Treatments - Ginkgo Biloba
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What is Ginkgo Biloba?

Ginko Biloba (also known as Maidenhair Tree) is one of the oldest used herbs available. Its first use probably occurred in China around 2800 BC for its beneficial effects on memory and concentration The medicinal parts are derived from the fresh or dried leaves. The active ingredient is believed to be ginkolide B that inhibits platelet-activating factor (PAF). Ginkgo also appears to enhance blood flow to the brain, thus improving concentration, memory, and absent-mindedness in the elderly.

What are the Uses of Ginko Biloba?
Dementia - There have been more than 55 double-blind clinical trials showing Gingko's favorable effects on vascular insufficiency and age related decrease in brain function, including post-menopausal forgetfulness.

Flint AJ (Can J Psychiatry 1998 Sept; 43 (7): 689-97) stated that ginkgo biloba is “associated with a statistically significant but clinically modest improvement in cognitive function in a substantial minority of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.” Wesnes (1997) reported improved heart rate and cognition using a ginkgo biloba and ginseng combination for 90 days in 64 healthy adults. A 2002 study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA.2002; 288:835-840) however, did not find Ginkgo beneficial to facilitate learning, memory, attention and concentration after 6 weeks in participants with average age of 68 using ginkgo 40 milligrams three times daily.

Peripheral Occlusive Arterial Disease - Peters, et al (Vasa 1998 May; 27(2):106-10) concluded that treatment with a ginkgo extract in patients with occlusive arterial disease “is very safe and causes a significant and therapeutically relevant prolongation of the patients' walking distance.”

What is the rcommended Preparation/Dosages?
The ginkgo extract should contain 24% flavone and 6% terpene lactones. Dosages vary according to manufacturer. Traditionallly, 40 - 120 milligrams three times a day is used.

What about Side Effects?
There are occurrences of side effects in standard dosages. Mild nausea and blood pressure problems have been reported. Avoid concomitant use with other blood thinning agents such as aspirin, heparin, coumadin, or large doses of vitamin E.

Are there any Contraindications?
Known hypersensitivity to Ginkgo preparations. Also, patients with know risk factors for intracranial hemorrhage should avoid the use of Ginkgo Biloba, due to a case report of subarachnoid hemorrhage associated with the herb. It is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding.