Ginkgo biloba is a unique and beneficial tree, gracing streets and providing a multitude of health benefits. The oldest living tree species on earth; it is virtually unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. Used for centuries by traditional Chinese medicine, it has taken the forefront in Western herbalism. It is one of the most widely used and effective herbs. Although the Chinese used the leaves primarily for lung disorders, in the West, the emphasis has been on the remarkable ability of this herb to increase the blood flow, especially to the brain.
Gotu kola is another herb with centuries of traditional use in China and by the ayurvedic healers of India. It is used traditionally to treat skin disorders and to rejuvenate the nerves and brain cells. This potent herb has an ancient tradition of increasing longevity. It is used fresh in salads and dried in teas to increase general wellbeing. In the West, attention has been focused on the herbs ability to improve memory, counteract the effects of Alzheimer’s, and treat skin disorders.
Both of these ancient herbs, each with centuries of documented use for many health benefits, may be most effective if taken together, especially for their benefits to the circulatory system, nerves, and brain function. An in depth discussion of the many benefits of both herbs will help make a decision to use these healing herbs at the same time.
The herbal extract of ginkgo is taken from the fan-shaped leaves of this ancient tree. It is now the most widely used herbal therapy for degenerative disorders of the brain and central nervous system including memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and brain damage caused by toxins. German researchers have known for decades that ginkgo is effective in alleviating the effects of dementia, depression, and toxin-caused brain damage. One of the most interesting effects of ginkgo is its ability to increase blood circulation to the brain. This allows the brain to receive vital oxygen and nutrients, one of the reasons ginkgo is so beneficial to brain functioning.
It also acts as a powerful antioxidant, particularly benefiting the brain, the eyes, and the cardiovascular system. Ginkgo has been used effectively to stop ringing in the ears and degeneration of the retina in the eye, due to its ability to improve circulation by opening microcapillaries and its antioxidant effects. Antioxidants are capable of stopping the disastrous chain reactions of oxidative stress caused by free radicals. These damaging actions are now held responsible for many of the debilitating signs of aging.
In addition to its benefits to the brain, ears, and eyes, gingko has also been found to reduce anxiety and stress. In a study determining the benefits of ginkgo for age related mild dementia, it was found that ginkgo also alleviated depression.
This powerful herb has been used to battle tumor development as it helps to oxygenate the body, making a hostile environment for tumor growth. It may reduce the risk for heart attacks and strokes by interfering with cholesterol deposition in blood vessels.
Using gotu kola in combination with the circulatory enhancing benefits of ginkgo may cause a synergistic action that increases the benefits from gotu kola. This herb has traditionally been used in India to increase brain functioning. It is commonly used by students before tests to improve both mental clarity and alertness. Research has been carried out to determine its effectiveness in treating Alzheimer’s and memory loss.
Long used to treat skin disorders, this herb has potent anti-inflammatory action. This action also makes it a popular herb for alleviating the pain of arthritis. It is beneficial in treating cellulite, the puckered fat beneath the surface of the skin. Gotu kola is used in creams to help psoriasis, wound healing, and the prevention of excess scar tissue.
One of the most interesting uses of gotu kola is as a general health tonic meant to extend the years of good health long into old age.