Origins of Ginkgo Biloba
The Ginkgo Biloba is a tree which may be referred to as the Maiden Hair tree or simply the Ginkgo. The slow-growing, deciduous tree can grow to 25m tall, sporting reddish bark and fan-shaped leaves. It’s easy to distinguish between the genders of the trees as male specimens take an upright and irregular form, whereas female trees grow wide and tend to stay lower to the ground. It takes 20-35 years for flower growth to begin, after which they only bloom for short periods. The name Ginkgo originates from the Chinese word ginkyo meaning ‘silver apricot’.
Various food products are made out of the tree using the fruits, seeds and leaves. Historically, the seeds and leaves were dried to produce a fairly ineffective poison, and both were used in traditional Chinese medicine. Nowadays, Ginkgo Biloba is used as a herbal supplement.
Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba
The Ginkgo Biloba contains ginkgolides and bilobalides, two active compounds that maintain blood circulation in the brain which contributes to cognitive function by increasing brain performance. The tree has also been linked with antioxidant properties. Additionally, Ginkgo Biloba has been linked to the maintenance of the eyes and ears, particularly in the older adult.