Ginkgo Biloba (bai guo) 白果
By: Joe Hing Kwok Chu
Click here to see picture. 按此看圖。
Semen Ginkgo Bilobae
Latin botanical name﹕
Ginkgo biloba L.
Pronounced in Japanese﹕
ginkyo (yin guo)
Pronounced in Korean﹕
unhaeng (yin xing)
Pronounced in Cantonese﹕
baak6 gwo2, ngan4 hang5
yin xing 銀杏 , yin guo 銀果
throughout China, from temperate zone to subtropical zone and some parts of north America. In the subtropical zone, usually they are found in the higher altitude where the climate is cooler.
|Parts Being Used﹕|
Traditionally, seeds were used. Now leaves are also being used for making extracts.
sweet, bitter, astringent, neutral, mildly toxic and very toxic for children.
In the classical text of "Ben Cao Pin Hui Jing Yao" it states that the characteristics of the leaves of yin xing are bitter sweet, astringent, neutral. and belong to the lung meridian and can control the lungs and calm asthma, calm the mind and arrest pain, rid of water retention and stop diarrhea.
|channel (meridian) relation﹕|
nuts: kidney, lung
|Actions & Indications﹕|
Uses of bai guo nuts:
As a tonic. Lowers sludge level in blood. Expels phlegm and stops wheezing cough. Eliminates damp heat, dampness and stops vaginal discharge in yeast infection. For incontinence, spermatorrhea (involuntary discharge of semen without orgasm), and frequent urination.
可作進補用﹐去淤血﹐補肺定喘﹐去痰 ﹐止百日咳﹐去濕熱﹐補 虛止白帶﹐治遺精﹐ 對年老力衰、小便清長、夜間尿多者， 有補腎縮尿的作用。
Uses of extract of ginkgo leaves:
cardiovascular diseases and diseases of the blood vessels of the brain: angina, arrhythmia, ischemia of the brain, edema of the brain, hardening of the brain arteries, brain infarction, high viscosity of blood, high blood lipids, high cholesterol, claudication (間歇性跛行), arterial embolization, plebitis, vein dysfunction etc.
neurological diseases: premature senility, vascular dementia, memory impairment, aphasia, reading difficulty, Parkinson's disease, swallowing disorder after stroke, vestibular disorder (前庭障礙), para-sympathetic nervous system disorder, dizziness, vascular type of headache, anxiety, depression, stress ect.
Meniere's disease, tinnitus,
optical neuropathy, disease of the retina, macular degeneration , diabetic retinopathy, retina arterial sclerosis.
Diseases of the respiratory system: chronic bronchitis, TB, baby pneumonia, respiratory tract syncytial virus pneumonia (pneumoviridae), bronchopneumonia (capillary bronchitis), children chronic bronchitis, children asthmatic diseases.
Diseases of the urinary tract:: urolithiasis (stone) incontinence, frequent urination.
Other applications: protection in transplant rejection, pimples, anti fungus, scalding from hot liquid, allergies, chronic hepatitis B, acute pancreatitis, leukorrhea.
The main usage of the ginkgo leave extract is in cardiovascular therapy (including dementia caused by circulation dysfunction.)
From the seeds:
1. Flavin type of compounds (黄 酮類化合物)
kaempferol (山 奈黄素), kaempferol-3-rhamnoglucoside hepatasacetyl kaempferol glucoside, kaempferol-3(6'-p-coumaroyl-glucosy1)-b-1,rh-amnoside] , quercetin (槲皮素), isorthamnetin (異鼠李黄素), octaacetyl quercetin 3-glucoside , rutin .
(2) flavin and its glucosides﹕
heptaacetyl luteolin glucoside, octaaccetyldelphidenon glucoside.
dihydro-catechin-pentaacetate, dihydro-epicatechin-pentaacetate, dihydro-gallocatechin-hexacetate, dihydro-epigallocatechin-hexacetate, are derivatives of catechin .
bilobetin, ginkgetin, sciadopitysin, I-5'-methoxy-bilobetin, a-mentoflavone 
ginkgolic acid, hydroginkgolic acid, ginkgolinic acid, ginkgol, bilobol , anacardic acid.
3. Organic acids
quinic acid, linoleic acid, shikimic acid, asorbic acid . Skin contains formic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, caprylic acid.
4. Alcohol groups
a-hexenol, sequoyitol, pinite, hexacosanol-1, octacosanol-1 , b-sitosterol , nonacosyl alcohol-10 ,ginnol .
5. Trace minerals and others
ginkgo-B (a saponin), d-sesamin . Seed contains small amount of cyanophoric glucoside, gibberellin, cytokininlike substances. Protein 6.4, fat 2.4, carbohydrates 36%, calcium10 mg, phophorus 218 mg, iron, carotene 320 mg, riboflavine 50 mg, various amino acids. External skin contains asparagine.
From the leaves and branches:
bilobalide, (白果内酯), ginkgolide,B, (銀杏萜内酯B), ginkgolide C, (銀杏萜内酯C ), vanillic acid, (香草酸), protocatechuic acid, (原兒茶酸 ), daucosterol, (胡蘿蔔貳)，octacosanol, (二十八醇 ), triacontanoic acid, (三十烷酸).
1. Effect on Respiratory System
2. Effect on Smooth Muscles
3. Effect on Circulatory System
4. Effect on Brain Circulation
5. Effect on Free Radicals
6. Effect of Anti Bacteria
7. Other Effects
8. Toxicity Side Effect
Raw ginkgo nuts are toxic. Over consuming can cause vomiting, pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, muscle spasm, anxiety and difficulty in breathy.  Some classical medical literature reported that over consuming had caused death in a group of refugees. The outer skin of the fruit contains ginkgo toxin. Ginkgo phenols and ginkgo toxin possess effect of hemolysis. Ginkgo toxin possesses an anesthetic effect on the central nervous system of frogs. A venous injection of 0.2g/kg on rabbits causes temporary raising of blood pressure then with subsequent dropping of blood pressure, breathing difficulty, panic and death. Using the neutral portion of the gingko seed for skin injection of 6mg/kg had also causee death in mice. Using a large dosage of ginkgo leaf extract for venous injection continually for one week on dogs causes salivating, vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. In lab examination of tissues, it shows the increase of mucus secretion of the lower abdomen. Local injection causes local blood vessels to harden. It shows that in dogs and rabbits under anesthesia, the movement of intestines increases. A normal amount of flavonol does not affect the blood clotting time. A large dosage can interfere with the blood clotting time. Venous injections of 242mg/kg (in 95% of the cases, 229.6~256.2/kg could be the fatal limits), of di-flavonol were applied to mice and caused acute toxicity symptoms of rapid breathing, sprawling still, and eventually all died of breathing paralysis.
|Present Day Applications:|
1. Labyrinthine syndrome
3. Urolithiasis (formation of calculi in the urinary tract.)
Formulae: root of gingko biloba 120 g, rock cane sugar 120 g. Boil with water. Taken orally. 4~5 doses a week. If there is infection of urinary track, use Ba Zheng San with bai hua she she cao. Drink plenty of liquid and excercise (editor note: preferably qigong dong gong). Out of fifty patients, thirty two were healed. Ten patients were improved. Eight patients did not improve. Average treatment time was 133 days. 
See usages of leave extract.
|Sample of Formulae:|
Ding Chuan Tang for asthma, formulae for yeast infection,
定喘湯 治哮喘。帶 下方。
Bai guo nuts are very toxic for children. When using bai guo for asthma therapy, the effective dosage is very close to toxic quantity. Cooking can only destroy the cyanide by hydrolysis but cannot destroy the toxicity caused by ginkgo phenols and ginkgo toxin.
A normal amount of flavonol does not affect the blood clotting time. A large dosage can interfere with the blood clotting time. Venous injections of 242mg/kg (in 95% of the cases, 229.6~256.2/kg could be the fatal limits), of di-flavonol were applied to mice and caused acute toxicity symptoms of rapid breathing, sprawling still, and eventually all died of breathing paralysis.
Ginkgo trees do not tolerate high heat or extreme cold. Although the trees are found in more than twenty provinces in China but in many locations they do not bear fruits or bear scanty amount of fruits. In Guilin of Guangxi province in southern part of China, where the altitude is between 280 meters to 600 meters, where the four seasons are distinct, and with abundance of rain water and fertile soil, the ginkgo trees grow well. It is one of the main ginkgo production areas.
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Last update: May 28, 2010; 8:58 p.m. LAH