Ginkgo fruit in the form of a natural supplement is used in the medical field for several diseases and disorders. There are many documented studies which stress the mental and cardiovascular health benefits of the ginkgo fruit. Ginkgo supplements are safe for healthy individuals to take, and have very few side effects. These ginkgo supplements are available over the counter. People should never attempt to eat the ginkgo fruit or seeds as they occur naturally. Ginkgo is not usually used for children, but healthy adults can use ginkgo daily.
Brain Function: Energy and Mood
Though the ginkgo fruit should never be eaten, nutritional supplements have been made to harness the healing effects of ginkgo on the human body. Ginkgo is a natural energizer, and has shown to increase mood and alertness in healthy people. Studies have shown that the use of ginkgo will stimulate brain function in patients with multiple sclerosis. Use of the ginkgo fruit in these patients has resulted in increased coordination, mental functioning, mood and sensation. Ginkgo supplements have also been used in the treatment of vertigo, or loss of balance, and tinnitus, or a ringing sensation in the ears.
Many studies have shown that regular use of a ginkgo supplement will increase the long and short term memory in healthy individuals. Additional studies have shown the effectiveness of ginkgo on improving the memory of patients with memory loss, dementia and even Alzheimer's. These studies show improvement after a period of four to six weeks of regular dosing. The ginkgo supplement is often prescribed by physicians as additional treatment for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's.
Ginkgo has proven effective at increasing circulation by dilating the blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of blood platelets. Increased circulation to the brain is known to help concentration, which may be one reason why ginkgo improves mental functioning. Some physicians prescribe ginkgo for a painful leg condition which is caused by poor circulation in the legs. Ginkgo is also used to stimulate blood to the genitals, so it is often prescribed by physicians for erectile dysfunction. Ginkgo is found in Viagra, one of the leading medications for erectile dysfunction.
Antioxidant and Healing Agent
Ginkgo is believed to have two different kinds of antioxidant nutrients. Antioxidants limit environmentally induced and naturally occurring free radicals. Free radicals in the human body are partly responsible for the aging process, and many physicians believe there is a strong correlation between excess amounts of free radicals and increased risk of cancer. For this reason, ginkgo is thought to reduce the harmful effects of environmental hazards such as UV rays and air pollution. It has even shown effective at reducing the progression of cancer, heart disease, dementia, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
Do not eat the ginko fruit, pulp or seeds because these are toxic to humans. When using ginkgo as a nutritional supplement follow the manufacturer's directions. People with epilepsy should not use ginkgo without first consulting their family physician. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not use ginkgo. Nursing women should not use ginkgo. Ginkgo use is not recommended for children under the age of 18 without the supervision of a pediatrician.