History: The Ginkgo Tree is is believed to be the oldest living tree species and is the only living tree of its genus. Threatened with extinction during the ice age, the Ginkgo Tree survived in China, where it was considered sacred and used medicinally. The Ginkgo Tree was introduced in Europe and North America as an ornamental tree and it continues to be a popular tree along city streets and in parks. Today the Ginkgo Tree is one of the most widely used, studied and prescribed herbal medications.
Modern Uses: The Commission E approved the internal use of ginkgo for for symptomatic treatment of disturbed performance in organic brain syndrome within the regimen of a therapeutic concept in cases of dementia syndromes with the following principal symptoms: memory deficits, disturbances in concentration, depressive emotional condition, dizziness, tinnitus, and headache. The primary target groups are dementia syndromes, including primary degenerative dementia, vascular dementia, and mixed forms of both.
Improvement of pain-free walking distance in peripheral arterial occlusive disease in Stage II according to Fontaine (intermittent claudication) in a regimen of physical therapeutic measures, in particular walking exercise.
(c) Vertigo and tinnitus (ringing in the ear) of vascular and involutional origin.
The World Health Organization reiterated the Commission E approved uses noted above, adding the following specific conditions to peripheral arterial occlusive disease: Raynaud's disease (intermittent blue coloring of extremities due to restricted blood flow with no known direct cause, i.e., idiopathic, other than possible cold or emotion), acrocyanosis (i.e., Crocq's disease: persistently poor circulation to hands and sometimes the feet, resulting in cold, blue, sweaty condition), and post phlebitis syndrome (painful swelling of veins) (WHO, 1999).
Active Ingredients: flavonol and flavone glycosides, lactone derivatives (ginkgolides), bilobalide, ascorbic acid, catechin, iron-based superoxide, 6-hydroxykinuretic acid, protocatechuic acid, shikimic acid, sterols and vanilic acid
Actions: neuroprotective agent, antioxidant, a free-radical scavenger, a membrane stabilizer, endothelium, relaxation, inhibition of age-related loss of muscarinergic cholinoceptors,