Have you noticed your thinking gets a little fuzzy in the afternoon? Do you wish you could boot up right away in the morning?
Have you tried caffeine or other energy pills or nootropics?
Or do you just want to go with something a little bit more natural?
For thousands of years, ginkgo biloba helped philosophers, monks, and everyday people boost their brainpower and focus. It's gentle and something that is not going to stimulate your system and drive you to exhaustion. Unlike many other brain supplements, this is one for the long term.
What Is Ginkgo And What Does It Do?
The ginkgo biloba tree is native to Asia and produces brilliant yellow leaves in the fall. Most supplements found in the US use an extract of the leaves and seeds of the ginkgo tree, which means this is a sustainable and abundant resource.
Traditional Chinese Medicine used ginkgo for clarity and spiritual purposes. Initially, a tea was made of the leaves and seeds and regularly consumed throughout the day. Today, we use extracts of the leaves because it's easier to standardize the dosing.
Fortunately, it does not take a lot of ginkgo to produce an effect, but it does take time.
Why Gingko Is Right For You
There are a lot of health benefits of the ginkgo. Primarily the ginkgo flavonoids and terpenoids, which are powerful antioxidants, take care of the damaging effects of free radicals, particularly in the brain. These antioxidants also help reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
Inflammation and poor circulation are well-known causes of memory problems, heart disease, pain, and other conditions that affect the brain. Some of the leading research into dementia is looking into how inflammation can predict mental decline.
That's probably why some of the leading geriatric research, especially into memory decline, turn their attention to nutraceuticals, such as ginkgo. Some studies also show that it can help reduce symptoms of depression, Alzheimer's, and dementia, helping to improve brain function and overall memory capacity.
Now, many doctors recommend staying away from anything that stimulates your brain, especially if you have anxiety. But, ginkgo is an exception. Several studies have concluded that ginkgo can help reduce anxiety symptoms, in some cases as much as 45%. They think it's because of the antioxidant effect helping to stabilize memory function.
Other studies and notations from existing studies on brain health show that ginkgo may have an impact on your eyesight and vision. Although it's been difficult to reproduce, some participants reported being able to see better, and migraines and headaches with visual components decrease. This may correlate to Traditional Chinese Medicine using ginkgo as a treatment for headaches and migraines. However, studies don't exist at the moment to support this use.
How To Use Gingko For The Best Results
As we said, ginkgo is not something you're going to feel right away. It takes time for the supplement to start working for you, somewhere around three to four weeks. It builds up slowly in your system, making subtle changes over time. It's once you look back at how you feel after taking it for a while versus before you took it that you'll notice the difference.
Most supplement manufacturers recommend a specific daily dose. Do follow the recommended dose for your particular supplement. Generally, 60 mg per day is a target number. Most supplements will produce a supplement standardized to contain 24% ginkgo flavone glycosides and other terpene lactones. These specific ingredients are what give you the boost.
You can also work with an herbalist to find an exact mix that's right for you. If you choose a supplement from the grocery store, make sure you select one from a company that provides ample testing and certification, so you know you're getting what you pay for.
Overall, ginkgo is an herb that has exceptionally few side effects and many benefits. If you're highly allergic to poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, mango rind, or cashew shell oil, you should use ginkgo with caution. If you have bleeding disorders, use caution. Also, don't go out and eat some ginkgo leaves, as the fresh leaves and seeds are mildly poisonous.
Fortunately, even the people who fall into the categories above who should use caution often can use ginkgo under the advice of an herbalist or naturopath. Overall, ginkgo is generally considered safe for most people, and if you're looking to improve your brain health, this is one herb that is easy to find and proven to work.