The diverse properties of ginkgo biloba make it very useful, and relaxation is just one of its potential benefits.
With plant specimens originating in east Asia clocking in at multiple thousands of years old, ginkgo biloba is one of the most ancient living plants in the world. It comes as no surprise, then, that this “living fossil” has been known by many names, including “maidenhair tree.”
While use of its wide fan-shaped leaves (also said to resemble duck feet) stretches back into history, the modern uses of the plant are usually found in the form of health supplements. Ginkgo biloba’s main applications are primarily associated with circulatory functions, that is, the correct distribution and flow of blood in the body.
For instance, this herb helps to improve cardiovascular function, meaning it helps your blood flow the way it should around your body, which, in turn, supports the correct distribution of nutrients and other necessary substances. Good blood flow means you’re getting enough oxygen and nutrients to the muscles in your extremities, that is, your fingers and toes, which are an awful long way away for the heart to pump blood to. But pump it does, and that also means it’s easier for helpful enzymes to get where they need to go, especially those that help combat oxidative stress. That’s right: ginkgo biloba is an antioxidant.
If your blood is circulating smoothly, you are also more likely to be relaxed. Your blood vessels are open and not constricted, which is associated with lower blood pressure and a sense of relaxation. This plant has additionally been connected with a lowered level of anxiety and stress in relation with cognitive disease. Which leads right into another benefit of the properties of this little leaf: since your brain needs a healthy flow of blood too, a boost in brain function is especially important if you are fighting off a cognitive disease.
This means ginkgo biloba could be a key aide for people suffering from diabetes, memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s and a handful more of the most common cognitive concerns that our aging society faces. Investigation into the connection between cognitive processing, social behavior and ginkgo biloba may yield interesting results in months or years to come.
This Asian herb has been the subject of testing to see if a variety of sensory functions such as vision may improve with its use. Researchers hope to help remedy macular degeneration and glaucoma (again, linked to diabetes) through the use of ginkgo biloba. Headaches and migraines have also been focal points in research with ginkgo biloba to alleviate these painful afflictions.
One more: what’s good for the heart is good for the lungs. Good circulation means good mental and respiratory health, which are the medicinal plant’s fortes. Ginkgo biloba’s properties may assist in the treatment of respiratory disease, and this is yet another key focus in ginkgo biloba research.
Follow the recommendations of a doctor
All of that said, you can never be too careful about what you put in your body. Doctors have advised that ginkgo biloba should not be taken with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). More than just pain relievers, NSAIDS additionally help reduce swelling and blood clots. Most of us are familiar with drugs in this category, which include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and some antidepressants. These are such common pharmaceuticals that it is very important to keep this in mind if you are interested in using ginkgo biloba as a health supplement so that you don’t mix the two. As with all drugs, this plant may bring on other side effects such as dizziness, upset stomach and palpitations, which is when you feel like your heart is beating quickly and fiercely. Always ask your doctor before taking any medicine or supplement if you have a bleeding disorder, if you are planning on surgery or are pregnant. Ginkgo biloba’s properties may make it helpful with a wide range of conditions, and quite a bit of research has been done on it. However, scientific research can yield unsure or conflicting results, so it’s always well worth doing your healthcare homework and being extra cautious. Bottom line: ginkgo biloba isn’t a panacea, but it may be quite beneficial, so check with your doctor if you think it’s right for you.
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