Ginkgo for Depression

As much has been written about Ginkgo, and Ginkgo for depression, (over 300 studies), it is not surprising that it is firmly established in the herbal hall of fame.

Listed as one of the top five herbs consumed throughout the world, it definitely is worth taking a closer look to see what it is supposed to do. Can it provide depression help? Let’s have a look at what all the fuss is about first. What’s in it?

Flavonoids and Terpenoids:

These are the two active ingredients extracted from the leaves of this herbal tree which contribute to Ginkgo for depression help. Flavonoids: This compound acts as an antioxidant and antioxidants are, like antibodies, our body’s sentries. Flavonoids function as antioxidants, like a search-and-destroy mission, to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are destructive and unstable molecules that attach themselves to healthy cells. Although free radicals occur naturally in our system, pollutants and toxins can greatly increase their number. An excessive amount of free radicals can alter a cell’s membrane and DNA resulting in many diseases. The pollutants we ingest cause havoc to our cells resulting in an accelerated release of free radicals. Terpenoids: This compound reduces the stickiness of platelets and dilates blood vessels resulting in better blood flow. What will Ginkgo do for me?

There are many functions of Ginkgo Biloba. It will act as a blood thinner and this will help the blood flow more freely throughout my body. Based on Ginkgo Biloba research, many clinical studies, and due to its ability to improve the circulation and to protect the deterioration of arteries, it is easy to to believe that Ginkgo for depression is one of the many benefits of this herb. It has been shown to have a positive effect on the following: Depression, memory, learning, concentration, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Macular Degeneration (eye deterioration), Intermittent Claudication (pain due to inadequate blood flow to the legs), Tinnitus (ringing sounds in the ears), altitude sickness, asthma, high blood pressure, vertigo, menopause, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, hormone replacement therapy, MS, hemorrhoids, stroke, leg ulcers and varicose veins. Its memory improving qualities, due to increased oxygen flowing to the brain, is one of the main reasons why this herb is so popular. How much should I take?

The general recommended daily consumption is 120mg in divided doses. Most manufactures sell the herb with a ratio of 24-32% Flavanoids (flavone glycosides) and 6-12% Terpenoids (triterpene lactones). The studies have been based on these concentrations. Ginkgo tea is also available, but the above contents may not be as effective as they will be diluted. It may take 4-6 weeks for results to appear. Giving it to children is not recommended.

What’s the bad news?

Doctors complain that their patients, when they visit them, do not reveal the fact that they are taking herbal medicine. Some people have the belief that, as it is natural, it has to be safe. “Natural doesn’t necessarily mean “safe. ”Although Ginkgo Biloba has a high rating in the safety classification, it, like all the other herbs, has some precautions attached for those who might be taking the following medications:

  • Antihypertensive medication: it may decrease blood pressure
  • Anticonvulsant medication: high doses may decrease its effectiveness
  • Blood-thinning Medications: as Ginkgo has blood-thinning properties, taking both may disrupt the therapy
  • Blood sugar lowering medications: Ginkgo has been reported to insulin levels in diabetics
  • Cyclosporine: it may alter the function of this immunosuppressive medication
  • Diuretics: It may interfere with Thiazide diuretics
  • Anti-depressive Medication: Ginkgo may accelerate the effects of these drugs resulting in serious reactions
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking Ginkgo
  • Bleeding complications: avoid Ginkgo before and after surgery

There may be other side effects of Ginkgo Biloba, so it is advisable to check with your doctor first before taking it.

Do I take it?

As I am convinced of the importance of taking Ginkgo for depression, I have recently started to take this herb. However, it is too early for me to comment on my own personal experiences. The detoxification properties of the herb are also attractive and I would also like to improve my memory. My extremities, hands and feet, require more circulation (they are usually cold) so it will be interesting to see if there is improvement in these areas. Overall, Ginkgo Biloba appears to be a nice addition to a detoxification and cleansing program.

Its antioxidant properties help to counteract the toxins we are bombarded with daily. And its many life-supporting attributes suggest that ginkgo for depression could be beneficial. It’s cleansing the body to clear the mind: The Body-mind Connection