The versatility of Ginkgo biloba
The existence of Ginkgo biloba on Earth has been documented for about 200 million years, being considered by scientists as a "living fossil".
This plant is among the dear ones of the medicinal world, being one of the best sellers in the world!
Its benefits are many, and are basically due to a number of secondary metabolites that are present in it, such as terpenoids, polyphenols, allyl phenols, organic acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids, inorganic salts and amino acids, and bioactive ones such as terpene trilactones and glycoside flavonoids, which are considered to be responsible for pharmacological activities.
Of the many benefits of this plant, are described in the literature:
- To be a vasoregulatory agent, able to reduce blood viscosity and increase blood flow;
- To be an antiplatelet agent;
- To have a vasodilatory effect;
- To be a preventor of neurotoxic conditions;
- To reduce tissue necrosis induced after spinal cord injury, with significant improvement in functional performance;
- Improve concentration and memory in elderly patients, or with anxiety and depressive illnesses, dizziness and tinnitus.
Recently, a Brazilian study investigated the action of G. biloba extract on fracture healing.
The studied model showed, radiologically and histopathologically, that the compound generates significant differences in the healing of fractures, with 21 and 35 days after the fracture.
This effect occurs because G. biloba is an antagonist of platelet aggregation factors, has antioxidant properties, removes free radicals from the environment, provides vascular relaxation and increases blood supply and tissue oxygenation, reducing blood viscosity. Increased blood supply at the fracture site leads to higher concentrations of mediators and cytokines, which aid in the healing of fractures.
These findings support the suspicion that G. biloba causes accelerated bone formation, but has no significant effects on union or final remodeling.
The dosages indicated for each benefit to be realized with the use of G. biloba are not yet certain, but we see a great advance in the scientific proof of the benefits cited by the lovers of this ancient plant.
SINGH, Bikram et al. Biology and chemistry of Ginkgo biloba. Fitoterapia, [s.l.], v. 79, n. 6, p.401-418, set. 2008. Elsevier BV. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fitote.2008.05.007.
GUZEL, Nizamettin et al. Ginkgo Biloba improves bone formation during fracture healing: an experimental study in rats. Acta Ortopédica Brasileira, [s.l.], v. 25, n. 3, p.95-98, jun. 2017. FapUNIFESP (SciELO). http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1413-785220172503156966.