Ginkgo Biloba – An aphrodisiac for men

Human cultures across time and space have invested considerable thought and experimentation on the subject of aphrodisiacs. Certain foods, herbs and even animal parts have come to acquire the reputation of being able to stimulate sexual desire when used in a special way. One of these is the herb ginkgo biloba which has long been considered one of the most potent aphrodisiacs for men.

About ginkgo biloba

The ginkgo biloba is a unique species of tree in that it has no close relatives and is assumed to be the last of its kind. Once widespread throughout the world, currently it grows wild only in certain protected forest areas of Eastern China. However the tree has been cultivated for several centuries in China where some specimens in temples are believed to be at least 1500 years old. In Japan and Korea too the tree has a long history of cultivation. In these countries, seeds and leaves of the plant have been used for ages to treat a range of medical conditions. In China, the plant has been known by other names like “silver fruit”, “white fruit” and “silver apricot”.

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Ginkgo biloba as an aphrodisiac

The most important way that extract of ginkgo biloba works as an aphrodisiac is by improving the circulatory system of the body. Certain chemicals in the herbal extract are believed to have a thinning effect on the blood besides helping to improve the muscle tone in the walls of the blood vessels. Improved circulation results in increase of oxygen-rich blood supply to all the major organs of the body including the heart and the brain. Among males, this also leads to improved arterial inflow to erectile tissues through arteries and veins without any adverse effect on systemic blood pressure. Enhanced supply of blood to the sex organs is crucial to attain and maintain erection. In this way use of ginkgo biloba extract may help in the treatment of impotence caused by poor circulation among men. Among healthy males, it can help in achieving prompt and longer lasting erections as well as more intense orgasms.

According to some studies, extract of ginkgo biloba may also help in psychological conditions by easing stress, mild depression and anxiety. If a person is wracked by tensions or performance anxiety in a sexual situation, it is unlikely that he will enjoy sex. By lowering sex-related inhibitions and soothing performance anxiety, ginkgo biloba extract may help in creating the right mood for sexual pleasure.

Ginkgo biloba extract has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to protect the human body from the effects of the aging process. This is probably due to the fact that the herbal extract contains powerful anti-oxidants. These are certain chemical compounds which protect the cells and tissues of the body from damage by free radicals. The result is a more efficient immune system, greater protection against the wear and tear of aging as well as improved vigor and vitality, both in body and mind. These effects of ginkgo biloba extract also make the herb a potent aphrodisiac since a healthy and fit body is better prepared to enjoy sex.

In many ancient cultures, ginkgo biloba extract was reputed for its effect on memory and mental agility. According to some studies, certain chemicals in the herb may have nootropic properties which could lead to improved mental functions like cognition, memory, intelligence, motivation and concentration. While there is some evidence that ginkgo inhibits the formation of beta-amyloid, a protein that is responsible for forming amyloid plagues in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, most of the researchers undertaken by modern science into the effect of ginkgo on arresting degenerative symptoms related to dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease , have proved inconclusive.

Using ginkgo biloba

For medicinal purposes, an extract made from the leaf of the ginkgo biloba plant is generally used which is available all over the world in the form of capsules, tablets or even liquid extracts. For adults, Ginkgo supplements are usually taken in the range of 40-200 mg daily in divided doses. In China and Japan, the nuts and seeds of Ginkgo biloba are used in a variety of cuisines and served on special occasions like wedding feasts and the Chinese New Year. The nuts are also believed to have therapeutic as well as aphrodisiacal powers by the Chinese.

Possible side effects of Ginkgo Biloba extract

Certain adverse effects have been observed in people taking ginkgo biloba extracts. These side effects may include headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, other types of gastro-intestinal discomfort, heart palpitations and restlessness.

Ginkgo biloba supplements are usually contraindicated in people suffering from bleeding disorders or problems of the circulatory system. This is because the chemicals in the herb may interfere with the effect of anti-coagulant medications like ibuprofen, aspirin and warfarin. However some recent studies show that the herbal extract may not have much of an effect on the pharmodynamics of warfarin in healthy subjects. Among other people who should avoid taking ginkgo biloba extracts are pregnant women, those taking certain types of anti-depressants based on monoamine oxidase inhibitors and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and those with a history of allergy to poison ivy, mangoes and other substances containing urushiols which are certain potent allergens present in ginkgo biloba. Even those people who do not have any known medical conditions should also consult their health practitioners before taking ginkgo biloba supplements.

For centuries ginkgo biloba has figured as a symbol of longevity and vitality in traditional Chinese medicine. This may be due to the fact that many of the trees of this species in China are more than hundreds of years old and it can be cultivated even in less than hospitable conditions. The tree was also revered in the Buddhist and Confucian traditions. When one adds to these the numerous healing benefits of extracts of the tree’s leaves and nuts, it is no wonder that the tree is regarded as the national tree of China.