Ginkgo biloba.

Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 23:55:51 MDT
Sender: "Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list <HERB.TREARN.BITNET>
From: Michael Moore <hrbmoore.EINET.COM>
Subject: Re: Ginko Biloboa

>note: the clinical research on efficacy of Ginkgo all utilized extracts which are standardized to 24% of the heteroside flavonoids. In order to get a therapeutically effective concentration of flavonoids from an alcohol tincture of Ginkgo, the equivalent dose of 1 oz. q.d. would contain tannins in concentrations able to cause gastrointestinal distress.

Sorry, but I beg to differ with you. Most of the original French clinical trials were, in fact, made with a pure ethanolic 1:5 extract of the leaves, using a percolated product, and STILL show better results, especially with tinnitis, than the "Standardized" European pharmaceuticals. As a "green" herbalist, who feels only connected to plants that I can personally get my grubbies on, I revel in this little fact. In reality, some botanicals are better dispensed in "standardized" pharmaceuticals, but, since this takes away the whole point of being an herbalist, (my definition) i avoid using plants that need pharmaceutical reductionism. They may be perfectly fine medicines, and, because they come from plants, I am likely to view them fondly, BUT THEY AINT HERBS! Ginkgo biloba, however, for most of its proven uses, does fine in crude, non-pharmaceutical, non-standardized, galenic preparations. If you wish the specific study citations, I would be glad to supply them, direct from Farnsworth's database, NAPRALERT.

Further, the tendency to use Ginkgo in a frivolous fashion, i.e. to compensate for poor study habits in undergraduate students by acting as an alleged "brain food" is likely, for many, to induce a frontal headache...from increased interocular pressure. This doesn't show up on the European studies, using whatever plant source, because these studies were made with folks who NEEDED the cerebral vasodilation effects, even with the several control-group studies. Ginkgo was NOT studied in regards its effects on perfectly normal, cerebral-competent folks looking for "brain-food", and reluctant to admit that they hadn't studied the boring shit they were supposed to be responsible for. Some third-year medical students here in Albuquerque tried Ginkgo in cramming for their orals...and got headaches. So it goes.