Botanical name: Ginkgo biloba
Other names: maidenhair tree
Part used: leaf
Action (karma): antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, astringent, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, circulatory stimulant, diureti, antispasmodic.
Dose: Infuse 1 teaspoon of herb per cup for 5 minutes, taken once a day.
Contraindications: Ginkgo should not be used by people taking mohoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) or by pregnant women without first consulting a doctor.
Ginkgo is the oldest living tree species in the world. This tree of Asian origin has been used in Chinese medicine for over 3000 years. Ginkgo has been found beneficial for treating Alzeimer’s disease, blood flow deficiency to the brain, altitude sickness, senility, hardening of the arteries, blood constriction or clotting, circulatory deficiency and capillary fragility, varicose veins, fatigue, sinus problems, eye inflammation and disease, high blood pressure and memory problems. Maidenhair tree is the oldest living tree species. It is a very large deciduous tree reaching over 50 meters with age, which may span over 3000 years. Ginkgo is regarded as the ancestor of all conifers. It is the only survivor of the Ginkgo family. The trees longevity is deemed to be due to its indestructible qualities, being able to resist attack from diseases, pests and pollution. The leaves can be 6 cm across, their appearance being very similar to maidenhair fern leaves. Trees are dioecious and, therefore, produce male and female flowers on separate trees. The fruit resembles plums, in shape and size, with a smell that is sickly and unpleasant.
Ref: ‘Ayurvedic Medicine by Sebastian Pole; ‘Ayurvedic Pharmacology & Therapeutic Uses of Medicinal Plants’ by Vaidya V.M. Gogte; ‘Yogi of Herbs’ by V. Lad & D. Frawley; ‘Herbs Are Special’ by Isabel Shipard.