Walking through the local botanical gardens today, after a brief rainfall, I noticed a dozen or so familiar leaves on the ground which had obviously just fallen due to the storm. Thinking it would be lovely to try some in a tea, my family and I gathered a handful of them to bring back to the house. Heating the kettle, my partner arranged a small square around four teacups with four pillows. It didn’t take long before the steeping was complete and we were together, enjoying one of nature’s bountiful gifts – one that is now inspiring this piece and has inspired many for thousands of years. As the warming steam from my tea cup dispersed and the rhythm from our short family ceremony closed, the circulating effects of the freshly made beverage has made it impossible to avoid sharing my findings. The messages, which have passed across my technological screen of intelligence, have clued me into the gift this plant is for Alzheimer’s, depression, clarity and many other ailments – and the fact that it is a living fossil.
Stretching up into the sky with fan-like leaves of green, planted as protectors around shrines and temples since ancient times – this Chinese herb of wisdom opens books of knowledge for those who would seek it. Long known as a symbol of unity and the union of opposites, as well as longevity and hope, Ginkgo Biloba has been found an exceptional herb to utilize when faced with symptoms of Alzheimer’s or any brain-related concern or pleasure.
Thought to be one of the oldest trees alive, venerated as a true living fossil, the Gingko tree has roots reaching back over 270 million years. With age comes wisdom, and the ripeness of healing potential which can be gleaned by the ones who would listen to this age-old prophet of the trees. If a tree can endure time and only become greater and more beautiful, what properties can it bestow upon those who would partake of its life-giving essence? Some say the ginkgo tree is the sacred tree of life spoken of in ancient scriptures and tablets, as it seems to never die – but only become stronger, taller and more deeply rooted in its beingness with time.
If you or someone you know is interested in bringing more life, vibrancy, circulation and attention to the mind and the functions of the brain, ginkgo biloba seems to be a great medicine to look at. Scientific studies have shown the effects ginkgo has on the brain and it is phenomenal to note how well the leaves of this beautiful tree, in their elegant simplicity, can impart healing. In the case of brain health, ginkgo supplies the brain with more blood flow, thereby improving functions such as memory and mood dramatically.
Studies have not been conclusive as to whether ginkgo could actually prevent Alzheimer’s, though logic would say, when looking at the health benefits and the actual actions of this herb, that if you are drinking gingko on a regular basis, you would likely be able to prevent such an ailment from taking hold. Memory loss would be unthinkable in a brain with great circulation and proper hormone production. Not only that – when you have the foresight to take in healthy food for your mind, the mind is sharp enough to become aware of the actions taking place in the inner and outer world which might contribute to an impending detrimental condition, and take measures to avoid it. Those who would judge ginkgo as not a potential deterrent to Alzheimer’s and other memory-loss diseases are simply not taking into account the way in which this plant works.
The only real potential issues to be aware of is the interactions of gingko with other medications such as NSAID’s, blood thinners, anti-depressants, diabetic medications, anti-platelet drugs and the like. It is best to consult your health-care practitioner if wishing to take gingko for something like Alzheimer’s or dementia or if you regularly take other medications. If it is your plight that other medications belong, at this time, in your repertoire – perhaps simply pondering a relationship with gingko biloba can open you up to how the situation in which you currently find yourself might be altered – if brought more awareness to. Ginkgo is a tree of wisdom. Confucius is known to have spent much time thinking and teaching under the branches of its shade and filtered colored light.
Ginkgo is easy to brew up at home. If you can find a local tree, or get your hands on some dry leaves at an herb store, ginkgo can be steeped up and drank alone or with a bit of ginseng, ginger, cayenne or kola nut – as you like. Add some rosemary for a clarifying beverage before you write, paint, or study. Ginkgo improves memory and boosts brain-association actions as well as reaction time. Some say there is a mild, calming effect on the mind, pointing to ginkgo’s action as a catalyst of thought and memory and not a stimulant. In this moment, as I write, with the lingering effects of gingko in my system, I feel a warmth concentrated in my head which lends all attention to the task at hand. It almost seems unthinkable to engage my attention elsewhere at this moment, due to the properties I can feel enacted through the delicate oils of the leaf.
Walking down a blooming pathway of dappled light or catching leaves floating on the wind in the fall, ginkgo can be found from early spring to late fall – holding its leaves for your delight. Chew the early spring leaves for a fun easy way to encourage memory and inspiration of thoughts. Many say, the leaves of fall are best used as a bookmark – as they are the perfect shape – and less attuned to the brain in constituents than in the spring. Though I am enjoying the fresh grass-like flavor of fall’s harvest.
Whether you struggle with Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, or simply want to bring more clarity to the brain for a more focused you – try nature’s gift from the living fossil -ginkgo -today. Ginkgo can be used for many other body functions, this is just a peak into the abilities gingko has to affect the brain. Drink tea and feel exhilarated!
Written by: Stasia Bliss