~ Ginkgo Biloba ~
This stunning tree in the middle of my garden is beginning to shed her golden leaves littering the ground with her iconic & uniquely shaped leaves.
Ginkgo biloba is the sole remaining survivor of the oldest known tree genus, Ginkgoaceae, with leaves found fossilized in prehistoric rock dating back to the Permian period over 250 million years ago.
Referred to as yín xìng in Chinese medicine, the leaves of the Ginkgo Biloba tree have long been used by herbalists for their effects as a brain tonic, improving memory and the ability to concentrate. It's also long been used to relieve asthma, lung congestion, increase sexual energy and promote general longevity.
It's one of the best herbs for the circulatory system, serving as a cardiac tonic, increasing the strength of arterial walls. It's used for promoting blood flow & oxygenation throughout the body therefore helping all organs that have a rich blood supply including the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and spleen.
Ginkgo is an antioxidant useful against free radicals, substances that damage cellular health and accelerate aging.
Ginkgo is also an adaptogen, which helps to increase your body's resistance to both mental and physical stress.
Acting as a natural anti-depressant, it helps to uplift ones mood, alleviate anxiety and tends to encourage a general sense of well being.
The easiest way to consume Ginkgo is to use the fresh leaves in an infusion. Pick them when they are still green but about to turn yellow. They have a mild green/grassy like flavor, I like to combine them with ginger or lemongrass to give a bit of flavor.
I cherish this tree daily, for her stunning golden show in the depths of winter, the abundant shade which she graces us with in Summer. The kids climb her daily, and the acrobatic silk hangs from her branches. We sip her medicine all year round, both internally, and by spending time together.
When the leaves fall in from May - July I rake them all up to mulch my garden borders, they break down over winter feeding the soil with nutrient rich compost.
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