Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ginkgo Biloba


Ginkgo has been long used and studied for its medicinal properties.  It has varying actions and research has shown its effectiveness in many areas an antioxidant, neuroprotector, neurotransmitter modulator, vasodilator, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, hepatoprotector and much more! 










THERAPEUTIC USES AND INDICATIONS

 Circulatory Enhancement:  Ginkgo is well known for its ability to increase blood flow.  Where ever blood can reach, oxygen and nutrients can be delivered.

  • Ginkgo has been well documented to improve cerebral blood flow and provide an antioxidant action to nerves and vasculature.  Ginkgolide-B has been shown to act as a PAF (platelet activity factor) antagonist.[1]  This means that Ginkgo can decrease blood viscosity and decrease clotting.
  • Ginkgo is useful in cases of arterial insufficiency, intermittent claudication, ischemic heart disease, and other cases of tissue hypoxia,[2] and is being explored as a means of reducing tumor, cancer, and degenerative disease processes.
  • Ginkgo will also relax the vasculature and enhance perfusion, which is one proposed mechanism which heart muscle improves activity, memory and senility.  In cases of cerebral insufficiency, one clinical study showed cerebral blood flow to be increased severity percent following the ingestion of Ginkgo.[3]
  •   Several studies have shown Ginkgo to promote blood flow in both healthy and compromised blood vessels.[4],[5],[6] [7]                                             

MEMORY AND BRAIN FUNCTION 
  • The ginkgo leaf has a strong doctrine of signatures, which means that looking at the plant can tell us about its functions.  By looking at the leaf we see that it looks like a brain with a sulcus in the middle, almost leading us to its brain enhancing properties.
  • Through improved circulation and reduced oxidative stress, Ginkgo may improve cognitive function and reduce degeneration of the CNS.[8] It is presently thought that the ginkgolides, as well as the flavanoids in Ginkgo have neuroprotective properties.  The flavanoids are potent free radical scavengers, while the terpene-based ginkgolides improve blood viscosity and general perfusion.
  •   Ginkgo both improves the blood supply to the brain as well as the speed with which neural cells exchange information.[9],[10]Ginkgo may enhance memory and concentration through enhanced perfusion, neurotransmitter and receptor activity, anti-oxidant and other effects. [11]   Several studies have shown Ginkgo to improve dementia.[12]  Ginkgo may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s[13] and is being evaluated for possible memory enhancing effects.[14]

DOSAGE              
Variable depending on the preparation, follow guidelines on the product or consult your naturopathic physician.
120 to 240 mg/day has been the dose given in clinical trials for dementia
50-200 mg given IV has been noted to promote microcirculation and blood viscosity
 
Thank you to Dr. Stansbury, ND for compiling this relevant and useful information

[1] Smith PF, Maclennan K, Darlington CL.  “The neuroprotective properties of the Ginkgo biloba leaf: a review of the possible relationship to platelet-activating factor (PAF).” J Ethnopharmacol 1996 Mar;50(3):131-9
[2] JAMA, 1975, 231; 1162
[3] Pistoles GR, Minerva Med 1973;79;4166
[4] Mussung, G and Alemany J, Arzneim Forsch 18 543 (1968)
[5] Gau HP Arztl Forsch 22 103, 1969
[6] Borelli, S, and MacTaggart B., Der Inform Arzt 2 68, 1973
[7] Kleijen J, Knipschild P. “Gingko biloba” Lancet 1992, 340, pp 1136-9
[8] DeFeudis F.V. (1991).  Ginkgo biloba Extract (Egb761) :  Pharmacological activities and clinical applications.  Elsevier.  13(3): 163-167.
[9]  Gebner, B., et al 'Study of the long-term action of a Gingko biloba extract on vigilance and mental performance as determined by means of quantitative pharmaco-ECG and psychometric measurements', Arzneim-Forsch, 1985, 35, pp. 1,459-65.
[10] Hindmarch, I. and Subhan, Z., 'The psychopharmacological effects of Gingko biloba extract in normal healthy volunteers', Int. J. Clin. Pharmacol. Res., 1984, 4, pp. 89-93.
[11] .  Gebner, B., et al 'Study of the long-term action of a Gingko biloba extract on vigilance and mental performance as determined by means of quantitative pharmaco-ECG and psychometric measurements', Arzneim-Forsch, 1985, 35, pp. 1,459-65.
[12] LeBars, P., et al JAMA, 278(16): 1327-32, Oct.22/29, 1997.
[13] Hofferberth B., The efficacy of Egb761 in patients with senile dementia of the Alzheimer type.  A double blind.  Placebo controlled study on different levels of investigationHuman Psychopharmacol. 9:215-22, 1994
[14] Hindmarch, I. and Subhan, Z., 'The psychopharmacological effects of Gingko biloba extract in normal healthy volunteers', Int. J. Clin. Pharmacol. Res., 1984, 4, pp. 89-9



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