Ginkgo, or Ginkgo biloba, is a tree native to China. It’s a very old species of tree. In fact, ginkgo fossils date back 270 million years. It’s also a plant with a long history in traditional medicine. As a result, Ginkgo biloba benefits are some of the most varied, not to mention well-known of herbal treatments.
Why ginkgo is considered an aphrodisiac
Today the plant is probably best known as a memory booster, (more on this later). But what I’m most interested in is its reported ability to increase blood flow.
Can Ginkgo biloba treat erectile dysfunction?
You may have heard that ginkgo is particularly beneficial to men. Ginkgo was used in traditional Chinese medicine to open what were called channels of energy to different systems in the body.
Today we understand that it’s gingko’s ability to positively impact blood flow that impacts these “channels.” Based on clinical studies, it appears that ginkgo increases nitric oxide levels in blood. (Nitric oxide is key to achieving and maintaining an erection.) This is one of the greatest Ginkgo bilobo benefits to men, not to mention a primary reason for its aphrodisiac reputation. (It should be mentioned that ginkgo biloba erectile dysfunction study results are mixed and it’s something to discuss with your doctor if you think ginkgo might be a solution for you.)
Additional ginkgo health benefits
Ginkgo contains flavonoids, known for their antioxidant benefits. You may have heard of Ginkgo biloba’s benefits to skin? Well, that’s because of the high antioxidant content. The antioxidants have the power to neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals. (Free radicals are associated with accelerated skin aging.) Here’s a little additional information on free radicals and your skin.
Can Ginkgo biloba improve mood?
Another Ginkgo biloba benefit is that it’s believed to increase dopamine. (Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which plays an important role with how we feel pleasure.) One study demonstrated that it alleviated oxidative stress, which allowed the body to increase dopamine production. But this study was done in a test tube.
Other studies, performed on rats, show promise that this herb can have a positive impact on mood but more research is required for conclusive results. This is one of the additional benefits of ginkgo that has the potential to give your love life a boost. After all, it’s next to impossible to get in the mood if you’re in a bad mood. But please read the section on ginkgo side effects below before taking the plunge.
Gingko bilobo effects on eyes, anxiety and more
Research also exists to demonstrate Ginkgo biloba’s benefits to eye health, brain function and may be useful in treating anxiety, vertigo, PMS, asthma and possibly even migraines. But what may currently be the most popular use for this herbal supplement, Ginkgo biloba is used to improve memory.
Gingko biloba for improving memory
A search for Ginkgo biloba pills will turn up dozens of results of medications promoting improved memory. However according to Web MD, most experts don’t find Ginkgo biloba good for treating the decline in memory that occurs naturally with age. It also isn’t valued in treating the memory loss that often occurs with cancer treatment. However it does show some promise of aiding those with mild Alzheimers, when used in conjunction with medication.
The side effects of Gingko biloba
Unlike most of the noted aphrodisiacs I recommend, ginkgo isn’t one you’d normally cook with or eat raw. Ginkgo leaf extract is most commonly taken as a capsule. Some experts have a concern that gingko leaf tables could increase risk of liver cancer. But not enough is known about dosage to truly understand this potential risk.
Because ginkgo extract thins blood, there is a concern that, taken regularly, it can cause excess bruising or bleeding. Gingko leaf extract can also cause allergic skin reactions in some individuals. (This reaction is caused by taking ginkgo tablets orally. Little information is known about the effects of applying ginkgo topically.) In addition, if you are trying to get pregnant, Ginkgo biloba may interfere with fertility.
In conclusion, Ginkgo is a plant with some interesting potential for boosting health, particularly sexual health, naturally. But before you start taking ginkgo tablets or even Ginkgo biloba tea, check with a medical potential to make sure you’re not at risk for any potential ginkgo side effects.
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