GINKGO BILOBA-- FOR ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Botanical name-Ginkgo biloba Linn
Common name- Maidenhair tree
Ginkgos are large trees, normally reaching a height of 20–35 m (66–115 ft), with some specimens in China being over 50 m (160 ft). The tree has an angular crown and long, somewhat erratic branches, and is usually deep rooted and resistant to wind and snow damage. Young trees are often tall and slender, and sparsely branched; the crown becomes broader as the tree ages. During autumn, the leaves turn a bright yellow, then fall, sometimes within a short space of time (one to 15 days). A combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes ginkgos long-lived, with some specimens claimed to be more than 2,500 years old.
Leaves: The characteristic greenish-yellow leaves are fan-shaped and composed of two or more distinct lobes; the Latin species name biloba refers to this fact. The common name of maidenhair tree pertains to the similarity of the leaves to those of maidenhair ferns (Adiantum species). In autumn, the leaves of Ginkgo biloba turn a beautiful golden hue before falling to the ground.
Seeds: It takes 20-35 years for maidenhair trees to reach maturity and start bearing seeds. Male and female trees are separate; male trees have pollen-producing catkins while female trees, once fertilised, bear rounded, yellowish seeds with a fleshy outer coat (resembling a plum in appearance). These fall to the ground in the autumn and as the seed coat decays it exudes a rancid butter-like smell
Part used – Leaves
Chemical constituents-- The constituents of primary interest in Ginkgo leaf are ginkgolides and flavonoids. Ginkgolides (ginkgolides A, B, C, J, and M) are diterpenes. Flavonoids present in Ginkgo leaf include flavones, biflavones, flavonols, tannins, and associated glycosides. In general, flavonoids are principally found in the leaves, although they are also present in many other parts of the plant. There are about 20 flavonoid glycosides along with glucosides, quercetin and kaempferol 3-rhamnosides and 3-rutinosides, p-coumaric esters of glucorhamnosides of quercetin, kaempferol and biflavones. The biflavones are amentoflavone, bilobetol, 5-methoxybilobetol, ginkgetin, isoginkgetin, and sciadopitysin, bilobalides. Ginkgo leaves also contain flavan-3-ols, proanthocyanins and poly-isoprenoid - derived betulaprenols in unusually high amounts. Other compounds of interest in the leaf include ginnon, ginnol, 2-hexenal, and bilobalide.
Therapeutic uses--Ginkgo biloba has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Today, it is one of the top-selling herbs in the United States.
Ginkgo is used for the treatment of numerous conditions, many of which are under scientific investigation. Available evidence supports ginkgo for managing dementia, anxiety, schizophrenia, and cerebral insufficiency (insufficient blood flow to brain).
Evidence for other uses is either lacking or mixed. Further research is needed for all uses of ginkgo.
Although ginkgo is generally well tolerated, it should be used cautiously in people with clotting disorders or taking blood thinners, or prior to some surgical or dental procedures, due to reports of bleeding.
First time the Homoeopathic proving was done in the year 1933 by Dr. E.A.Maury with the M.T. on seven subjects ( 5 men, 2 women) then six persons and Dr. KORSAKOFF on two men. An auto experimentation was undertaken by Dr. E.G.IVOR of New Zealand in 1971. Homoeopathically proved main symptoms are --- General lameness with chill. Unreasonable fear with rapid flow of words. Suppressed anger. Intellectual weakness.
Heaviness of the frontal region of head.Vertigo. Sensation of troubles vision with a veil before the eyes.Buzzing in ears.Vesiculous eruptions, burning, prurigious. Great muscular weakness. Asthma
Here, it is interesting to know, that many Homoeopathic pharmaceuticals in India and abroad have spearheaded research on Ginkgo biloba and Ginkgo biloba Mother Tincture is being used globally for Cardio- Vascular disease, neurological problems.
1. Improves cerebral circulation and pheripheral vascular problems
2. Improves in age related forgetfulness
3. Useful in weakness of memory, difficulty in thinking, insomnia, heaviness in frontal region, vertigo, buzzing sensation
4. Inhibits Prolye endopeptidase (PEP), plays an important role in learning and memory process, depression and senile dementia
5. Useful in Alzheimer's patients
6. Inhibits platelet activation factor (PAF), thereby reduces the chances of blood clotting leading to various inflammations and allergic changes