Gingko Biloba and ED
Erectile dysfunction, or the inability to maintain and sustain an erection for sexual activity, affects more than half of all men at some point in their life. Treatment for erectile dysfunction comes in a variety of forms, many of which require prescription medication, injections and therapy. However, there are also some natural remedies, many of which have been used for thousands of years. Ginkgo biloba, for example, is proven to be effective against erectile dysfunction in as many as 84 percent of male subjects. By understanding a little more about ginkgo biloba and its history, men may be able to use it for their own medical problems such as erectile dysfunction.
What is Ginkgo Biloba?
Ginkgo biloba is a large tree that can grow up to 50 feet in height. From afar, it looks similar to a pine tree or a fir, but it is typified by unusual branches that stick out at odd angles and come in varying lengths even without pruning. The leaves of the ginkgo tree are dark green, but they turn a bright yellow color in the autumn before falling off the branches entirely. The leaves are unique thanks to their fan shape, which is unusual on such a large tree. Because of these leaves, the ginkgo tree is often called the maidenhair tree after the similarly shaped leaves of the maidenhair fern. In fact, the latter half of the tree’s name, biloba, is due to the shape of the leaves: Bis is Latin for two, and loba is Latin for lobed, characterizing the distinct shape of the tree’s leaves.
Although evidence suggests that ginkgo trees were once found around the world naturally, they are now found primarily in China. The trees grow best in environments with silty soil, plenty of water and adequate drainage. Even the soil has to have a specific pH balance in order for the ginkgo tree to thrive. While the overwhelming majority of ginkgo biloba trees come from Southern China, many farmers in Europe and North America have begun cultivating ginkgo biloba in order to use it for commercial purposes.
Thanks to a high level of natural antioxidants throughout the trees, ginkgo biloba seeds, leaves and even bark are used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. However, it is primarily the leaves that are harvested commercially. The branches of the ginkgo tree are bent slightly, often with a carved wooden cane made specifically for this purpose, and the leaves are stripped form each branch by hand. This is a labor-intensive process, but it is necessary in order to collect the greatest amount of leaves from the ginkgo tree.
Historical Use of Ginkgo Biloba
Fossils of ginkgo biloba date back as far as 270 million years, highlighting just how long the tree has been in existence. Millions of years ago, the leaves may have been consumed whole or boiled as a source of food. In China, ginkgo biloba was cultivated as early as 500 A.D. after its health properties were discovered. Europeans first encountered ginkgo biloba in the 17th century while exploring Japan, and soon afterwards demand for the leaves of the tree grew around the rest of the world.
Interest in ginkgo biloba rose drastically in 1859, when Charles Darwin referred to the tree as a living fossil because of its age. It was brought to the United States in the 18th century, where it became a favorite among architects like Frank Lloyd Wright as well as botanists and medical professionals. However, it was not appreciated for its medicinal purposes on a large scale outside of Asia until recently.
Unsurprisingly, given where the majority of ginkgo biloba is grown, it remains most popular in China, where it is the official national tree. In Japan, the ginkgo tree is the official symbol of the capital city of Tokyo. Ginkgo biloba is consumed throughout Asia, but its popularity is also well documented in the United States, Europe, Africa and South America. Ginkgo biloba is consumed for antioxidant purposes, as a boost to the immune system and even for the taste alone.
Ginkgo Biloba and Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
Ginkgo biloba has always had strong ties to sexual health, but it is only in recent years that it has been embraced in the western world as an alternative to erectile dysfunction prescription medication. There are several theories as to how ginkgo biloba can improve sexual health in men, but the primary two revolve around a lift in mood and energy and increased circulation in the body.
One study revealed that as many as 84 percent of men who consumed ginkgo biloba on a regular basis saw an improvement in sexual performance and enjoyment. Although these numbers are not indicative of the results of all studies, they highlight the potential effectiveness of herbs and other natural remedies in the fight against erectile dysfunction. Men who have trouble achieving an erection, getting physically aroused or sustaining their erection for the desired amount of time might appreciate these ginkgo biloba benefits.
The main way that ginkgo biloba can improve erectile dysfunction is through increased circulation in the body. In order for a man to achieve an erection, there needs to be adequate blood flow to the penis as well as enough pressure to retain blood within the penis throughout sexual activity, all of which requires a healthy, functioning circulation system. While there are many drugs that can improve circulation, few are as natural as ginkgo biloba. Since ginkgo biloba can improve the body’s circulation, it may lead to easier erections for men and more sexual satisfaction for them as well as their partners. Some studies also show that ginkgo biloba can enhance nitric oxide, which relaxes artery walls and is the same function of most oral prescription medicines for erectile dysfunction.
It is important to remember that not all erectile dysfunction is physical in nature. Erectile dysfunction can also be psychological and rooted in thoughts, feelings or even sexual trauma. Men who are depressed may find that they are unable to be motivated to enjoy sexual activity, and they may also struggle to achieve an erection. Although this is clearly a psychological cause, ginkgo biloba can still be incredibly helpful. The antioxidants found in ginkgo biloba can potentially reduce depression and increase energy levels, both of which may be helpful when it comes to lifting libido and enhancing sexual enjoyment.
Ginkgo Biloba Treatment Types and Dosage
Ginkgo biloba as a performance enhancer is certainly gaining traction in the medical community, and there are several ways that individuals can consume ginkgo biloba. While many of the people who take ginkgo biloba are men, it is worth noting that many of the most favorable ginkgo biloba reviews come from women. Ginkgo biloba can help women sexually by helping lubrication to increase, helping libido to rise and helping energy levels to soar. The following are some of the most common ways to use ginkgo biloba as a treatment for erectile dysfunction or increased sexual pleasure.
• Ginkgo Biloba Tablets and Capsules: One of the fastest growing ways to take ginkgo balboa is in pill form. In these tabs or capsules, dried and finely ground ginkgo biloba leaves or dehydrated ginkgo biloba extract is mixed with bulking powders or silica. Ginkgo biloba pills are often preferred by users because they are portable, quick and easy to consume, and don’t need to be temperature controlled.
• Ginkgo Biloba Teas: The leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree have been used to brew teas for thousands of years. While the leaves can be used to create an extract, it is also possible to buy the dried leaves and steep them in hot water to create a warm and tasty beverage that is packed with health benefits. Many people consume ginkgo biloba tea as a way to easily ingest more antioxidants, but it can certainly also be an effective way to treat erectile dysfunction. Ginkgo biloba tea has a distinct taste that not everyone appreciates, but it can be flavored with fruit, honey, sugar or milk to be more palatable if desired.
• Ginkgo Biloba Liquids: Finally, it is possible to buy ginkgo biloba extract in liquid form. Generally, this will come in a small bottle of two or three ounces containing only ginkgo biloba extract. When mixed with diluting agents it can be cheaper, but the effectiveness of the ginkgo biloba might not be as potent. The most common way to administer ginkgo biloba in liquid form is to have one or two drops under the tongue. Although the taste is not particularly pleasant, consuming ginkgo biloba this way is quick and contains no additional fillers or silicone.
While the ginkgo biloba dosage individuals decide to take depends on body size, desired effects and any personal medical recommendations from a physician, most studies use upwards of 120 milligrams of ginkgo biloba per day. When self-administering ginkgo biloba, it is best to start with a lower dosage of between 100 and 200 milligrams of ginkgo biloba daily and work upwards until the desired effects are reached. However, it is recommended that no more than 600 milligrams of ginkgo biloba are taken daily as research for these large amounts have not yet been conducted on a wide scale.
It is not necessary to visit a doctor or get a prescription in order to buy or use ginkgo biloba. Since ginkgo biloba is used for many different health purposes ranging from memory improvement to altitude sickness in addition to the treatment of erectile dysfunction, it is not controlled in any way. However, anyone already on a prescription medication or treatment plan for erectile dysfunction might want to speak with his or her doctor before beginning consumption of ginkgo biloba on a regular basis.
Risks and Contraindications of Taking Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is used widely among adults and even children, and there are few very side effects when compared to almost any prescription medication. However, there are still some risks and side effects involved as well as a few contraindications.
When it comes to ginkgo biloba, side effects are minimal. Some of the most common reported side effects of consuming ginkgo biloba include dizziness, nausea, a skin rash and an upset stomach. Intestinal discomfort can often be avoided by taking a different form of ginkgo biloba or taking the ginkgo biloba along with food at mealtimes rather than on an empty stomach.
There are also some contraindications that users should beware of before taking ginkgo biloba. Since it can increase blood circulation, it may not be suited for anyone who already takes a blood thinning medication. Ginkgo biloba may also be contraindicated for anyone who is prescribed antidepressants or diabetes medications. While ginkgo biloba can be used in conjunction with many medicines, it is always best to speak with a medical professional first and disclose any existing treatment methods.
For millions of years, ginkgo biloba has thrived around the world. After the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, the only plant to grow in the entire area during the following year was a ginkgo biloba tree. This tree has countless health benefits, just one of which is the potential to treat erectile dysfunction. Whether consumed in pill, tea or liquid form, ginkgo biloba may be able to increase sexual satisfaction for both men and women.