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The Ginko Tree (Ginko Bilboa)

The Ginko Tree (Ginko Biloba) is indigenous to Korea, China and Japan can be found all over the world. Ginko can grow over 40 meters high and for over a thousand years. There have been fossils dated back as far as 250 million years ago. The herb is the extract from the fan shaped leaves. Some call it the most popular herbal medicine in the world, aimed at “augmenting cognitive functions” such as memory, learning, alertness and mood. Germany uses it officially to treat dimensia. The US National Institute on Aging are testing its effects on alzhiemers.
Most information about effects are based on folklore. The US FDA doesn’t regulate herbal treatments and the manufacturers are not required to test for safety.
The typical daily dose of Ginko is 120 Mg in two or three tablets. The extract contains several flavonoids, a group of natural plant products that have specific chemical structure of carbon rings. Ginko also has bioflavonoids and two different types of terpenes, naturally occurring chemicals that are also found in catnip and marijuana.
There have been many tests without solid, conclusive results. Results that showed slight improvement with alzheimers patients used EGb 761. Most tests, test memory and learning, rather than attention motivation and anxiety. Because most studies have faults this article focused on the most rigorous ones. In 1998 Barry S. Oken of Oregon Health Sciences U. took 50 studies then narrowed them down to 4 with specific criteria, i.e. they had alzheimers, standard Ginko was taken, and a double blind placebo controlled test. This is where neither the tester nor the subject know whether the placebo or ginko was taken. The people that took the Ginko ended up doing 10-20% better than the placebo eaters.
Another large test in Germany showed less beneficial results for Ginko. Other tests in England have shown that Ginko has helped a little with short-term memory. A critical question has yet to be answere…

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