There indeed is no defying the constraints of age! With time, alongside the skin, and the different organs within the body, one thing that gets affected with age is our brain functioning and memory capacity. Although it’s quite a normal process and one cannot outrun the age-related memory loss, it can very well be averted or at least postponed for a long time. Hence, it is extremely necessary to add brain foods to the diet from a young age as it chiefly helps in honing cognitive skills. Be it for reinforcing focus and concentration, improving memory or protecting the brain from degeneration, people are always on the lookout for home remedies and herbal cures. Well, much to our respite, Mother Nature has bestowed humankind with a plethora of herbs, spices, and foods that are imbued with immense medicinal properties that boast of nutrition and wellness. One such truly miraculous herb from the heart of China that mimic the qualities of Brahmi is Gingko Biloba.

Also Check out: Ginkgo Biloba: Amazing Brain Boosting Benefits Of This Herb- Infographic
Ginko Biloba

What Is Gingko Biloba?

Ginkgo biloba a.k.a Maidenhair tree is a medicinal herb imbued with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that extensively promotes holistic healing for the entire body. The plant is native to China and is widely cultivated and used largely for its multiple used as a medicine as well as a source of food. Imbued with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, platelet-forming and circulation-boosting qualities, Ginkgo biloba enhances cognitive function, promotes positive mood, treats anxiety, remedies depression, prevents age-related memory loss, impedes macular degeneration, deals with eye problems, diminishes asthma, manages PCOS etc.

How To Identify Gingko Biloba Tree?

Ginkgo biloba is a large tree of deciduous origin that normally attains a height of 66–115 ft, with some specimens in China being over 165 ft. The tree usually has an angular crown and long, uneven branches, with deep roots that make the plant resistant to wind and snow damage. The leaves are unique having a fan-shaped structure with veins radiating out into the leaf blade. They are usually green but turn bright yellow in autumn. Ginkgo biloba is a dioecious plant, with separate sexes, i.e., some trees are female while others are male.

Geographical Distribution And Habitat Of Gingko Biloba

This endangered plant species is widely cultivated in small areas in Zhejiang province in eastern China, in the Tianmushan Reserve, Southwestern China and eastern Biloba. And nowadays, it is even cultivated in other nations due to its enormous health benefits.

The plant usually thrives well in acidic soils with a good drainage system.

Historical Importance Of Gingko Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is of great importance as according to studies it is one of the last living species in the order Ginkgoales, which first appeared over 290 million years ago. Fossils quite identical to the living species, belonging to the Gingko genus, date back to the Middle Jurassic period approximately 170 million years ago, hence Gingko biloba is coined as Fossil Tree.

Also Read: Sage: 5 Stunning Health Benefits Of The Memory Boosting Herb

Common Names Of Gingko Biloba

Although native to mainland China, Ginkgo biloba extracts and supplements have found their way to several other nations as well owing to its enormous health benefits. Some of its common names include:

Salisburia Adiantifolia, Japanese Silver Apricot, Kew Tree, Maidenhair, Abricot Argente Japonais, Baiguo, Extrait de Ginkgo, Fossil Tree, Graine de Ginkgo, Herba Ginkgo Biloba, Adiantifolia, Arbre aux Ecus, Arbre du Ciel, Arbre Fossile, Bai Guo Ye, Tree, Yen Xing, Yinhsing, Noyer du Japon, and Pei Go Su Ye.

Nutritional Components Of Gingko Biloba

Ginkgo biloba showcases a wealth of pharmacological components. At least 40 components are isolated from the leaf extract. Some of which include phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins, flavonoid glycosides, such as kaempferol, myricetin, isorhamnetin and quercetin, and the terpene trilactones, ginkgolides and bilobalides. The leaves also contain unique constituents like ginkgo biflavones, alkylphenols, and polyprenols. Out of these pharmacological components, only two have medicinal properties which are: flavonoids and terpenoids. Flavonoids are chiefly plant-based antioxidants that boost the nerves, blood vessels, heart muscles and the retina; while Terpenoids are known to enhance the flow of blood throughout the body. The extract isolated from Gingko also comprises small amounts of vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and B Vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. It is also a repository of minerals like potassium, calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc and many more minerals.

Ayurvedic Indications

Since ancient times, this plant extract has found its way into several Chinese folk remedies. Even the timeless remedial science of Ayurveda mentions the use of this herb in several health conditions including:

  • Medhya (memory booster)
  • Rasayana (rejuvenates the body)
  • Vamana (Vomiting)
  • Deepana (enhances stomach fire)
  • Pachana (helps in digestion)
  • Rochana (stimulates appetite)
  • Kusthahara (treats skin disease)
  • Shothahara (reduces inflammation)
  • Hridaya (treats heart problems)
  • Shwasha (treats respiratory woes)
  • Chakhushya (treats eye problems)
Ginkgo Biloba ayurveda

Health Benefits Of Gingko Biloba

Enhances Cognitive Abilities

Gingko biloba is a traditional remedy to increase the functioning of the brain. The potent antioxidants and flavonoids present in it enhance the memory capacity, concentration, focus, calmness, and alertness of an individual. Being a brain tonic and stimulator, Gingko extracts and supplements have promoted remembrance, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities. The neuroprotective components in this herb prevent loss of memory and relieve the brain tissues from anxiety and related symptoms.

Curtails Mental Fatigue

Mental fatigue can be defined as a condition of excessive and prolonged cognitive activity. It primarily occurs due to excessive working of the brain cells while using a computer, watching television for hours, learning or memorizing activities, etc. and causes a person to lose concentration and feel sluggish. Gingko biloba is a powerful memory booster that helps in strengthening the brain's working capacity and diminishes loss of alertness and attention.

Remedies Depression

Owing to the powerful anti-stress, anti-depressive and anti-anxiety properties of the herb, Gingko supplements are extremely beneficial for treating different types of psychotic problems like dementia, depression, uneasiness, etc. It balances the brain chemicals i.e., neurotransmitters and ups the secretion of dopamine which in turn maintains the level of serotonin in the body under control and helps to decrease various symptoms of anxiety which includes restlessness, uneasiness, cold hands and feet, profuse sweating, etc. and helps in de-stress the mind and body.

Nurtures Cardiac Functions

Gingko biloba plays a key role in treating various heart ailments due to its strong antioxidative nature. It fortifies the heart muscles and prevents lipid build-up in the blood vessels. The bioactive components in the extract reduce the levels of non-esterified fatty acids in the blood i.e., NEFA, and hence curtails the risk of heart attacks, heart blocks, blood clots, cardiac arrests etc. It is also significant in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood and helps in preventing atherosclerosis.

Prevents Age-Related Diseases

Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action and apoptotic effect on the DNA of the mitochondria, Gingko extract extensively helps in cellular regeneration and hence plays a significant role in preventing and managing age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, age-related memory loss, Age-related macular degeneration etc.

Subsides Headache

Gingko biloba is pivotal in providing relief from chronic headaches, tension, etc. Normally, headache stems due to excessive workload, stress, anxiety, etc. It vastly soothes irritated nerves, calms the brain and enhances nerve functions.

Also Read: Five Common Types Of Headaches: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Augments Skin Health

Ginkgo supplements or cosmetic products induced with this herb extract are packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants. The skincare products act as a natural remedy for several skin problems including rashes, acne, pimples,  cuts, and scars. It also prevents oxidative sun damage, treats various signs of ageing such as wrinkles, blemishes, spots, pigmentation and fine lines and promotes healthy, glowing rejuvenated skin.

Dosage Of Gingko Biloba

The exact healing dosage of Gingko biloba supplements may alter from person to person depending upon the age, the severity of the ailment and the condition of the patient. One must discuss it with a doctor or medical practitioner, as he or she will thoroughly examine the implications of the disease and prescribe a helpful dosage.

Adults: 1-2 tablets, twice a day, or as suggested by the medical professional

Side Effects

Loaded with an array of brain-enhancing components, Gingko is extremely beneficial in prescribed quantities and doesn't show any side effects. But if it is consumed in excess, it can cause bleeding problems, headaches, palpitations, stomach upset, heaviness in the abdomen, diarrhoea, indigestion, constipation, and skin allergies.


Studies show that Gingko extract can induce uterine contraction hence it is strictly recommended to avoid taking it during pregnancy as it can lead to preterm delivery it abortion. Lactating mothers are also advised against it as it can get secreted through the breastmilk and cause problems in the newborn.


Gingko biloba is a traditional medicinal herb honoured with umpteen health benefits. It holds high significance in enhancing memory capacity, improving concentration, memorizing capabilities, and dealing with mental fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, etc. If taken in an adequate dosage, one can navigate away from the side effects and enjoy the innumerable health benefits.