Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba L. (Ginkgoaceae)

English name: Maiden hair tree.

Vernacular name: Hin : Balkuwari.

Trade name: Ginkgo.

Traditional use: Seeds: expectorant and sedative.

Modern use: Tanakan (active principle of plant extract) : effective in induced cerebral ischemia in rats; Tebonin (a preparation containing leaf extract) : used in cardiovascular disorders, increased cerebral blood circulation, Parkinson's disease; Nut (extract) : antibacterial against Mycobacterium smegmatis.

Recently Ginkgo is rapidly gaining recognition as a brain tonic that increases memory and boosts oxygen level in brain. It regulates neurotransmitters, increases blood flow and metabolism. It reduces migraine and vertigo. It may be useful in mental disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Recently a pill containing extracts from Ginkgo has been launched for eliminating excess fat (cellulite) in women.

Phytography : Tree with pyramidal form, reaching a height of 30 m; leaves petiolar, lamina fan-shaped, bilobed; dioecious; mature seeds orange-coloured and are about the size of an apricot.

Phenology: Flowering and Fruiting: Summer.

Distribution: Darjeeling (West Bengal).

Ecology and cultivation: Native of China, cultivated in Indian gardens, particularly on hills.

Chemical contents: Root-bark: Ginkgolides A, B, C & M; Plant: bilobalide, bilobanone sesquiterpene; Leaf: flavonols, biflavonoids, diterpenes, sesquiterpene bilobalide A, β-sitosterol, ginkgolides A, B & C, shikimic acid, sequoyitol, 1,5-MeO­bilobetin; Fruit: anacardic acids, ginnol, bilobols, cardanols.

Remarks: Chinese consume Ginkgo seeds. Endosperm of roasted seed is edible and kernel is highly nutritious. It is believed that regular consumption of Ginkgo preparation staves of ravages of age and checks senility.Ginkgo is a contemporary of dinosaurs of the Jurassic period. Because of its primitive characters, it is known as living fossil. It is a native of Chekiang in East China. It is grown by the Buddhist monasteries of China and Japan as a sacred tree. The plant was introduced into Europe in early 18th Century and later in America. Only a few trees occur in India. Perhaps it does not exist in the wild today. Because of its nutritional and medicinal properties, it is receiving increased attention. Commercial cultivation of this species should be endeavoured in India. If appropriate measures for conservation of this important medicinal species are not taken, it is destined to be extinct in the near future.


Writer-South Asia said...

Dear Brother. Where I can get the Ginkgo biloba Seeds from India

BSJ said...

HI Brother,

we can supply the leaves, interested send mail to

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