The only survivor of the Ginkgoaceae, very widespread plants in the Mesozoic Era, in addition to being present on Earth for more than 200 million years, it is an extremely long -lived plant, capable of reaching 1000 years of life, and extremely resistant to environmental conditions, so much so that deserve the nickname " tree of life ".

The plant

It is a large and majestic tree (it even reaches 30 m), with fan-shaped leaves of a bright and lively green color, which in autumn take on a yellow-gold color. Ginkgo biloba is a gymnosperm and for this reason it does not have flowers, but has modified scales within which the fruits and seeds develop.

It is native to Asia, in particular to China and Japan, where since prehistoric times it covered entire areas forming real forests.


Among the most important properties of Ginko biloba , the main one is undoubtedly that of stimulating brain functions .

This ability refers to the shape and name of the plant itself: it is in fact called "biloba" because of the bilobed shape of its leaves, that is, divided into two lobes, just like the brain. Even the leaf veins are very reminiscent of the shape and arrangement of the nerve fibers of the cerebellum.

The scientific evidence accumulated to date demonstrates how the extract of this plant has a positive effect on blood circulation , particularly in the brain : this activity is associated with the enhancement of transmission between neurons , which in the central nervous system is connected to mnemonic processes . . In fact, due to its ability to promote a correct distribution of oxygen and glucose to the brain through the blood, Ginko biloba increases mental acuity, concentration , short-term memory, and cognitive faculties.

For this reason it is often used against memory disorders and for conditions that, especially during the third age, are associated with the reduction of blood flow to the brain (such as headache, dizziness, tinnitus, difficulty concentrating and mood disorders. ).

It is no coincidence that the EMA (European Medicines Agency) reports the consolidated use of Ginkgo leaf extract as a support for memory and concentration.

For this reason it is a particularly suitable plant for students or for those who are subjected to intense mnemonic or mental effort

The mechanism of action with which brain processes are favored is documented by various researches in in vitro and animal models: these studies have shown that the neuroprotective and neurostimulating action of Ginkgo is also due to a vasodilation promoted by the release of monoxide. nitrogen and inhibition of the angiotensin converting enzyme.

The main bioactive compound for this purpose is a terpene called ginkgolide B , which is able to cross the blood brain barrier; this molecule is also able to inhibit the mechanism of platelet aggregation: this prevents the formation of thrombus in the blood vessels, as well as regulating capillary permeability, improving the circulation of the tissues

It also contains polyphenols and flavonoids that counteract the formation of free radicals and further improve blood circulation , acting as vasoprotectors. In fact, Ginko biloba improves microcirculation, especially in elderly patients, blood thinning and the elasticity of the vessel walls.


The inner part of the seed, despite the unpleasant smell when the fruit is ripe, is edible after roasting. In Asia it is considered a delicious ingredient and is part of the preparation of various traditional Chinese dishes such as, for example, congee (a kind of thick rice pudding).

The Ginkgo seed is also used in Japanese cuisine: it is eaten as a side dish, or it is used for the preparation of chawanmushi , a sort of savory pudding that is served as an appetizer.

A bit of history

The documented history of Ginko biloba officially began in 1754 , when a botanical expedition found plants in China that had survived several geological eras . At the news the scientific world went into fibrillation and the most important botanical gardens competed to secure a specimen of this living fossil. In Italy it was the botanical garden of Padua that secured the first Ginkgo biloba, which is still alive and in excellent health.

The highest portent of Ginko, however, occurred at the end of the Second World War. Following the Hiroshima bomb, the damage to man, infrastructure, flora and fauna, especially those in the immediate vicinity, was incalculable. Six specimens of Ginkgo biloba near the bomb (one just 800 meters away) were overwhelmed by the explosion: only the charred skeleton remained. After a few years, however, new shoots originated from these. Today the six warriors are still there, healthy, proud and reaching towards the sky to shout all their strength.

Find Ginko biloba extract in Memora , the ideal medicinal compound to support intellectual functions.