properties are present in bountiful amounts in ginkgo supplements. Since they are powerful antioxidants, they slow down the process of brain degeneration. Here are some of its potential benefits, as per a recent story published by Draxe.com.
Could Treat ADHD
A study that investigated the potential of ginkgo biloba in small amounts to treat children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) found it useful. Fifty children with ADHD were administered 120 mg of the extract every day. As per their results, the symptoms were brought down several notches.
On the contrary, higher doses of the extract will need to be tested out in future trials due to methylphenidate (Ritalin) being proven to be more effective in treating ADHD symptoms.
There is some limited evidence to suggest that anxiety could be partially managed to some extent by consuming ginkgo. For example, a particular study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research compared people diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) who took ginkgo versus a placebo. The former seemed to work better for the participants.
Dementia and Alzheimers
A systematic review of studies published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience in 2016 said there was clear evidence to suggest that ginkgo biloba helped treat cognitive impairment in people with dementia and Alzeihmer’s. However, there are studies with contrasting results that do not prove that ginkgo biloba medicine helps elders with cognitive impairment. Therefore, more research is pending.
Due to its antioxidant properties, ginkgo extract could enhance sleep quality, although the verdict might be subjective in most cases.