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Ginkgo Biloba: A Traditional Chinese Herbal Remedy Boosting Stroke Recovery

    A groundbreaking study has shed light on the potential benefits of a traditional Chinese herbal remedy derived from the ginkgo biloba tree, one of the oldest living tree species. The research, conducted through a large randomized controlled study, reveals that active components in ginkgo biloba could significantly enhance the early recovery of cognitive functions in individuals who have experienced a stroke caused by a blood clot.

    Ginkgo Biloba and Stroke Recovery:

    Extracted from the dried leaves and seeds of the ginkgo tree native to East Asia, ginkgo biloba has long been utilized in China for treating ischemic strokes due to its antioxidant properties. The study involved 3,163 stroke survivors aged, on average, 63, treated for mild to moderate ischemic strokes across 100 centers in China. Intriguingly, the patients who received intravenous injections of ginkgo diterpene lactone meglumine (GDLM), a combination of biologically active components of ginkgo biloba, demonstrated not only improved recovery from overall stroke symptoms but also enhanced cognitive recovery.

    Study Details:

    Over a period of 14 days, stroke survivors were administered intravenous injections of GDLM, followed by a second round at 90 days. The cognitive performance was assessed before treatment, at 14 days, and at 90 days. Those who received the ginkgo biloba compound exhibited improved cognitive scores compared to the placebo group, showcasing the potential of this traditional remedy in aiding cognitive recovery after a stroke.

    Expert Opinions:

    Dr. Sheryl L. Chow, a professor at Western University of Health Sciences and University of California, Irvine, noted the study results were not surprising, citing previous research on dementia patients showing modest benefits. The anti-platelet effects of ginkgo were highlighted as particularly relevant, indicating its potential in preventing platelet binding and promoting benefits in stroke survivors.

    Future Implications:

    Associate Professor Anxin Wang, a clinical epidemiologist at the Capital Medical University in Beijing, emphasized GDLM’s neuroprotective effects, including expanding brain blood vessels, improving brain cell tolerance to oxygen deficiency, and increasing cerebral blood flow. The study’s positive outcomes open avenues for further research, with Professor Wang expressing interest in exploring longer-term effects beyond 90 days.


    While ginkgo biloba is widely used in China for its potential benefits in stroke recovery, it has not gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for medicinal use due to a perceived lack of evidence. However, studies like this one contribute valuable insights, potentially prompting a reevaluation of the herbal remedy’s medicinal potential. As research progresses, ginkgo biloba may emerge as a promising option for improving cognitive function in stroke survivors, offering hope for enhanced recovery and improved quality of life.

    If you or a loved one is on the journey to stroke recovery and seeking specialized support for cognitive improvement, consider taking the next step towards a brighter future. Our speech therapy practice is dedicated to providing personalized and effective strategies to enhance cognitive function and communication skills after a stroke. Take the initiative to call us today at (813) 344-3207 and schedule a consultation. Together, we can work towards rebuilding and strengthening cognitive abilities, fostering a renewed sense of confidence and independence.

    At Speech Care at Home we are dedicated to restoring hope and reshaping lives. Contact us now at (813) 344-3207 – your journey to improved cognitive function begins here.