Ginkgo biloba leaves – benefits and applications
The glory of a unique means for stimulating brain activity has been fixed behind the leaves of ginkgo bilobate. Numerous studies have shown that the plant increases the viability of nerve cells, improves microcirculation, memory, and stimulates cognitive processes. It is thanks to these properties that manufacturers began to produce biologically active additives (dietary supplements), beverages, vitamin complexes on its basis. But from the leaves of ginkgo biloba, you can also prepare tinctures, decoctions, tea, etc. at home. Let’s take a closer look at the instructions for using parts of this tree.
Chemical composition and useful properties
The Ginkgo biloba tree is the only representative of the Jurassic flora that has survived to the present day. More than 150 million years ago, this plant was found even on the territory of Siberia and in the middle part of Russia. Today, the relict tree is cultivated in China, Japan, as well as in Western European countries. It grows both in the USA and on the southern coast of Crimea.
Fresh or dried leaves, branches or seeds of the plant are widely used in traditional medicine. Oriental healers make tinctures based on them for the treatment of cough, brain disorders and rapid recovery from diseases.
The chemical composition of ginkgo biloba is unique. Green leaves contain bioflavonoids, quercetin, kaempferol, alkaloids, terpene lactones and other useful substances. Microelements are also present in them:
- manganese and selenium.
Dry leaves contain flavones in a concentration of 0.3-0.5, flavonoids, terpenes, proanthocyanidins, natural acids, isoramnetin triglycosides.
Attention! Preparations based on ginkgo biloba have anti-hypoxic, antioxidant properties, as well as improve blood flow, enhance microcirculation, prevent the formation of blood clots.
Gingko is recommended to be taken to prevent neurological defects, cerebral edema, cerebral ischemia, as well as:
- to improve cellular nutrition and respiration;
- with renal insufficiency;
- to normalize the metabolism of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.
The plant also helps with atherosclerosis – it reduces the level of bad cholesterol, eliminates spasm of blood vessels, expands the lumen of the arteries. It can also be used by healthy people at a time of emotional overstrain, stress.
Indications for reception
The State Pharmacopoeia suggests using green and dried ginkgo biloba leaves for the treatment of the following pathologies:
- senile dementia;
- Alzheimer’s disease;
- headaches, hearing loss, dizziness;
- attention disorder, memory impairment;
- traumatic brain injury;
- violation of blood circulation in the legs;
- hemorrhoidal crisis.
Ginkgo biloba leaves also help well with varicose veins of the lower extremities, Raynaud’s syndrome. Extracts from these parts of the plant reduce pain, heaviness in the legs, prevent the phenomena of paresthesia.
Contraindications and precautions
Preparations based on ginkgo biloba cannot be used in such conditions:
- mental disorders;
- pregnancy and lactation;
- individual intolerance to the components present in the composition.
These are the main contraindications. But the plant can, but with caution, be used for people with hemophilia, hereditary hemostasis disorders, a decrease in the concentration of platelets in the blood. However, the decision to prescribe drugs for these diseases is made by a doctor.
Harvesting and storage
Raw materials are harvested throughout the entire growing season. The leaves have a sour taste and a yellow or brown-green color. They are collected manually or with the help of technology. The most valuable is the yellow foliage obtained in autumn. It is dried in special devices. At home, you can use a dark, ventilated room or an oven for drying.
Attention! Ginkgo biloba leaves should be collected only intact, without stains, etc.
Harvesting of branches, which are used in traditional medicine recipes, is done when the shoots are still soft and tender. They are dried away from sunlight.
Ginkgo biloba seeds are harvested in early or mid-autumn. They are washed, cleaned, then dried, then stored in a dark place at room temperature.
Recipes of traditional medicine: methods of preparation and application
In folk medicine, inkgo biloba raw materials are used as a stimulant, as well as a restorative medicine. Water and alcohol infusions are prepared from it, powder is made. The funds are used for diseases of the respiratory tract, anemia, joint pathologies, brain disorders, etc.
Attention! Ginkgo herbal remedies are taken in the morning, during or after a meal.
Ginkgo honey is used to improve blood supply to the vessels of the brain, prevention of heart attack and stroke, treatment of atherosclerosis. This remedy also normalizes blood pressure, reduces the manifestations of multiple sclerosis and senile dementia, improves the condition of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The composition is prepared according to this recipe:
Dry, powdered leaves (500g) are combined with honey in a ratio of 1: 1. The mixture is infused for three days at room temperature, stirring daily. The finished product is stored in the refrigerator.
Ginkgo honey is consumed 1 tsp. three times a day for 1 month. But this product should not be taken by people with honey intolerance.
Ginkgo biloba tea is recommended to drink to improve the functioning of all organs and systems, as well as to restore strength after suffering from any disease. The drink is made from dried leaves, which can be purchased at a pharmacy or prepared independently. Raw materials (1 tsp.) are poured with boiling water (250 ml) and drunk as regular tea. It should be consumed within 1 month.
To brew a drink, you can use ready-made bags. Apply them according to the instructions — one sachet is steamed in 250 ml of hot water. To improve the taste, you can add 1 tsp of honey to the tea.
Side effects and allergies
Medicines based on ginkgo biloba leaves rarely cause side effects. They usually appear when contraindications are ignored and cause depression, insomnia, headache, allergic reactions. Serious hemorrhagic complications may also occur — thrombocytopenia (decrease in the number of platelets), intracranial hemorrhages, anaphylactic reactions, arrhythmia.
Interaction with other medications
Ginkgo preparations cannot be combined with antithrombotic and blood-thinning agents. Simultaneous use of these medications can cause spontaneous bleeding. You can not use biloba before surgery. And when combining ginkgo biloba with quinine, skin hemorrhages (hemorrhages) may appear.
Exceeding the portion prescribed by the doctor can cause allergies, overexcitation, sleep disorders. And in patients with chronic hypertension, blood pressure usually increases after an overdose, and a headache appears. If such symptoms appear, it is necessary to stop using the drug, take an absorbent and consult a doctor.