Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), also known as the Maidenhair Tree after Adiantum, is a unique species.
Ginkgo extract has been used in traditional medicine to treat circulatory disorders and enhance memory. Scientific studies throughout the years have found evidence to support these uses. Although not all studies agree, ginkgo may be especially effective in treating dementia (including Alzheimer's disease) and intermittent claudication (poor circulation in the legs). It also shows promise for enhancing memory in older adults. Laboratory studies have shown that ginkgo improves blood circulation by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of blood platelets.
Ginkgo leaves contain two types of chemicals (flavonoids and terpenoids) believed to have potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals -- compounds in the body that damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Free radicals occur naturally in the body and grow in number as we age. But environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking, and air pollution) can also increase the number of free radicals. Free radicals are believed to contribute to health problems including heart disease and cancer as well as Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. According to a recent report in the American Journal of Medicine, researchers in the Department of Medicine at Oregon State University in the United States have found that oral ginkgo leaf preparations for the elderly over 65 years of age can effectively prevent memory degradation and Alzheimer's disease.
According to incomplete statistics, the current international standard Ginkgo biloba extract is produced according to the German Schwabe patent process. The appearance is brownish yellow powder with a slight ginkgo leaf fragrance. The leaf is a raw material extracted product, and the commercial extract is usually standardized to contain 24% flavonol glycosides and 6% ginkgo lactone.
The production process of Ginkgo biloba extract has many methods reported in the literature, mainly acetone extraction - lead salt precipitation method, ethanol extraction - macroporous resin adsorption separation method, supercritical carbon dioxide extraction method, alcohol extraction - extraction - chromatography separation method, etc. More domestic applications are ethanol extraction - resin separation.
The most widely used method at home and abroad is the organic solvent extraction method. Since other organic solvents are toxic or volatile, ethanol is generally used as an extractant. Zhang Yonghong et al. showed that the best conditions for extracting flavonoids from Ginkgo biloba leaves were 70% ethanol as extract. The extraction temperature was 90 °C, the ratio of material to liquid was 1:20, the extraction times were 3 times, and the reflux time was 1.5 hours.
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