Category: medical plant

10+ Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba Include Side Effects and Dosage

Introduction

Ginkgo biloba or maidenhair is a tree native from China that has been grown for thousands of years for a variety of uses.

Because it’s the only surviving member of an ancient order of plants, it’s sometimes referred to as a living fossil.

While its leaves and seeds are often used in traditional Chinese medicine, modern research primarily focuses on ginkgo extract, which is made from the leaves.

Ginkgo supplements are associated with several health claims and uses, most of which focus on brain function and blood circulation.

In this article I would like to explain about ginkgo biloba with subject 10+ benefits of ginkgo biloba include side effects and dosage.

10+ Benefit of Ginkgo Biloba

1. Contains Powerful Antioxidants

Ginkgo is an antioxidant content may be the reason behind many of its health claims.

Ginkgo contains high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids, which are compounds known for their strong antioxidant effects.

Antioxidants combat or neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals.

Free radicals are highly reactive particles that are produced in the body during normal metabolic functions, such as converting food to energy or detoxification. Free radicals also from outside body.

Yet, they also have the potential to damage healthy tissues, contributing to accelerated aging and disease development.

Research on ginkgo’s antioxidant effects is promising. However, it remains unclear exactly how it works and how effective it may be at treating specific diseases.

2. Can Help Fight Inflammation

Inflammation is part of the body’s natural response to injury or invasion by a foreign substance.

In the inflammatory response, various components of the immune system are recruited to fight against the foreign invader or heal the injured area.

Some chronic diseases trigger an inflammatory response even when there is no illness or injury present. Over time, this excessive inflammation can cause permanent damage to the body’s tissues and DNA.

Years of animal and test-tube research shows that ginkgo extract can reduce markers of inflammation in both human and animal cells in a variety of disease states.

Some specific conditions in which ginkgo extract has shown to reduce inflammation include:

  • Arthritis
  • Irritable bowel disease (IBD)
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

While this data is encouraging, human studies are needed before drawing concrete conclusions about ginkgo’s role in treating these complex diseases.

Ginkgo has the ability to reduce inflammation caused by various conditions. This may be one of the reasons it has such broad health applications.

3. Improves Circulation and Heart Health

In traditional Chinese medicine, ginkgo seeds were used to open “channels” of energy to different organ systems, including the kidneys, liver, brain and lungs.

Ginkgo’s apparent ability to increase blood flow to various parts of the body may be the origin of many of its supposed benefits.

One study in people with heart disease who supplemented with ginkgo revealed an immediate increase in blood flow to multiple parts of the body. This was attributed to a 12% increase in levels of circulating nitric oxide, a compound responsible for dilating blood vessels.

Similarly, another study showed the same effect in older adults who were treated with ginkgo extract.

Additional research also points to ginkgo’s protective effects on heart health, brain health and stroke prevention. There are multiple potential explanations for this, one of which may be the anti-inflammatory compounds present in the plant.

More research is needed to fully understand how ginkgo affects circulation and heart and brain health.

Ginkgo can increase blood flow by promoting the dilation of blood vessels. This may have applications for the treatment of diseases related to poor circulation.

4. Reduces Symptoms of Psychiatric Disorders and Dementia

Ginkgo has been repeatedly evaluated for its ability to reduce anxiety, stress and other symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline associated with aging.

Overall, research results are inconsistent in this area.

Some studies show a marked reduction in the rate of cognitive decline in people with dementia using ginkgo, but others fail to replicate this result.

A review of 21 studies revealed that when used in conjunction with conventional medicine, ginkgo extract may increase functional capabilities in those with mild Alzheimer’s.

Another review evaluated four studies and found a significant reduction in a spectrum of symptoms associated with dementia when ginkgo was used for 22–24 weeks.

These positive results could be related to the role that ginkgo may play in improving blood flow to the brain, especially as it relates to vascular types of dementia.

Overall, it’s too soon to definitively state or refute ginkgo’s role in treating dementia, but recent research is beginning to make this piece clearer.

It cannot be concluded that ginkgo treats Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, but it might help in some cases. The chances of it helping seem to increase when used alongside conventional treatment.

5. Improves Brain Function and Well-Being

There is some speculation that ginkgo may enhance brain function in healthy individuals.

A handful of small studies support the notion that supplementing with ginkgo may increase mental performance and perceived well-being.

Results from studies like these have given rise to claims linking ginkgo to improved memory, focus and attention span.

However, a large review of research on this relationship concluded that supplementing with ginkgo did not result in any measurable improvements in memory, executive function or attention capacity.

While supplementing with ginkgo may improve mental capability, there are no guarantees.

Some research shows that ginkgo may improve mental performance in healthy people, but the data is inconsistent.

6. Can Reduce Anxiety

Some research indicates that supplementing with ginkgo may reduce symptoms of anxiety.

A handful of animal studies have observed reductions in anxiety symptoms that may be attributed to the antioxidant content of ginkgo.

In one study, 170 people with generalized anxiety were treated with either 240 mg or 480 mg of ginkgo or a placebo. The group treated with the highest dose of ginkgo reported a 45% greater reduction in symptoms of anxiety, compared to the placebo group.

While supplementing with ginkgo may reduce anxiety, it’s still too early to draw any definitive conclusions from the available research.

Some research shows that ginkgo may help treat anxiety, though this is likely due to its antioxidant content.

7. Can Treat Depression

The Definitive Guide of Ginkgo Biloba Benefits and Side Effects

From Visually.

A review of animal studies suggests that supplementing with ginkgo may help treat symptoms of depression.

Mice who received ginkgo before an unavoidable stressful situation were less emotionally affected by the stress than the group that did not receive the supplement.

The study indicated that this effect was related to ginkgo’s anti-inflammatory properties, which improve the body’s ability to cope when stress hormone levels are high.

Nonetheless, depression is a complex condition that may have a variety of root causes.

More research is needed to better understand the relationship between ginkgo and how it may affect depression in humans.

Ginkgo’s anti-inflammatory effects give it the potential to treat depression. More research is needed.

8. Can Support Vision and Eye Health

Very little research has investigated how ginkgo relates to vision and eye health. However, early results are promising.

One review showed that people with glaucoma who supplemented with ginkgo experienced increased blood flow to the eye, but this didn’t necessarily translate to better vision.

Another review of two studies evaluated the effect of ginkgo extract on the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Some participants reported an improvement in vision, but this wasn’t statistically significant across the board.

Many of these positive results seem to be related to increased blood flow to the eye.

It’s unclear if ginkgo would improve vision in those who don’t already suffer from vision impairment.

More research is needed to determine whether ginkgo can increase vision capacity or slow the progression of degenerative eye disease.

Some early research shows that supplementing with ginkgo may increase blood flow to the eyes but not necessarily improve vision. More research is needed.

 

9. Can Treat Headaches and Migraines

In traditional Chinese medicine, ginkgo is a very popular treatment for headaches and migraines.

Very little research is available on ginkgo’s ability to treat headaches. However, depending on the root cause of the headache, it may help.

For example, it’s well known that ginkgo has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. If a headache or migraine is caused by excessive stress, ginkgo may be useful.

Additionally, if a headache is related to reduced blood flow or constricted blood vessels, ginkgo’s ability to dilate blood vessels may improve symptoms.

On the contrary, some migraines are caused by the excessive dilation of blood vessels. In this situation, ginkgo may have little to no effect.

But these examples are just inferences and don’t substitute hard evidence.

If you want to try ginkgo for your migraines, it’s unlikely that it will cause much harm. Just be aware that it may not necessarily help.

Because of its ability to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation, ginkgo may be an effective treatment for some types of headaches.

 

10. Can Improve Asthma and COPD Symptoms

Some research indicates that ginkgo may improve symptoms of asthma and other inflammatory respiratory diseases like COPD.

This is attributed to the anti-inflammatory compounds in ginkgo, which may allow for reduced inflammation of the airways and increased lung capacity.

One study in 75 people evaluated the use of ginkgo extract alongside glucocorticosteroid medication therapy for managing asthma symptoms.

The levels of inflammatory compounds in the saliva of those who received ginkgo were significantly lower than those who received traditional medication alone.

Another study in 100 people evaluated the use of a mixture of Chinese herbs, which included ginkgo, for treating COPD symptoms.

Those who used the herbal formula reported a considerable reduction in cough and bronchitis at a three-month follow-up, compared to the control group.

At this point, it cannot be determined if this improvement can be attributed to ginkgo alone, or if it was a synergistic effect of the other herbs used in the treatment group formula.

While these results are encouraging, more research on this specific application of ginkgo is needed.

Ginkgo may treat symptoms associated with respiratory diseases because of its anti-inflammatory effects. More research is needed.

 

11. Reduces PMS Symptoms

Preliminary research indicates that ginkgo may help treat both the physical and psychological symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

One study in 85 college students revealed a 23% reduction in reported PMS symptoms when consuming ginkgo.

Interestingly, the placebo group in this study also experienced a slight reduction in PMS symptoms, though it was much lower at 8.8%.

Further research is needed to better understand the cause and effect relationship between ginkgo and PMS symptoms.

Ginkgo may help to reduce PMS symptoms, but more research is needed.

 

12. Treats Sexual Dysfunction

Some sources indicate that ginkgo may treat sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction or low libido.

Ginkgo has the ability to improve blood levels of nitric oxide, which improves circulation via the dilation of blood vessels.

As a result, ginkgo may also be useful for treating various symptoms of sexual dysfunction by improving blood flow to those areas of the body.

Some research has investigated using ginkgo to treat sexual dysfunction caused by the use of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs). Results indicated that ginkgo wasn’t any more effective than a placebo in these cases.

Additionally, there may be an interaction between ginkgo and SSRI medications, which could render them less effective.

One study evaluated the use of ginkgo to increase sexual desire and contentment in women who were concurrently undergoing sexual psychotherapy.

The combination of ginkgo and therapy were effective over a longer term compared to a placebo, but supplementing with ginkgo alone was not.

The rationale for using ginkgo to treat sexual dysfunction makes sense, but research does not support it at this time.

Ginkgo may improve symptoms of sexual dysfunction due to its impact on blood flow. However, research has not proven it to be effective.

 

Potential Side Effects

It’s important to talk to your doctor before including ginkgo in your routine.

For most adults, the risk associated with taking ginkgo is relatively low, but there are cases in which ginkgo could cause serious harm.

If you are allergic to plants that contain alkylphenols or taking certain medications, you should not take ginkgo.

Possible side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Rash/allergic reaction

Ginkgo has the potential to interact unfavorably with certain medications. Some interactions could increase the risk of bleeding.

Possible adverse medication interactions include:

  • Blood thinners (Warfarin, aspirin)
  • SSRIs/MAOIs/antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft)
  • NSAIDS (ibuprofen, Tylenol)

As with any supplement, it’s important to consult your doctor before taking ginkgo biloba and stop use if you develop any negative side effects or adverse medication interactions.

 

Dosage and Supplement Forms

Ginkgo biloba is commercially available in the following forms:

  • Capsules
  • Tablets
  • Liquid extracts
  • Dried leaves/tea

Most of the current research reflects results used with purified ginkgo extract. Do not eat raw ginkgo seeds, as they are poisonous.

One of the limitations of the studies on ginkgo is that they did not use standardized dosing.

However, the bulk of the evidence seems to support the safety of taking 120–240 mg divided into several doses throughout the day.

There is no clearly defined maximum dosage, but it’s wise to start with a lower dose and work your way up to ensure tolerance.

Most research has not evaluated doses greater than 600 mg per day, so it’s probably not a good idea to exceed this amount.

Remember, it can take up to six weeks before you begin to notice any effects.

Ginkgo comes in various forms and seems to be most effective when taken in several doses throughout the day that total 120–240 mg.

 

Summary

Ginkgo biloba has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities and an ability to improve circulation.

Together, these characteristics have the potential to affect numerous body systems and diseases, although the science behind it still has some catching up to do.

While ginkgo has been used for centuries, it’s not completely understood how it works. Much of the available research is inconsistent or inconclusive, and it’s important to keep that in mind.

As with any herbal supplement, there are risks involved. Ginkgo could lead to serious health complications if you are allergic or taking certain medications.

If you’re thinking of including ginkgo in your regimen, be sure to consult your doctor first.

Source:

healthline

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Does Spirulina Health Benefits or Contradiction ? How Much Dosage to Consume?

Introduction of Spirulina

In this article, I would like to explain about Spirulina. Why it become famous now for human live and what is the benefit, contradiction, and dosage to consume.

Spirulina is a blue-green algae, and is believed to be one of the oldest life forms on Earth.

Spirulina first used by the Aztecs as an endurance-booster, spirulina is considered as a superfood — an all-in-one source of nutrients including protein levels comparable to eggs.

The Aztecs also used spirulina to treat various diseases, and legends say that the kingdom’s messengers used the algae to sustain their marathon runs. Modern research supports many of the alleged benefits of taking spirulina, and continues to study its potential for treating health concerns.

Spirulina has a bitter taste, so people often mix it with yogurts, juices, and smoothies to improve its flavor. Spirulina is commonly available as a supplement at health food stores.

 

Spirulina Nutrition Fact Information

One tablespoon of spirulina contains:

  • Calories: 20
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams

Spirulina is a very good source of:

Spirulina also contains magnesium. This mineral supports normal daily functions like muscle use and your heartbeat. It’s also responsible for producing protein and creating energy — but most people don’t get enough in their diet.

Spirulina Health Benefits

Spirulina is a big source of nutrients. It contains a powerful plant-based protein called phycocyanin. Research shows this may have antioxidant, pain-relief, anti-inflammatory, and brain-protective properties.

This antioxidant and other nutrients in spirulina are linked with several health benefits:

Anti Cancer

A lot of herbal plant can be used as anti cancer, including spirulina. Many antioxidants in spirulina have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Chronic inflammation contributes to cancer and other diseases.

Phycocyanin — the a plant pigment that gives spirulina its blue-green color — has been found to not only reduce inflammation in the body, but also block tumor growth and kill cancer cells. The immune-enhancing protein is being studied for its potential in cancer treatment.

Heart Health

Research has found that the protein in spirulina can reduce the body’s absorption of cholesterol, lowering cholesterol levels. This helps keep your arteries clear, reducing strain on your heart that can lead to heart disease and stroke-causing blood clots.

Its protein also reduces triglyceride levels. These are fats in your blood that can contribute to the hardening of arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and pancreatitis.

Spirulina increases nitric oxide production in your body as well, which helps your blood vessels relax. Studies show that this can reduce your blood pressure, lowering your heart disease risk.

Allergy Relief

The anti-inflammatory effect caused by spirulina’s antioxidants may help people with allergies caused by pollen, animal hair, and dust. One study found that symptoms like congestion, sneezing, and itching were reduced significantly in participants, suggesting that spirulina may be a good alternative to allergy medications.

Immune System Support

Spirulina is rich in a range of vitamins and minerals essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, like vitamins E, C, and B6. Research finds that spirulina also boosts the production of white blood cells and antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria in your body.

Laboratory studies show that spirulina can fight herpes, flu, and HIV — though much more research is needed to test these effects in humans.

May Maintain Eye and Oral Health

Spirulina is concentrated with zeaxanthin, a plant pigment that may reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related vision loss.

Its antibacterial properties may also help promote good oral health. One study found that spirulina-enhanced mouthwash reduced dental plaque and the risk of gingivitis in participants. Another study showed it lowered the risk of oral cancer in people who chew tobacco.

Contradiction of Spirulina

Because spirulina is high in nutrient activity, you should talk to your doctor before taking it or any other supplement. It may pose health risks for some people, including:

Toxins

Spirulina harvested in the wild may be contaminated with heavy metals and bacteria. In high amounts, some of these toxins may stress or damage your liver.

Pregnancy Concerns

There is not enough research to suggest blue-green algae is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Because of the toxin risk, doctors recommend that pregnant women avoid spirulina.

Bleeding Disorders

Because spirulina can help reduce blood clotting, it may increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with certain bleeding conditions.

Diabetes

Spirulina might affect blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar when taking spirulina.

Auto-Immune Diseases

Research shows that spirulina can support immune system function, but this could worsen symptoms in people with auto-immune diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, or arthritis. Talk to your doctor before adding spirulina to your diet if you have an auto-immune condition.

Medication Interactions

Spirulina’s health benefits may interact with or counter certain medications’ effects, including those used to treat diabetes, immunosuppressants, and blood thinners.

B12 deficiency

It’s often claimed that spirulina contains high levels of vitamin B 12, but its content is not well-absorbed by the human body. If you have a B12 deficiency — common in people with plant-based diets — you should make sure you’re supplementing from another source.

Spirulina Dosage to Consume

There is not enough scientific data to provide a recommended dose of spirulina. Various doses of spirulina have been used in research.

For example, in several studies examining the benefits of spirulina for high cholesterol, doses of 1-8 grams daily for four weeks to six months has been used. To learn about its effects on hypertension, one study administered a dose of 4.5 grams of spirulina blue-green algae daily for six weeks.7 Another study of type 2 diabetes patients administered a product containing 1 gram of spirulina twice daily for two months.

The appropriate dose for you may depend on factors including your age, gender, and medical history. Speak to your health care provider to get personalized advice.

 

Source:

Wikipedia

WebMD

VerywellHealth

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9 Homegrown Herbal Plants Remedies

Introduction

Labels on store-bought herbs rarely reveal how plants are raised, let alone how long the ingredients are exposed to light and high temperatures while stored in their plastic containers. Grow your own to ensure the best quality and potency of your herbal remedies.

“The primary benefit is being able to develop a relationship with that herb,” according to Jen Bredesen, an herbalist and teacher at the California School of Herbal Studies. Even novice gardeners can concoct simple home remedies such as teas and salves using Bredesen’s list of the top nine easy-to-grow medicinal herbs.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula is also known as pot marigold. It’s a centuries-old antifungal, antiseptic, wound-healing ally. The petals of these cheerful yellow-and-orange daisy-like flowers lend skin-soothing properties to many natural cosmetics and diaper creams.

Calendula is a freely reseeding annual that blooms all season long. It makes a lovely addition to gardens with full sun. Harvest the petals fresh. You can also dry entire blooms — which close in the evening — before they form seeds.

 

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)

Cilantro boasts a unique flavor that people either love or hate. The leaves often garnish Mexican and Thai dishes. The seeds, known as coriander, are a prime ingredient in Indian curries.

Few think of this plant as a medicinal herb, but research shows it’s a powerful digestive aid and may be capable of removing heavy metals and other toxic agents from the body.

Cilantro grows best in a cool, moist garden and will quickly bolt in hot weather. Look for slow bolt varieties from seed companies. Try this recipe for cleansing cilantro pesto.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

The oils, tannins, and bitters in the fragrant leaves and flowers of lemon balm have a relaxing, antispasmodic effect on the stomach and nervous system. It may help fight off viruses such as herpes simplex when used topically, according to a 2008 study.

Lemon balm is tasty and gentle enough for children when prepared in teas or tinctures with a glycerin base.

This calming and uplifting perennial makes a pretty patch of bright green in the garden and is a great plant to grow fresh. The dried herb loses some potency after six months. Try this lemon balm and peppermint infusion.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Spearmint and peppermint are familiar flavors in toothpaste and chewing gum. Both pack a powerfully refreshing zing, but the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) reports that peppermint provides stronger medicine than its more culinary cousin.

When brewed as tea, peppermint may relieve digestive discomforts such as indigestion and vomiting. It can also soothe sore muscles when applied topically as a liquid or lotion.

All mints spread rampantly in a moist garden. Consider growing each plant in its own large pot. Harvest leaves just before flowering. Any longer, and they’ll begin to taste bitter.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary is the great reviver. This perennial woody herb stimulates energy and optimism and sharpens memory and concentration by bringing more oxygen to your brain. It’s a wonderfully stimulating alternative to caffeine when you need that second wind.

A row of these long-lived and drought-tolerant plants makes a beautiful, bee-friendly evergreen hedge. You may only need one plant in your garden — a little goes a long way.

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

Mullein’s soothing properties may help heal bronchial respiratory infections. The leaves are commonly added to cough formulas.

Give this handsome and stately biennial plenty of space, and stand back in wonder. The sturdy, yellow-flowered stem will emerge from within a rosette of thick, hairy leaves, reaching skyward nearly 6 feet.

 

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

This groundcover’s delicate stems and tiny leaves belie the tremendous power attributed to it by Europeans in the Middle Ages. Many believed in the herb’s ability to heighten bravery and ward off nightmares.

Modern herbalists rely on the antibacterial and antiseptic properties of thyme’s oils to prevent winter colds and flu. Many cultivars exist beyond the straight species, including sweet-tasting citrus varieties that are perfect tummy remedies for children.

Lavender (Lavandula)

Long recognized for its sweet perfume, lavender also boasts medical benefits as a mild antidepressant that may also benefit your nervous system, according to some studies. Add lavender oil to your bath to alleviate stress, tension, and insomnia. It’s also used in creams to treat sunburns and acne.

Woody lavender plants prefer hot, sunny, and dry environments. The fresh flowers are tasty in small doses when added to salads, honey, butter, lemonade, and even shortbread cookies. If you’re crafty, try sewing up an herbal heating pad or eye pillow with the fragrant dried flowers.

German chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Delicate, apple-scented chamomile demonstrates that mild doesn’t mean ineffective. It’s primarily grown for its small, yellow-bellied flowers.

The NCCIH reports that chamomile is one of the best herbs for treating colic, nervous stress, infections, and stomach disorders in children. In fact, it was chamomile tea that Peter Rabbit’s mother fixed for him after his stressful chase in Mr. McGregor’s garden!

 

Plants as Medicine

Now you know about nine herbal plants as medicine and remedial healing. We hope that you always healthy and start to plant one or two type of the herbal plants as we explained above.
These easy-to-grow herbs bring health benefits to your garden as well as your family. Many attract beneficial insects, including bees. They can also help repel harmful pests from more sensitive plants nearby.

Be sure to choose plants that suit the light, water, and temperature conditions of your garden. For example, rosemary, lavender, and mullein are best for warm, dry spots in full sun. Cilantro and mint prefer rich, moist areas with shade.

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