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Ginkgo Biloba and Fertility
Ginkgo biloba, a tree that bears exceptionally stinky fruit, is suddenly the magic bullet herb. The tree is ancient, with some in Asia estimated to be thousands of years old. It truly is like the dinosaur of trees. Interestingly, the tree is either male or female, with only the female bearing fruit.
The extract has been studied in memory loss, Alzheimer's disease, and dementia, and it shows some efficacy, probably due to its potent antioxidant properties. It is most definitively an anticoagulant, increasing your risk of bleeding. For a normal, younger person, that's probably not a concern, but for someone who takes aspirin or other medications that can increase bleeding, the combination could be dangerous.
The uncooked seeds have a compound in them that can cause seizures. Extract of ginkgo is typically made from the leaves, not the seeds.
For fertility, there is not much evidence to support its use. It actually may, because of its anticoagulant properties, prevent embryo implantation in the uterus. While it may be true that it increases blood flow to reproductive organs, the possibility that it would impair implantation makes it questionable to use when trying to conceive.
There are other way to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, if that's why you are taking ginkgo. For example, femoral massage will do the trick as can pelvic massage. Moderate exercise increases blood flow in general, while strenuous exercise will decrease blood flow to your abdominal organs. And acupuncture can also improve blood flow, plus it is so very relaxing!
For men, ginkgo is touted for impotence, and perhaps it helps some there. However, the caveat is this: what is causing the impotence? Is there a medical reason that should be treated, such as high blood pressure or diabetes? Is it psychological? It is always better to find the cause and treat that than throw medications or supplements at the problem.
I am a big believer in antioxidants, but I do not think that for people trying to conceive that ginkgo is the best antioxidant choice. Try pycnogenol and vitamin E, for example, instead. You would never want to look back and wonder if your supplements were the reason you could not get pregnant!
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