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How Ginkgo Biloba Fights Acne

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

ginkgo biloba for acne

Story at-a-glance -

  • Although extracts have been made from the dried leaves of the ginkgo tree, extracts from the seeds or “nuts” were found to be useful as a topical solution for acne due to the presence of several antibacterial compounds
  • Traditionally, ginkgo biloba has been used for intestinal parasites, arthritis and helping to soothe chilblains, but studies have also verified improved vision, sexual function, tinnitus and anxiety
  • A researcher recently found a copy of an ancient Chinese medical text and found a preparation made from ginkgo seeds recommended as an antibacterial, which formed the basis for new studies
  • Among six types of pathogens known to cause skin and soft tissue infections, the growth of three of them, including one common in hospitals (MRSA) and another known for causing acne, was inhibited
  • Terpenoids, flavonol glycosides and proanthocyanidins were found to be responsible for ginkgo’s effects on brain health, as was the compound known as ginkgolic acid

For decades, ginkgo proponents have sworn by the supplement for its ability to sharpen memory and improve overall brain function. New research expands on those attributes with evidence showing that the ancient Chinese herbal has another claim to fame: Although extracts have been made from the dried leaves of the plant, extracts from the seeds (aka "nuts") were found to be useful as a topical solution for acne.

What scientists have already ascertained about ginkgo sets it apart from other trees for several reasons. The deciduous ginkgo tree itself is called a "living fossil." Incredibly hardy, it has unique, fan-shaped leaves that spread an attractive canopy of shade.

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