Tag Archives: Premenstrual syndrome

Evening Primrose

Botanical Name : Oenothera biennis
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Oenothera
Species: O. biennis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms: Weedy evening-primrose, German rampion, hog weed, King’s cure-all, and fever-plant

Common Names: Evening Primrose Oil , Night Willow-herb ,Common evening primrose or Evening star

Habitat :Oenothera biennis is  native to eastern and central North America, from Newfoundland west to Alberta, southeast to Florida, and southwest to Texas, and widely naturalized elsewhere in temperate and subtropical regions.

Description:
Oenothera biennis has a life span of two years (biennial) growing to 30–150 cm tall. The leaves are lanceolate, 5–20 cm long and 1–2.5 cm broad, produced in a tight rosette the first year, and spirally on a stem the second year.

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Blooming lasts from late spring to late summer. The flowers are hermaphrodite, produced on a tall spike and only last until the following noon. They open visibly fast every evening producing an interesting spectacle, hence the name “evening primrose.”

The blooms are yellow, 2.5–5 cm diameter, with four bilobed petals. The flower structure has an invisible to the naked eye bright nectar guide pattern. This pattern is apparent under ultraviolet light and visible to its pollinators, moths, butterflies and bees.

The fruit is a capsule 2–4 cm long and 4–6 mm broad, containing numerous 1–2 mm long seeds, released when the capsule splits into four sections at maturity.

Cultivation:
The mature seeds contain approximately 7–10% gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid.

Edible Uses:
Its leaves are edible and traditionally were used as a leaf vegetable

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: oil from seeds

Constituents:  fatty acids :gamma linolenic 9.2%,linoleic 74.6%,oleic 6.7%, palmitic 6.2%
It is used in * Cancer Prevention * Eczema * Hypertension * Nerve/Back Pain * PMS * Rheumatoid_arthritis

Evening primrose seeds contain a fragrant oil that plays an important part natural health. The seed oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that the body uses to manufacture a prostaglandin vital to soothing inflammation and supporting the immune system. It also helps keep the blood flowing freely, reduces high blood pressure, plays a role in reducing breast cancers1,and lowers cholesterol.

Evening primrose oil is a prized oil in aromatherapy skin care because of its many health benefits.

Evening primrose grown in the garden provided access to the fresh stems and leaves which are demulcent and soothing both to irritated skin and for an irritable stomach. 3

The O. biennis seed oil is used to reduce the pains of premenstrual stress syndrome and is beneficial to the skin of the face.[citation needed] Also, poultices containing O. biennis were at one time used to ease bruises and speed wound healing.

 

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oenothera_biennis
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail79.php

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Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)

Botanical Name :Vitex agnus-castus
Kingdom: Plantae
Family: Lamiaceae
Common Name : Vitex, Chaste Tree, Chasteberry, or Monk’s Pepper.
Genus: Vitex
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Vitex
Species: V. agnus-castus

Habitat :This plant is native of the Mediterranean region.Southern Europe, in woodlands and dry areas

Description:
Deciduous shrub, up to 20 feet tall (6 m), 20 feet wide (6 m); palmately compound leaves, 3 to 4 inches wide (7.5-10 cm) with 5 to 7 fingerlike leaflets, reminding of Marijuana (Cannabis spp.)

Vitex leaves are hand-sized and consist of five to seven fingers that are dark green above and silvery underneath. While fairly drought resistant, Vitex grows faster and looks lovelier when watered regularly. Grape-colored flowers cover long panicles that can elongate up to 12 inches. Starting in early summer, flowers begin opening from the bottom of the flower stem and continue up the stem over the course of four or five weeks until the bush is completely blanketed in eye-popping bloom. Harvesting these flowers early in the bloom cycle is the best way to preserve them for craft use. They may be used fresh or hung upside down in small bunches for drying.
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As the flowers of summer fade, small dark purple berries follow. In the past these berries have been dried and used as a rather weak substitute for pepper and as an ingredient in Mediterranean spice mixtures. In the 6th century, the ground dried berries were touted as a must for monks trying to maintain their vows of chastity (thus, the common name Monk’s Pepper). Vitex is now considered a vital herb for regulating and relieving menstrual problems and infertility. For a good discussion of the medicinal properties of Vitex,  check in Andrew Chevalier’s book The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. This book will guide you through the steps of  harvesting and preparing remedies from your garden.

Lavender or white flowers in the spring. They are followed by dry capsules with a peppery smell.

Dark green foliage, moderate littering. The name of Chaste Tree comes from the fact that when used as tea it was supposed to reduce sexual desire. Actually, modern studies show that some of the compounds in the leaves inhibit the action of males hormons. The species name “agnus-castus” comes from the Greek and Latine for “chast”.

Vitex, also a traditional plant in Africa, is a little-known fruit plant that has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.

Cultivation: Vitex agnus-castus is widely cultivated in warm temperate and subtropical regions for its aromatic foliage and flowers. It grows to a height of 1-5 meters. It requires full sun or partial shade along with well-drained soil.

Propagation: Seeds or cuttings, cuttings have the advantage of a known flower color.

Constituents: acubin, agnuside, casticin, chrysophanol d, alpha- and beta-pinene, isovitexin and vitexin.


Medicinal   Actions  & use

Herbal medicine
The leaves and tender stem growth of the upper 10 cm (4 inches), along with the flowers and ripening seeds, are harvested for medicinal purposes. The berries are harvested by gently rubbing the berries loose from the stem. The leaves, flowers, and/or berries may be consumed as a decoction, traditional tincture, cider vinegar tincture, syrup, elixir, or simply eaten straight off the plant as a medicinal food.A popular way of taking Vitex is on awakening as a simple 1:1 fluid extract, which is said to interact with hormonal circadian rhythms most effectively.

The berries are considered a tonic herb for both the male and female reproductive systems. The leaves are believed to have the same effect but to a lesser degree.

This plant is commonly called monk’s pepper because it was originally used as anti-libido medicine by monks to aid their attempts to remain chaste. It is believed to be a male anaphrodisiac, hence the name chaste tree. There are disputed accounts regarding its action on female libido, with some claims that it is anaphrodisiac and others that it is aphrodisiac.

It has also been used as a carminative and an anxiolytic.

Back in the 17th century, herbalist Gerard wrote that the seeds and leaves helped with pain and inflammation of the uterus.  The hormonelike substances found in the seeds help to correct female hormonal imbalances, such as those that can occur during menopause, premenstrual syndrome, or menstruation, and also help dissolve fibroids and cysts.  German researchers suggest the berries increase production of luteinizing hormone and prolactin. Another study adds the increase of the hormone progesterone to the list.  The seeds do stimulate mother’s milk flow as shown in a clinical study when 100 nursing mothers taking chaste seeds were compared to those who were not.  Christopher Hobbs suggests its use during the first 3 months only of pregnancy to help prevent miscarriage and, with ginger, to allay morning sickness.  Chaste berries can help regulate periods when there is excessive or too frequent bleeding.  It also reestablishes normal ovulation after contraceptive pills have been used.  In women without ovaries, chasteberry appears to lessen extremes of hormonal imbalance, perhaps through indirect effects on the endocrine system, liver and circulation. Women with PMS with significant depression should probably steer clear of chasteberry.  Some research suggests that PMS with depression is caused by excess progesterone, and chasteberry is said to raise progesterone levels.  Chasteberry may help some women trying to conceive if infertility is due to low progesterone levels.  Most of the research has been done on a chaste berry extract called Agnolyt.  When 53 women with excessive bleeding and short menstrual cycles were given this product, 65% showed improvement and about 47% were cured.  Those over age 20 experienced the most improvements.  Other studies with Agnolyt found the chaste berry helps control acne in both young women and young men

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Clinical evidence

Clinical studies have shown its beneficial effects in the management of premenstrual stress syndrome (PMS). and infertility. The use of extracts of the plant is recommended in Germany.

Its mechanism of action is not well known. A study has found that treatment of 20 healthy men with higher doses of Vitex Agnus-castus was associated with a slight reduction of prolactin levels, whereas lower doses caused a slight increase as compared to doses of placebo. A decrease of prolactin will influence levels of Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen in women; and testosterone in men.

Chemical analysis
Flavonoids, alkaloids, diterpenoids, Vitexin, Casticin and steroidal hormone precursors have been isolated from the chemical analysis of Vitex agnus-castus. It is believed that some of these compounds work on the pituitary gland which would explain its effects on hormonal levels. A study has shown that extracts of the fruit of VAC can bind to opiate receptors; this could explain why intake of VAC reduces PMS discomforts.

Current uses
Vitex Agnus-Castus is used as an Alternative medicine to alleviate symptoms of various gynecological problems:-

*PMS
*Galactagogue. This use is disputed.
*Potential as an Insect repellent.
*No clinical studies
*Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
*Uterine fibroids
*Menopause
*Infertility
*Luteal phase defect

It is used in some supplements for male bodybuilders as a secondary component because of its effects on testosterone levels.

Contraindications:  It is recommended that Vitex agnus-castus be avoided during pregnancy due to the possibility of complications.

Other types uses:
*Historical uses, uses outside the scope of medicine.

*Galactagogue, historical usage in very low concentrations and not advisable today. However one recent study did find “Oral administration of 70 mg/kg/day of Vitex agnus-castus extract in lactation stages, significantly increased serum prolactin, compared with the control group of rats.”

*Potential use as an insect repellent
Used in supplements for male bodybuilders as a secondary component because of its effects on testosterone levels

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Verbenaceae/Vitex_agnus-castus.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitex_agnus-castus
http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/vitagnus.htm
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail213.php

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)

Botanical Name:Angelica sinensis.
Family: Apiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Apiales
Genus: Angelica
Species: A. sinensis

Synonyms:American angelica, Angelica acutiloba , Angelica archangelica , Angelica atropurpurea , Angelica dahurica , Angelica edulis , Angelica gigas , Angelica keiskei , Angelica koreana , Angelica polymorpha var. sinensis Oliv. , Angelica pubescens , Angelica radix, Angelica root, Angelica silvestris , Angelique, Archangelica officinalis Moench or Hoffm, beta-sitosterol, Chinese Angelica, Chinese Danggui, Danggui, Dang Gui®, Danggui-Nian-Tong-Tang (DGNTT), Dang quai, Dong Kwai, Dong qua, Dong quai extract, Dong quai root, Dong qui, dry-kuei, engelwurzel, European angelica, European Dong quai, Female ginseng, FP3340010, FP334015, FT334010, garden angelica, Heiligenwurzel, Japanese angelica, Kinesisk Kvan (Danish), Kinesisk Kvanurt (Danish), Ligusticum glaucescens franch, Ligusticum officinale Koch, Ligustilides, phytoestrogen, Qingui, radix Angelica sinensis , root of the Holy Ghost, Tan Kue Bai Zhi, Tang Kuei, Tang Kuei Root®, Tang kwei, Tang quai, Tanggui (Korean), Tanggwi (Korean), Toki (Japanese), wild angelica, wild Chin quai, women’s ginseng, Yuan Nan wild Dong quai, Yungui.

Common Name : Dang Gui – Dong Quai – Chinese Angelica
Other Names: Angelica sinensis, Chinese angelica, dang gui, tang kuei

Habitat :Dong Quai  is native to China, Japan, and Korea.  It grows on high ground in cool and damp areas of western and north-western China. Forests.

Description: Dong Quai is a perennial herb , growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.7 m (2ft 4in)  The herb produces white flowers with a green hue that bloom from May to August, and the plant is typically found growing in moist mountain gullies, meadows, along river banks and in coastal areas.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile. The root of the Dong Quai plant has a number of medicinal appications.

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Dong Quai, or traditionally known as Chinese Angelica, is commonly used for treating conditions in females in both America and China. Traditional Chinese medicine, frequently refers to Dong Quai as female ginseng.

Dong quai comes in tablet, liquid extract, and raw root forms. In Chinese medicine, dong quai is often boiled or soaked in wine. The root is removed and the liquid is taken orally.

Medicinal Uses:

Often called “the female ginseng.”  Though dong quai has no specific hormonal action, it exerts a regulating and normalizing influence on hormonal production through its positive action on the liver and endocrine system.  It has a sweet and unusually thick pungent taste and is warming and moistening to the body.  Chinese angelica is taken in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a tonic for “deficient blood” conditions, anemia and for the symptoms of anemia due to blood loss, pale complexion, palpitations, and lowered vitality.  Chinese angelica regulates the menstrual cycle, relieves menstrual pains and cramps and is a tonic for women with heavy menstrual bleeding who risk becoming anemic.  Since it also stimulates menstrual bleeding, other tonic herbs, such as nettle, are best taken during menstruation if the flow is heavy.  It is also a uterine tonic and helps infertility.  Chinese angelica is a “warming” herb, improving the circulation to the abdomen and to the hands and feet.  It strengthens the digestion and it also is useful in the treatment of abscesses and boils.  Research has shown that the whole plant, including the rhizome, strengthens liver function and the whole rhizome has an antibiotic effect.  In China, physicians inject their patients with Dong quai extract to treat sciatic pain.  Clinical trials show that when this extract is injected into the acupuncture points used to treat sciatica, about 90% of people receiving treatment report significant improvement.
In Chinese medicine, different parts of the dong quai root are believed to have different actions – the head of the root has anticoagulant activity, the main part of the root is a tonic, and the end of the root eliminates blood stagnation. it is considered the “female ginseng” because of its balancing effect on the female hormonal system. However, studies have not found dong quai to have hormone-like effects.

*Menopause
*Weakness after childbirth
*Women’s tonic
*Chronic nasal or sinus congestion
*PMS, painful menstruation
*Irregular menstrual bleeding
*Fibroid tumors
*High blood pressure
*Blood tonic
*Fibrocystic breast disease
*Rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
*Anemia
*Allergies
*Constipation
*Shingles
*Hepatitis
*Headache

In Chinese medicine, Dong quai is most often used in combination with other herbs, and is used as a component of formulas for liver qi stasis and spleen deficiency. It is believed to work best in patients with a yin profile, and is considered to be a mildly warming herb. Dong quai is thought to return the body to proper order by nourishing the blood and harmonizing vital energy. The name Dong quai translates as “return to order” based on its alleged restorative properties.

Although Dong quai has many historical and theoretical uses based on animal studies, there is little human evidence supporting the effects of Dong quai for any condition. Most of the available clinical studies have either been poorly designed or reported insignificant results. Also, most have examined combination formulas containing multiple ingredients in addition to Dong quai, making it difficult to determine which ingredient may cause certain effects.

Other Uses:    This plant is said to contain vitamin B12

Chinese
Its drying root is commonly known in Chinese as Radix Angelicae Sinensis, or Chinese angelica is widely used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat gynecological ailments, fatigue, mild anemia and high blood pressure. Chinese angelica possesses the distinction of being one of the few good non-animal sources of Vitamin B12, along with some varieties of yeast and microalgae like spirulina. It has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and sedative effects. The plant’s phytochemicals consist of coumarins, phytosterols, polysaccharides, ferulate, and flavonoids.

It is also used as an aphrodisiac.

Possible Side Effects and Safety Concerns
Dong quai should not be used by people with bleeding disorders, excessive menstrual bleeding, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, or during infections such as colds and flu. Call your health practitioner if you experience bleeding, unusual bruising, diarrhea, or fever.

Dong quai may contain estrogen-like compounds and should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, children, or people with breast cancer.

People taking blood thinners (anticoagulants) such as warfarin should not use Dong quai.

Dong quai should not be used during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. It should also not be used during breast-feeding.

Dong quai can cause photosensitivity, so people should limit sun exposure and wear sunblock.

Prohibition
Being a uterine tonic and hormonal regulator this herb is an effective herb for female reproductive system. It is often used in premenstrual syndrome formulas as well as menopausal formulas. However, this herb is not recommended during pregnancy due to possible hormonal, anticoagulant, and anti-platelet properties. Animal research has noted conflicting effects on the uterus, with reports of both stimulation and relaxation. Dong quai is traditionally viewed as increasing the risk of miscarriage.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dong_quai
http://www.nutrasanus.com/dong-quai.html
http://altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/DongQuai.htm

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Angelica+sinensis

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Saffron May Ease PMS Symptoms

Saffron, a spice known for flavouring cuisine, might also offer an antidote to premenstrual syndrome, a small study suggests.

It’s thought that the spice might influence depression symptoms via effects on the brain chemical serotonin. Because alterations in serotonin activity are suspected in PMS, a team of Iranian researchers decided to study whether saffron supplements might help relieve these symptoms.

M Agha-Hosseini and colleagues at Tehran University of Medical Sciences randomly assigned 50 women to take either saffron capsules or a placebo twice a day over two menstrual cycles. The women, had all had PMS symptoms for at least six months.

At the end of the treatment period, three-quarters of the women on saffron capsules reported at least a 50% reduction in PMS symptoms.

That compared with only 8% of women in the placebo group, the researchers report in the medical journal
BJOG. In addition, the researchers found, 60% of the saffron group showed a 50% improvement in depression symptoms.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Ginko Biloba

Ginkgo is the oldest living tree species on the earth, dating back to the time of the dinosaurs.It is native to northeast Asia. Medically its leaves used to prevent slow memory loss associated with aging. It has various other medical uses.

Etymology:

A folk etymology for the word says that, the Japanese characters used to write ginkgo look as though they could be read ginkyō, and this was the name Engelbert Kaempfer, the first Westerner to see the species in 1690, wrote down in his Amoenitates Exoticae (1712). However, his y was misread as a g, and the misspelling stuck
The Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba; in Chinese), frequently misspelled as “Gingko”, and also known as the Maidenhair Tree, is a unique tree with no close living relatives. It is classified in its own division, the Ginkgophyta, comprising the single class Ginkgoopsida, order Ginkgoales, family Ginkgoaceae, genus Ginkgo and is the only extant species within this group. It is one of the best known examples of a living fossil. In the past it has also been placed in the divisions Spermatophyta or Pinophyta. Ginkgo is a gymnosperm: its seeds are not protected by an ovary wall. The apricot-like structures produced by female ginkgo trees are technically not fruits, but are the seeds having a shell that consists of a soft and fleshy section (the sarcotesta), and a hard section (the sclerotesta).

For centuries it was thought to be extinct in the wild, but is now known to grow in at least two small areas in Zhejiang province in eastern China, in the Tian Mu Shan Reserve. However, ginkgo trees in these areas may have been tended and preserved by Chinese monks for over 1000 years. Therefore, whether native ginkgo populations still exist is uncertain

Ginkgos are medium-large deciduous 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 often 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 (1–15 days). A combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes ginkgos very long-lived, with some specimens claimed to be more than 2,500 years old: A 3,000 year-old ginkgo has been reported in Shandong province in China (Lewington and Parker, 183).

Some old Ginkgos produce aerial roots, known as chichi (Japanese; “nipples”) or zhong-ru (Chinese), which form on the undersides of large branches and grow downwards. Chichi growth is very slow, and may take hundreds of years to occur. The function, if any, of these thick aerial roots is unknown.

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Ginkgo branches grow in length by growth of shoots with regularly spaced leaves, as seen on most trees. From the axils of these leaves, “spur shoots” (also known as short shoots) develop on second-year growth. Short shoots have very short internodes (so that several years’ growth may only extend them by a centimeter or two) and their leaves are ordinarily unlobed. They are short and knobby, and are arranged regularly on the branches except on first-year growth. Because of the short internodes, leaves appear to be clustered at the tips of short shoots, and reproductive structures are formed only on them (see picture to above left— seeds and leaves are visible on short shoots). In Ginkgos, as in other plants that possess them, short shoots allow the formation of new leaves in the older parts of the crown. After a number of years, a short shoot may change into a long (ordinary) shoot, or vice versa.

The leaveslare unique among seed plants, being fan-shaped with veins radiating out into the leaf blade, sometimes bifurcating (splitting) but never anstomosing to form a network. Two veins enter the leaf blade at the base and fork repeatedly in two; this is known as dichotomous venation. The leaves are usually 5-10 cm (2-4 inches), but sometimes up to 15 cm (6 inches) long. The old popular name “Maidenhair tree” is because the leaves resemble some of the pinnae of theMaidenhair fern Adiantum capillus-veneris.

Leaves of long shoots are usually notched or lobed, but only from the outer surface, between the veins. They are borne both on the more rapidly-growing branch tips, where they are alternate and spaced out, and also on the short, stubby spur shoots, where they are clustered at the tips. During summer the leaves are a deep green, turning to brilliant yellow in the autumn. They generally remain yellow for a time, then suddenly drop most of their leaves in a short period.

Medical uses
The extract of the Ginkgo leaves contains flavonoid glycosides and terpenoids (ginkgolides, bilobalides) and has been used pharmaceutically. It has many alleged nootropic properties, and is mainly used as memory enhancer and anti-vertigo agent. However, studies differ about its efficacy. Some controversy has arisen over the conclusions drawn by some studies that were allegedly funded by a firm which marketed Ginkgo. Slate, an Internet-based magazine owned by The Washington Post Company, reported in April 2007:

Ginkgo biloba has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Today, it is one of the top selling herbs in the United States.

Ginkgo is used for the treatment of numerous conditions, many which are under scientific investigation. Available evidence demonstrates ginkgo’s efficacy in the management of intermittent claudication, Alzheimer’s/multi-infarct dementia, and “cerebral insufficiency” (a syndrome thought to be secondary to atherosclerotic disease, characterized by impaired concentration, confusion, decreased physical performance, fatigue, headache, dizziness, depression, and anxiety).

Although not definitive, there is promising early evidence favoring use of ginkgo for memory enhancement in healthy subjects, altitude (mountain) sickness, symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and reduction of chemotherapy-induced end-organ vascular damage.

Although still controversial, a recent large trial has shifted the evidence against the use of ginkgo for tinnitus.

The herb is generally well tolerated, but due to multiple case reports of bleeding, should be used cautiously in patients on anti-coagulant therapy, with known coagulopathy, or prior to some surgical or dental procedures.
In 2002, a long-anticipated paper appeared in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) titled “Ginkgo for memory enhancement: a randomized controlled trial.” This Williams College study, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging rather than Schwabe, examined the effects of ginkgo consumption on healthy volunteers older than 60. The conclusion, now cited in the National Institutes of Health’s ginkgo fact sheet, said: “When taken following the manufacturer’s instructions, ginkgo provides no measurable benefit in memory or related cognitive function to adults with healthy cognitive function.”

Dr. Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co. is a German pharmaceutical company that markets a Ginkgo product within the United States.

Out of the many conflicting research results, Ginkgo extract seems to have three effects on the human body: it improves blood flow (including microcirculation in small capillaries) to most tissues and organs; it protects against oxidative cell damage from free radicals; and it blocks many of the effects of PAF (platelet aggregation, blood clotting) that have been related to the development of a number of cardiovascular, renal, respiratory and CNS (Central Nervous System) disorders. Ginkgo can be used for intermittent claudication.

A 2004 conference paper summarizes how various trials indicate that Ginkgo shows promise in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, although further study is needed.
Ginkgo is commonly added to energy drinks, but the amount is typically so low it does not produce a noticeable effect, except perhaps via a placebo effect from Ginkgo being listed on the label.Ginkgo supplements are usually taken in the range of 40–200 mg per day.


Side effects

Ginkgo may have some undesirable effects, especially for individuals with blood circulation disorders and those taking anti-coagulants such as aspirin and warfarin, although recent studies have found that ginkgo has little or no effect on the anticoagulant properties or pharmacodynamics of warfarin[8][9]. Ginkgo should also not be used by people who are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) or by pregnant women without first consulting a doctor.

What the Science Says
Numerous studies of ginkgo have been done for a variety of conditions. Some promising results have been seen for Alzheimer’s disease/dementia, intermittent claudication, and tinnitus among others, but larger, well-designed research studies are needed.
Some smaller studies for memory enhancement have had promising results, but a trial sponsored by the National Institute on Aging of more than 200 healthy adults over age 60 found that ginkgo taken for 6 weeks did not improve memory.1
NCCAM is conducting a large clinical trial of ginkgo with more than 3,000 volunteers. The aim is to see if the herb prevents the onset of dementia and, specifically, Alzheimer’s disease; slows cognitive decline and functional disability (for example, inability to prepare meals); reduces the incidence of cardiovascular disease; and decreases the rate of premature death.
Ginkgo is also being studied by NCCAM for asthma, symptoms of multiple sclerosis, vascular function (intermittent claudication), cognitive decline, sexual dysfunction due to antidepressants, and insulin resistance. NCCAM is also looking at potential interactions between ginkgo and prescription drugs.
Side Effects and Cautions
Side effects of ginkgo may include possible increased risk of bleeding, headache, nausea, gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, dizziness, or allergic skin reactions. More severe allergic reactions have occasionally been reported. If any side effects are experienced, consumption should be halted immediately.
There are some data to suggest that ginkgo can increase bleeding risk, so people who take anticoagulant drugs, have bleeding disorders, or have scheduled surgery or dental procedures should use caution and talk to a health care provider if using ginkgo.
Uncooked ginkgo seeds contain a chemical known as ginkgotoxin, which can cause seizures. Consuming large quantities of seeds over time can cause death. Ginkgo leaf and ginkgo leaf extracts appear to contain little ginkgotoxin.
It is important to inform your health care providers about any herb or dietary supplement you are using, including ginkgo. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care.

Click to learn  all about Indian Ginko biloba

Click to buy Ginkgo Biloba, Pharmacologically-Active, Capsules

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein by is intended for educational purposes only.Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Ref:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginkgo

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/ginkgo

Miracles Of Herbs

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