(NaturalNews) Over a long period of time, ginkgo biloba has developed a well deserved reputation for its main health benefits associated with improved blood circulation in the body and especially in the brain. Many health practitioners have recognized the medicinal herb's outstanding results when it comes to improving memory and overall brain functions. This explains why Europeans have often favoured using ginkgo biloba in order to treat ailments such as dementia.
The ginkgo leaves contain chemicals (flavonoids and terpenoids) that act as important antioxidants inhibiting the damage free radicals can cause from expanding within your body and cells, something that's even more important as you age. By fighting off these particles, ginkgo biloba's effects help prevent debilitating health conditions such as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
This herb's principal quality is its ability to increase and improve blood flow by dilating blood vessels, therefore its no surprise that various laboratory tests and animal studies showed that its flavonoids protect the nerves, heart muscle, blood vessels and retina from damage.
Studies about Alzheimer's disease and general dementia have shown mixed results so far when compared with placebos, although more research needs to be done in order to validate ginkgo biloba's true worth with such health problems. Up to now, it's more important to note that it does improve thinking, learning and overall cognitive functions; plus it improves social behavior while also reducing feelings of depression.
Does ginkgo biloba's effectiveness compare favourably to drugs for dementia treatment ?
Although there seems to be a lack of faith amongst the medical community in regards to ginkgo biloba's ability to somewhat protect or at least improve on conditions of dementia, a study reported by the European Journal of Neurology showed that it can create neuroprotective effects with neurodegenerative diseases of multifactorial origin.
The study's main purpose was to analyze ginkgo biloba's efficacy in slowing down symptoms of dementia with patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The clinical tests were conducted over a period of 24 weeks, placebo-controlled and randomized. The participants averaged between 50 and 80 years of age, all suffered from dementia but none of them were at an advanced stage. Three groups were formed, the first one was given daily doses of ginkgo biloba, the second, a daily dose of a drug called donepezil, while the last consisted of the placebo group.
The results recorded from this trial clearly showed that ginkgo biloba did display therapeutic effectiveness. The herb's results were at the very least on par with the prescription drug used for this study. Needless to say, when faced with similar results, the medicinal herb always has the advantage of not leaving toxic by-products in the body, which is unfortunately what every drug does. As previously mentioned, more conclusive evidence from serious scientific research is needed in order to truly validate ginkgo biloba's real potential.