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A tall tree native to China, the leaves of which have terpenoid derivatives known as ginkgolides A, B and C, as well as bilobalide and proanthocyanidins; as a group, these compounds have anticoagulant activity, act as free radical scavengers, increase the peripheral blood flow and are thought by some to slow age-associated memory impairment. The kernals are known in traditional Chinese medicine as bai guo, Salisburia adiantifolia, white nut, ying hsing and ying xing; the root is designated bai guo gen.
Gingko roots and kernels (with greater potency in the latter) are anthelmintic, antitussive, astringent, cardiotonic and sedative; gingko is used to treat alcoholic binges, asthma, bladder infections, cough, gonorrhoea and tuberculosis.
Gingko is used to increase cerebral blood flow, prevent blood clots, mood swings, tinnitus and vertigo, and may be effective in asthma and phlebitis.
Mainstream pharmacologic research has shown gingkolides to be effective in treating cerebrovascular insufficiency, which causes lacunar defects of memory, migraines, strokes and vertigo.