Species: Ginkgo biloba
English Name: Gingko
Chinese Name: 銀杏
Ginkgo biloba is the oldest living tree species. A single tree can live as long as 1,000 years and grow to a height of 120 feet. It has short branches with fan-shaped leaves and inedible fruits that smell bad. The fruit has an inner seed, which may be poisonous.
It has a long history of being used in traditional medicine to treat blood disorders and improve memory, and it’s best known today as way to potentially keep your memory sharp. Laboratory studies have shown that ginkgo improves blood circulation by opening up blood vessels and making blood less sticky. It’s also an antioxidant.
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- Chan Shek-Kiu and Wu Qi-Gen. Chinese Medicinal Herbs of Macao (Volume 1), Macao, University of Macau, 2003.