Ginkgo supplements

Prescription Counterparts:

No pharmaceutical equivalent exists for improving cerebral circulation. Mainstream American medicine offers nothing for this common consequence of aging. For Alzheimer's disease, the pharmaceutical industry provides tacrine (Cognex), a drug known to cause nausea, vomiting, and increased risk of ulcers and liver problems, including jaundice.

Against the activity-induced leg pain of intermittent claudication, ginkgo is the herbal treatment of choice. It outperforms by far doctors' chosen prescription treatment, pentoxiphylline (Trental), enabling people to walk much farther before discomfort sets in. The herb bested the pharmaceutical in nine double-blind studies. The studies show that Trental, which improves blood flow by reducing its viscosity, lengthens pain-free walking distance by about 65 percent. In the process, however, it also can cause nausea, bloating, flatulence, dizziness, and headaches. Ginkgo, by contrast, lengthens pain-free walking distance by some 300 percent. It has few, if any, side effects, and it costs less than half as much as the pharmaceutical. (The best treatment for intermittent claudication, though, remains regular exercise.)

Ginkgo supplementsIn the erectile dysfunction experiment cited in "Ginkgo benefits," none of the men had been helped by one of medicine's standard treatments, penile injections of papaverine, a vasodilator and smooth-muscle relaxant. For those who did not improve after taking ginkgo, the herb at least enabled some of them to respond better to the drug. Since this study was performed, science has given us sildenafil citrate (Viagra), which may work better than ginkgo but may not be as safe in the long run.

Ginkgo extracts also improved hearing loss of unknown origin just as well as (and with far fewer side effects than) a pharmaceutical and minimized salicylate-induced tinnitus and hearing loss.

Dosage Options for Ginkgo supplements:

One 40-milligram capsule standardized to contain at least 24 percent flavonoid glycosides three times a day; 1/8 teaspoon of a liquid extract three times a day; 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh ginkgo leaves every day; or 1/8 teaspoon of ginkgo tincture three times a day. The longer you take ginkgo, the more apparent its benefits become.

 
 
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