The ginkgo biloba tree, also known as the Maidenhair Tree, 'fossil tree', or 'living fossil', is a unique species with no living relatives. Fossils of this tree show that it has been in existence for more than 200 million years, making it the oldest surviving tree on earth. The tree originally comes from China, where it is known as yin-hsing, considered sacred among the Chinese monks. It is also found in Asia, America, Australia, and Europe, though how it got there is still a mystery.
Some believe that traders from China carried them across continents as gifts. All parts of the tree, like the leaves, seeds, fruits, and bark have been used for many years to treat various ailments, and have proved to be beneficial for overall health and wellness.
The tea is made from the whole or cut leaves by infusing them. This herbal tea contains plenty of antioxidants, and can be prepared in the same way as other green teas, either with or without milk or other herb infusions.
This tea has many health benefits, as the infused leaves contain several important flavonoids, such as kaempferol, quercetin, and isorhamnetin, among other things.
- This herbal tea helps stimulate and enhance blood and peripheral arterial circulation, essential for the proper functioning of the overall body. It is known to provide relief in diseases like Reynaud, which are caused due to restricted blood flow to the fingers and toes.
- Medical conditions like blood clogging are also inhibited by this tea, as it helps in reducing blood coagulation, headaches, and cramps. It also reduces clogging of the arteries by cholesterol, preventing formation of plaque, and thereby protecting one from heart diseases.
- It is known to slow down overstimulation of platelet activating factor (PAF), as excess production of PAF results in various inflammatory and immune diseases, such as brain damage.
- Some claim that it helps in the treatment and healing of hearing disorders like tinnitus, which are caused due to nerve damage and blood vessel disorders. However, this is still controversial and under research.
- It is believed to elevate mood and reduce lethargy. Some call it the smart herb, as it imparts a sense of well-being and mental alertness. It also helps control and treat allergic inflammations like eczema and asthma.
- Both Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurveda believe that the ginkgo biloba herb is useful in the treatment of disturbed mental equilibrium. It enhances brain functioning and oxidation of the blood, and can be used to effectively treat anxiety, mood swings, depression, hormonal imbalances, and infertility in certain cases.
- Its potent antioxidants slows down and curtails free radicals, which are responsible for premature aging and dementia. As it helps improve memory, it is also used to treat age-related diseases like Alzheimer's disease, strokes, and memory loss.
Associated Side Effects
As with all herbs, overdose is harmful. Patients using antidepressants and anti-clotting medications are not advised to take this tea. Pregnant women are also prohibited from taking gingko, due to its abortive properties. Other side effects include headache, nausea, and gastro intestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting.
This tea is easy to prepare, full of health benefits, and a 'natural' alternative to your normal everyday cup of tea.