Ginkgo biloba powder is a dietary supplement extracted from the leaves of the ancient healing tree of the same name. This botanical wonder has been playing a major part in the practice of the time-honored Chinese herbal medicine. It has been widely used in Asia, North America and in European countries like Germany and France. The health benefits it claims to provide has made it a popular subject for numerous studies. Some of these investigative studies have found ginkgo biloba powder to be effective in certain areas, while some have proven it to have no effect on others.
Ginkgo Biloba Powder Studies to Remember
For decades, this botanical boon has been used to address memory loss due to old age pointing to its ability to boost blood circulation in different body parts including the brain. This memory enhancing effect particularly for the older population has been demonstrated in a recent study entitled "Cognitive Psychophysiology in Nootropic Drug Research: Effects of Ginkgo Biloba on Event Related Potentials (P300) in Age-Associated Memory Impairment." The researcher, HV Semlitsch, uncovered that, generally, it did not exhibit any effect when the group taking the supplement and the placebo group were compared. However, an improvement in the cognitive function has been observed in older subjects, and that they experienced less headaches, nausea and dizziness. On the other hand, this effect was not observed among the younger, non-demented subjects.
Additionally, a 1991 experiment also showed that this herbal supplement beneficially affects mental efficiency in old patients suffering from mild to moderated memory loss of organic cause, like patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. To support this finding, another experiment done by Pierre LeBars involving Alzheimer's patients has shown it to boost cognitive function after 13 months.
More studies on this supplement have been done showing similar promising results for the elderly with memory problems. Even more studies were done to prove other many health benefits of Ginkgo biloba powder. The quest for more answers continues to fully establish the benefits of taking Ginkgo biloba powder as a food supplement as well as understand how this ancient herb carries out its therapeutic effects.
How Ginkgo Biloba Powder Helps You Remember
The numerous studies gave the researchers a glimpse on how this botanical remedy enhance mental function. The studies revealed that it exerts its mechanism of action in two ways: as an antioxidant and as a blood thinner.
As An Antioxidant. The main cause of Alzheimer's disease and dementia is conjectured to be cell membrane injury due to free radicals. As an antioxidant, Ginkgo biloba powder protects the brain cell membranes from further damage by regulating the detrimental effects of free radicals. As a result, brain function is improved. This may explain the improvement of cognitive function among Alzheimer's or dementia patients in the studies.
As A Blood Thinner. The results of the study entitled, "A Double-blind, Placebo Controlled Study of Ginkgo Biloba Extract in Elderly Outpatients with Mild to Moderate Memory Impairment" demonstrated a correlation between the thinness of blood and mental function. The brain's ability to function depends on blood flow to the brain. The thinner the blood, the faster and easier it flows and delivers oxygen and nutrients, subsequently boosting mental function. It must be noted that a multitude of blood vessels in the brain are minute and tortuous making them easily blocked by tiny blood clots or by the narrowing of the vessel. With the blood thinning effect of Ginkgo biloba powder, though, blood can easily and rapidly pass through the vessels despite the obstacles which usually become common as one ages. This explains another route this herb takes to enhance cognitive function. This mode of action also gives you reason to take precaution when taking Ginkgo biloba powder together with other blood thinners, like Aspirin and Coumadin. If this is the case, consult your physician.
These findings suggest that old people with age related memory problem will highly benefit from taking Ginkgo biloba powder to boost mental function. But this is just one health benefit of the many that this old tree offers to humankind.