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Ginkgo Biloba: The Fountain of Youth?

Gingko Biloba

WebMD Feature

Ginkgo biloba is an herb that has received acclaim as a memory enhancer and anti-aging product. It's now among the ten most popular dietary supplements sold in the United States.

Ginkgo's History

Although it has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for lung disorders, ginkgo extract has more recently been used in Europe and North America against the symptoms of aging. It is believed to stimulate circulation and oxygen flow to the brain, which can improve problem-solving and enhance memory.

Effects of Ginkgo

  • May increase blood flow in cerebrovascular disease
  • May improve poor circulation in the limbs
  • Improves memory and alertness
  • Improves communication, orientation and mobility
  • Improves symptoms of vertigo and tinnitus

Other Effects

In a group of older people with mobility problems, ginkgo improved pain-free walking distance by as much as 30 percent. Long-term ginkgo use appears to reduce cardiovascular risks. It has also been shown to improve the cognitive function of Alzheimer's Disease patients.