Wednesday, 7 January 2015

What Is The Oldest Living Tree Species?

Welcome back my fellow learners, hope you all had a good New Year? Today we are going to learn about the Ginkgo tree.

This is one late bloomer. Ginkgo, which is the oldest tree species, has been used medicinally for around 4,000 years. However, it has only been the last two decades that medical researchers discovered evidence which could offer a glimmer of hope for a range of age-related issues.

Ginkgo trees, also referred to as maidenhairs, are planted on city streets. The tree's fruit gives out an awful smell when decomposing, and can sometimes cause skin irritations, however, the almond shaped seeds found within is a prize indeed within Asian markets. It is the pretty, fan-shaped leaf, not the fruit, which has excited scientists lately.

Although little known outside of health food stores, a concentrated extract has been the number one drug within Germany, where it is commonly used to aid asthma and circulation issues. And, unlike most plant-based agents, ginkgo preparations have been thoroughly tested on people, not just on animals and laboratories.

Powerful medicine
What's exactly is in ginkgo extract, and what does it do?

Gingko is said to greatly improve tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears, relieve a few Alzheimer's symptoms, decrease inflammation due to asthma and allergies, combat stroke damage, reduce multiple sclerosis outbreaks and decrease peripheral vascular disease.

The active ingredients include compounds known as ginkgolides. One of these, is ginkgolide B, has been proved to suppress a clot promoting substance found within the human body know as platelet activating factor, or PAF for short. Since PAF is a main player in a body fighting against allergic inflammation and asthma, the disease-fighting potential of this plant is most intriguing.

This and other substances have shown numerous benefits for old age, especially those resulting from a reduced blood supply to the brain. These effects are said to come from the ginkgo's ability to be able to dilate arteries and capillaries, which are the blood vessels which nourishes a body's tissues.  

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