Dried Chinese Ginkgo Biloba Fruits Nut Ginkgo Biloba Ginkgo biloba acceptable variant gingko and also known as the maidenhair tree, is a unique species of tree and is the only extant taxon in the division Ginkgophyta. The ginkgo is a living fossil, recognisably similar to fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated and was introduced early to human history. It has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food. Ginkgos are large trees, normally reaching a height of 20–35 m (66–115 feet), with some specimens in China being over 50 m (164 feet). The tree has an angular crown and long, somewhat erratic branches, and is usually deep rooted and resistant to wind and snow damage. Young trees are often tall and slender, and sparsely branched; the crown becomes broader as the tree ages. During autumn, the leaves turn a bright yellow, then fall, sometimes within a short space of time (one to 15 days). A combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes ginkgos long-lived, with some specimens claimed to be more than 2,500 years old. Ginkgo is a relatively shade-intolerant species that (at least in cultivation) grows best in environments that are well-watered and well-drained. The species shows a preference for disturbed sites; in the “semiwild” stands at Tian Mu Shan, many specimens are found along stream banks, rocky slopes, and cliff edges. Accordingly, ginkgo retains a prodigious capacity for vegetative growth. It is capable of sprouting from embedded buds near the base of the trunk (lignotubers, or basal chi chi) in response to disturbances, such as soil erosion. Old individuals are also capable of producing aerial roots on the undersides of large branches in response to disturbances such as crown damage; these roots can lead to successful clonal reproduction upon contacting the soil. These strategies are evidently important in the persistence of ginkgo; in a survey of the “semiwild” stands remaining in Tianmushan, 40% of the specimens surveyed were multistemmed, and few saplings were present. The leaves are generally used to make “extracts” that are used as medicine. However, a few medicines are made from the seed, but these are not well studied. Ginkgo is often used for memory disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. It is also used for conditions that seem to be due to reduced blood flow in the brain, especially in older people. These conditions include memory loss, headache, ringing in the ears, vertigo, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and hearing disorders. Some people use it for other problems related to poor blood flow in the body, including leg pain when walking (claudication), and Raynaud’s syndrome (a painful response to cold, especially in the fingers and toes). Ginkgo leaf is also used for thinking disorders related to Lyme disease and depression. Some people use ginkgo to treat sexual performance problems. It is sometimes used to reverse the sexual performance problems that can accompany taking certain antidepressants called SSRIs. Ginkgo been tried for eye problems including glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The list of other uses of ginkgo is very long. This may be because this herb has been around for so long. Ginkgo biloba is one of the longest living tree species in the world. Ginkgo trees can live as long as a thousand years. Using ginkgo for asthma and bronchitis was described in 2600 BC. In manufacturing, ginkgo leaf extract is used in cosmetics. In foods, roasted ginkgo seed, which has the pulp removed, is an edible delicacy in Japan and China. Remember, though, the whole seed is LIKELY UNSAFE to eat. Ginkgo interacts with many medicines. Before taking it, talk with your healthcare provider if you take any medications. Ginkgo seems to improve blood circulation, which might help the brain, eyes, ears, and legs function better. It may slow down Alzheimer’s disease by interfering with changes in the brain that interfere with thinking. Ginkgo seeds contain substances that might kill the bacteria and fungi that cause infections in the body. The seeds also contain a toxin that can cause side effects like seizure and loss of consciousness.