Gingko Biloba

Members article

By Dr Ruth Cilento MB BS DBM DAc FACNEM © Dementia Care International

A Herb to Enhance Memory, Concentration & Learning

Ginkgo Biloba, the Japanese Fan tree, has been recognised for thousands of years for its many medicinal uses.

Centuries ago, a celebrated Chinese herbalist, the Emperor Shen Nung, recommended Ginkgo for treatment of lung and heart diseases. Western medical research has since proven Ginkgo to be very useful for alleviating asthma and allergic inflammations.

Among the many healing properties of the Ginkgo leaf is its ability to increase blood circulation to the brain, the retina and the cardiovascular system. Gingko affects the flexibility of the red blood cells and also the tiny capillaries so that they are better able to carry the nutrients of glucose and oxygen to the brain and to other organs.

This is why Ginkgo has been given to elderly people and scholars to enhance memory, concentration and learning for centuries.

Recent studies in the USA and Europe showed Ginkgo to be a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger, protecting tissues from chemical damage. It is particularly useful in arresting the symptoms of dementia.

A few helpful hints:

  • It is best to take up to a 1000mg Ginkgo tablet (from a reputable maker), twice a day, on an empty stomach with water or fruit juice. It may be taken in liquid form if preferred.


  • A course of 8 weeks is recommended at first. (I have been taking it daily for several years now.)
  • Ginkgo is non-toxic and not addictive.
  • Gingko works faster in some people than in others.