Ginkgo Biloba, A Nootropic Tree With Growth Potential

Nature has its way of providing plants that are full of nootropic substances, conveniently so. Once researchers and curious explorers find out the properties of beneficial plants, society soon gains from it and us brain enthusiasts become quite excited!

A notable and timeless member of the outside world’s nootropic cabinet is Ginkgo Biloba – a focus enhancer and vasodilator with all sorts of additional micro properties.

What is Ginkgo?

In China, Ginkgo trees were harvested for their leaves for what is believed to be over a thousand years. They are hardy beings, known for surviving tough environmental conditions.

After the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, six ginkgo trees within the blast radius survived and are still alive today!  Humans can derive this adaptogenic benefit by consuming the extract of its leaves, acting as a popular supplement for those desiring nootropic effects.

Uses & Effects

Similar to the periwinkle alkaloid vinpocetine, ginkgo extracts may promote blood flow throughout the body. This can be useful for people with less than optimal circulation, and otherwise help in distributing nutrients especially to the brain. Of course for this reason, those who are taking blood-thinning medications should avoid ginkgo or else face adverse effects on blood pressure.

Ginkgo has a complex mixture of healthy compounds

The main cognitive effects seen with ginkgo extract are caused by the plethora of psychoactive substances seen in it. First of all, there are antioxidants such as quercetin that aid in anti-aging and immune function. Almost anything with antioxidant activity is helpful, because it helps the brain to repair naturally-occurring damages and restore overall ability.

Ginkgolides are other substances found in the tree leaves that exert an inhibitory effect on monoamine oxidase. Because monoamine oxidase acts as a production controller, slightly higher levels of many neurotransmitters in the brain can accumulate when it is less active.

Key compounds: monoamines

Moreover, these ginkgo extract chemicals inhibit the reuptake three monoamines – serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Neurotransmitter balance can be tipped in quite a nootropic favor, and this somewhat complex set of interactions greatly supports the function of memory and concentration.

After chronic use starts, however, the reuptake inhibition of ginkgo starts to fade for the transmitters besides norepinephrine. It would seem that because of this, ginkgo is a supplement that is best “cycled” or not taken every day for long periods of time. Optimal effects may be seen when taken on an interval of a couple days.

Possible Prevention of Aging Diseases

While ginkgo biloba is great for healthy individuals as a nootropic, the benefits go beyond that!  Research has been done into using ginkgo as a treatment for age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. A recent study (in 2010) revealed a possible connection in this area, where it was determined that ginkgo was effective in treating mild cognitive impairment in the elderly, but it did not necessarily prevent Alzheimer’s onset.

Side Effects

Not everyone tolerates Ginkgo perfectly, and some side effects are possible. However, this is mostly in the case of co-administration with other medicines such as anticoagulants or antidepressants. These medicines can amplify the effects of the ginkgo and essentially throw off the balance of some of the neurotransmitters past therapeutic levels.

Adverse effects may include restlessness, stomach upset, insomnia, and possible headache and dizziness. Knowing your body well helps to reduce the frequency and chances of side effects happening.

Dietary sources

Ginkgo biloba is a fairly popular supplement, especially among beginners for its general effects as a nootropic. It can be found in a variety of vitamin stores or even at certain grocery stores that have a medicine aisle. Similarly so, the internet boasts a large selection of ginkgo products that can be found on all of the popular supplement sites.

It is almost always found in capsule form, with extract amounts of either 120mg or 500mg. The 120mg form is usually the better option because it often has a standardized amount of the ginkgolides, which makes it more reputable as a supplement.


Ginkgo Biloba is a great choice for someone first getting into nootropics, but also for experiences users as well. It is a healthy supplement to take, plus it has cognitive enhancement effects that are quite noticeable.

The concentration boost is easily felt and the energy boost is a plus, too!

Found everywhere and available to try, who wouldn’t give it a shot?

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