ginkgo herbal tincture
Ginkgo for sale.
Prices start at £9.95 for 100ml
We make our ginkgo tincture for your health. Organic and strong and safe to take on a daily basis. Ginkgo has many important health benefits associated with it: regulates blood pressure, improves tinnitus (ringing in the ears), improves memory, good for alzheimers disease, helps cold hands and feet.
All you need is a teaspoonful a day to help improve your essential physical and mental functions.
All about Ginkgo (the oldest tree on Earth)
During the time of the dinosaurs seed plants (spermatophytes) were well developed and were the most dominant vegetation on earth, especially the lush seed ferns, conifers and palmlike cycads. These primitive seed plants are called gymnosperms (meaning “naked seeds”) because their seeds are not enclosed in a ripened fruit but are protected by cones or by a fleshy seed coat.
Most gymnosperms (and flowering plants) have both sexes on the same plant, but the Ginkgo is a dioecious gymnosperm, male and female are separate trees. The female’s seeds have a fleshy outer layer and have a distinctive smell. The seeds are used in herbal medicine for asthma, catarrh – very different from the action of the leaves.
Sperm. The Ginkgo and the cycads are the only living seed-producing plants that have motile or free swimming sperm.
In earlier classification systems the Ginkgo tree was placed in the class Coniferopsida, because it is thought to be more related to conifers than to any other gymnosperm, but the two groups appear to have evolved independently.
Although the Ginkgo is more like a conifer than a deciduous broadleaf tree it is neither, it has a unique position. Recent research suggests a much closer relationship to the cycads than to the conifers.
Green algae (Coccomyxa) live in symbiosis with Ginkgo tissues, recent research has shown. So far this association is not known on any other tree and only occurs in the animal kingdom.
The Ginkgo is the sole living link between the lower and higher plants, between ferns and conifers.
You can distuinguish a Ginkgo from other gymnosperms by its fan shaped and bilobed leaves. All Ginkgo trees have a relatively primitive vascular system. The veins continuously divide into two’s. This vein pattern (dichotomous venation) is unique to the Ginkgo.
Because of its unique position botanists found it difficult to classify the Ginkgo. Therefore the Ginkgo has been placed in a separate group in recent years, the division (phylum) Ginkgophyta.
This division consists of the single order Ginkgoales (Engler 1898), a single family Ginkgoaceae (Engler 1897), a single extant genus Ginkgo.
There are two extinct genera: Ginkgoites and Baiera (known from fossilized leaves).
The only living representative of the order Ginkgoales is the Ginkgo biloba.
Size. A Ginkgo tree can reach about 30 sometimes 40 metres (100 feet) height and a spread of 9 metres. The trunk can become about 4 metres (13 feet) wide in diameter (in open areas much larger; near temples they can be found 50m in height, with a girth of 10m!). It grows straight up and is sparingly branched. Some trees are very wide spreading, others are narrow.
Young trees have a central trunk, pyramidal in shape, with regular, lateral, ascending, asymmetrical branching and open growth. Older trees have an oval to upright spreading growth and sometimes irregular branching and tremendous sized limbs and trunk. When about 100 years old its canopy begins to widen.
The male tree usually has a slim column form and is slightly longer; the female tree has a wider crown and a more spread out form.
The Ginkgo has long and short branches growing at nearly right angles. A short branch may become a long branch and the tip of a long branch may change into a short branch. That’s why older trees may have a more irregular form.
The buds are mounded with distinct form and leaf scars. The leaves grow alternate on the long branches during spring. On the ends of short, lateral shoots they grow very slowly in clusters and produce a long shoot with scattered leaves after a number of years.
The short shoots also produce the seeds and pollen. The stems are tan, light brown or gray, relatively smooth and are somewhat reflective in the winter sun. Some trees tend to have branches crossing the trunk.
The girth of the trunk of the older trees may become large because of secondary growth. The tree usually loses its central leader and gives rise to several vertical trunks (“basal chichi”) that keep reaching great heights.
Chichi. The Ginkgo also produces peg-like structures (chi-chi = breasts or nipples, are sort of “aerial” lignotubers) along the trunk and branches that can grow into the ground and form roots as well as leafy branches above because of the embedded vegetative buds, which is characteristic only for the Ginkgo.
The chichi (Chinese: zhong ru) seem to be connected to traumatic events, environmental stress and individual properties of a tree. It is usually seen on old trees, but sometimes also is found on younger trees. It is thought the chichi represents resistance against diseases.
Its adaptability and individual properties of the tree etc. contribute to the long history of the survival of the Ginkgo.
Inside the trunk the wood is yellow.
The bark is light brown to brownish-gray; more brown, deeply furrowed and ridged on older trees and has a corky texture.
The leaves are an easy recognizable feature of the deciduous Ginkgo biloba. They are 5-8 cm wide and are sometimes twice as broad although they vary in size and shape. The leathery leaves have a wax layer on both sides and are slightly thicker than other Northern tree leaves. They consist of a leaf stalk and a fan-shaped dichotomously veined blade: two parallel veins enter each blade from the point of attachment of the long leafstalk and divide repeatedly into two’s, are not often cross-connected. The veins are slightly raised giving a ribbed appearance. The pores are recessed and limited thereby reducing waterloss from evaporation. The form is bilobed, it has no midrib and is fan-shaped. The leafstalk is also about 8 cm (3 inches) long causing the foliage to flutter in the slightest breeze.
Herbal uses. The extract of the dried leaves is popular for their use as a diet supplement and/or herbal medicine (prescribed in Europe) for the brain, legs, eyes, heart and ears. Scientific studies show that good extracts may improve blood circulation and memory, prevent bloodclotting, damage by free radicals and give an improved sense of well-being and can be used for many other disorders. The leaves are also used as tea for a variety of ailments.
The “nut” has for long been used in Chinese medicine for asthma, coughs with thick phlegm, bronchitis, digestive aid and urinary incontinence etc.
The largest Ginkgo tree was estimated to be 2500 years old with a mean diameter of 3.69 m at chest height.
The oldest Ginkgo. The Ginkgo can have a long life span, 1,000 or older. In China the oldest Ginkgo is about 3,500 years old!
The fresh nutritious seeds (also canned with fleshy outer coat removed) are sold in markets esp. in the Orient.
Ginkgo bonsai. The Ginkgo biloba tree can also be grown as a bonsai.
You can buy a Ginkgo bonsai or grow one from seed or start with a seedling of 2-3 years old. It is an outside bonsai and prefers full sun, but in very sunny areas part shadow is better. Young trees need some shelter in midsummer. Give plenty of water during the growing season. Protect well against frost, for the Ginkgo is very sensitive for it in shallow pots because of the fleshy roots with moistury content that might burst open with frost. Therefore keep it fairly dry in winter. A bonsai needs to be more fertilized than a normal sized tree. Fertilize plentiful with organic manure: spring-October twice per month. A female branch may be grafted on the tree to get seeds earlier than normal. Styling: Its natural shape is a good style. The large leaves and rather stiff, thick branches make it suitable for medium to large size growth. Also a broomlike style with an oval and towards the top even pointed shape (like a candle flame) or the Chokkan- or Moyo-Gi-style can be applied. It does not need (much) wiring. Just prune the branches which are too long so that its form keeps in balance.
The bark is delicate, so be careful; if you apply wire do it lightly and use aluminium wire. Protect the bark with raffia and check regularly. Pruning: Pruning larger branches causes scars that do not heal, so avoid making large scars as they spoil the bonsai appearance. In spring and October the cluster leaves should be reduced to 2-3 leaves with the topmost leaf on the outside. Prune new branches back to 2-3 buds while the tree is young. You may top it regularly. Repotting: Young trees (up to about 10 years) need to be repotted every year in early spring just before the leaves appear. Older trees may be repotted every 2-3 years or only when necessary. Use basic soil mix that is well-drained, add 10% coarse sand and some grid. Do not prune the roots too much in the beginning. Herbactive Herbalist has two Ginkgo bonsai trees about 6-8 years old. So they have a long way to go!
With thanks to http://www.xs4all.nl/~kwanten/bonsai.htm
see also the English Ginkgo called Harts Tongue