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Ginkgo biloba is one of the most well-known traditional Chinese medicines, and there are many reasons why this is the case. The Chinese people have used the leaves of this tree for medicinal purposes for over 1000 years.
This dioecious tree (a tree that has both male and female specimens and cannot reproduce on its own) contains within its leaves active constituents such as flavonoid glycosides and ginkgolides (unique diterpenes). The unique diterpenes present in the Ginkgo extracts are known as strong inhibitors of platelet activating factors.
Over the years, clinical studies have been able to demonstrate that through therapy with ginkgo biloba extracts, medical practitioners have recorded improvements in patients suffering from various disorders and illnesses. Amongst the list of disorders where ginkgo can have a positive therapeutical effect are the following: Alzheimer's disease, failing memory, age-related dementia, glaucoma, autism, congestive symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, altitude sickness, poor cerebral blood flow, and ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder).
It's due to Ginkgo's potent antioxidant benefits, and capacity to improve peripheral and cerebral blood circulation, that it is used primarily for the alleviation of the symptoms derived from cerebrovascular dysfunctions as well as disorders of peripheral vascular nature.
The Ginkgo biloba leaf extract has also been used for the amelioration of symptoms connected to poor blood circulation. These include leg pain when walking (or claudication) and Raynaud's syndrome (a strong and painful reaction to cold, especially in body extremities - toes and fingers).