Despite the amazing advances in knowledge and technology, some prefer to stick to the classics. This trend is constantly being illustrated over and over in the world of medicine, where some prefer "traditional herbs" and "ancient remedies" to more modern treatments. And though some are skeptical of such inclinations, there's a very good reason to stick with these traditional remedies - they work, and have been for thousands of years. If a natural remedy is still going strong and providing results comparable to even the latest technological breakthroughs, why opt for something different?
One notable natural remedy that traces its origins nearly back to the origins of man is Ginkgo Biloba. This natural supplement is taken from the Ginkgo tree, which is one of the oldest species of trees, tracing its roots back 150 to 200 million years. The Chinese are believed to be the first culture to tap the therapeutic benefits of Ginkgo, while Europeans didn't experience the ingredient until the 1700s. Despite the long history, though, Ginkgo Biloba is still in use today for a variety of ailments.
Ginkgo Biloba is commonly used to treat respiratory issues, such as asthma and lung congestion. In addition, it can improve blood flow and is used to aid alertness, mental energy, memory and to promote longevity. Ginkgo Biloba is also very important for active individuals, as it has potent antioxidant benefits. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals, which are released in large numbers during exercise and can damage the body if left unchecked. Additionally, Ginkgo Biloba increases the efficiency of one's metabolism and boosts blood circulation to the brain and through the rest of the body. This ensures that working muscles receive the nutrients they need, allowing for peak performance.
Still, some athletes may view Ginkgo Biloba as more of a general health supplement, and not one that can really enhance their efforts in the gym. Sadly, they'd be mistaken. New research suggests that Gingko Biloba can actually have an anabolic (muscle-building) effect. A recent study analyzed the effects of Ginkgo Biloba supplementation on ageing muscles by comparing a supplement group and a control group over the course of 60 days.
At the end of the time span, the researchers found that the Ginkgo group developed less fat, had more muscle tissue and demonstrated superior muscle power. The Ginkgo supplementation also reduced concentrations of creatine kinase, an indicator of muscle damage, in the blood.
Sometimes, it seems, an old supplement can learn new tricks. While Ginkgo isn't going to make you huge overnight, it can still benefit your muscle-building efforts.
Bidon, C., et al. The extract of Ginkgo biloba EGb 761 reactivates a juvenile profile in the skeletal muscle of sarcopenic rats by transcriptional reprogramming. PLoS One, 2009: 4(11):e7998.