This is the “tree of a hundred crowns” (the colour of the bright yellow leaves in the fall). This is a unique representative of the Mesozoic era (200 million years) which can reach 40m high, live 4000 years, withstand extreme temperatures, microorganisms of all kinds and the most diverse pollutions (even the atomic bomb on Hiroshima). In Asia it is called a “living fossil”! As it has a very slow growth, it has a unique reproductive system since there are Ginkgo biloba males and females. The male tree releases pollen grains and females carry eggs which can be confused with fruits (foul-smelling and irritating) and grouped by two. It is very rare to see a plant openly expose her femininity. Its fruits, that are orange-yellow, fall to the ground. The pulp rots in the sun in the summer and autumn and a sort of almond appears which reveals itself to be an egg. It then waits for the male to fertilize it, which he does only in the winter, after having made Mrs Ginkgo yearn for him… As fertilization takes place outside the tree, it excludes the female from cities where they are trampled by passers by, making sidewalks very slippery. Macho you said?
Ginkgo biloba is native to China where only the fruit was used (golden apricot) as an antitussive, expectorant, anti-asthmatic and for inflammations of the bladder. It is sacred and symbolizes Yin and Yang. It was only imported into Europe in the 18th century. The name “biloba” comes from the notch which is visible on young leaves that appear bilobed.
In India, it is a long life elixir. It is said that using the leaves as bookmarks can protect books against micro-organisms.
In the West, only the leaves are used. They are rich in flavonoids and terpenoids (ginkgolides). The ginkgolides are competitive inhibitors of an intracellular mediator involved in platelet aggregation, thrombus formation, inflammatory and allergic phenomena. They have a protective effect towards broncho-constriction and bronchial hyperactivity. FFlavonoids have the ability to catch free radicals.
In humans, double-blind studies have shown an efficiency in peripheral arterial insufficiency, asthma and atypical chronic cerebral insufficiency.
The tree that defies time will relieve man of its injuries. It has a tremendous ability to improve cellular oxygenation and therefore memory, concentration and intellectual faculties. Ginkgo biloba limits the degeneration of brain tissue (Alzheimer’s disease, dementia) and participates in the composition of Phytodel 1 (brain circulation).
Ginkgo biloba is recommended in the treatment of intermittent claudication (peripheral arterial disease of the lower limbs) and Raynaud’s disease. It is indicated in diseases related to impaired microcirculation: pathologies of the eye (retina damage), ear (vertigo, tinnitus, decreased hearing), arteritis and certain migraines.
It has a beneficial effect on vein circulation and is indicated in the treatment of hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Such as the fruits, the leaves have an anti-asthmatic and anti-platelet aggregation effect. We can therefore use it after cranial trauma or a stroke.
Ginkgo biloba is neuroprotective and is also an anti-depressant (related to sexual dysfunction).
Precautions and contraindications:
the pulp from the fruit can cause serious allergic reactions if ingested or touched. When leaf based preparations are used, only rare gastrointestinal disorders or headaches may occur. Given the lack of data, it is preferable to avoid its use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
With the effects seen on platelet aggregation, the use of Ginkgo biloba is not recommended for a person using anti-coagulants.
30 to 60 drops of mother tincture, 2-3 times a day.