Ginkgo- The Living Fossil may cure Neuropathic Pain
Ongoing experiments with the extracts of the Ginkgo biloba or the ginkgo tree have shown the possibility of curing or significantly reducing neuropathic pain that many people with herpes zoster or diabetes and limb injury may experience.
Those suffering from these problems may feel severe pain in response to harmless stimuli like heat, cold, or touch. The ginkgo extract study performed on rats with such problems showed reduced pain response to cold and pressure.
Researchers think that the ginkgo extract works through its properties of antioxidant activity, an anti-inflammatory effect, or protection against nerve injury, or perhaps in combination of all these.
The Ginkgo biloba or the ginkgo tree is the only living special of its family in today’s world and is so old that it is regarded as a living fossil. For centuries it was thought to be extinct in the wild, but is now known to grow in at least two small areas in Zhejiang province in Eastern China, in the Tian Mu Shan Reserve.
Other medicinal uses:
The extracts of the ginkgo tree leaves have long been held to be an effective as memory and concentration enhancer, and anti-vertigo agent or remedy. Ginkgo extracts are also said to improve blood flow to most tissues and organs and provide protection against oxidative cell damage from free radicals, which results in early aging.
The nut-like gametophytes inside the seeds are valued in Asia, and are a part of traditional Chinese food. Ginkgo nuts are used in congee, and are often served at special occasions such as weddings and the Chinese New Year. In Chinese culture, they are believed to have health benefits; some also consider them to have aphrodisiac qualities.
Japanese cooks add Ginkgo seeds to dishes such as ‘chawanmushi’. Cooked seeds are often eaten along with other dishes. The canned ginkgo seeds are sold as "White Nuts", and can be found in many Asian food stores in the West.
However ginkgo seeds when eaten by children, in large quantities (over 5 seeds a day), or over a long period of time, can cause MNP poisoning (4-methoxypyridoxine – a chemical present in the seeds).