Ginkgo
Overview
Ginkgo also spelled gingko and known as the Maidenhair Tree, is a unique species of tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 with no close living relatives. The tree is widely cultivated and introduced, since an early period in human history, and has various uses as a food and traditional medicine.
Ginkgoes are large trees, normally reaching a height of 20–35 m (66–115 feet), with some specimens in China being over 50 m (164 feet).
Encyclopedia
Ginkgo also spelled gingko and known as the Maidenhair Tree, is a unique species of tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 with no close living relatives. The tree is widely cultivated and introduced, since an early period in human history, and has various uses as a food and traditional medicine.

Description

Ginkgoes are large trees, normally reaching a height of 20–35 m (66–115 feet), with some specimens in China being over 50 m (164 feet). The tree has an angular crown and long, somewhat erratic branches, and is usually deep rooted and resistant to wind and snow damage. Young trees are often tall and slender, and sparsely branched; the crown becomes broader as the tree ages. During autumn, the leaves turn a bright yellow, then fall, sometimes within a short space of time (1–15 days). A combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes ginkgos long-lived, with some specimens claimed to be more than 2,500 years old.

Ginkgo is a relatively shade-intolerant species that (at least in cultivation) grows best in environments that are well-watered and well-drained. The species shows a preference for disturbed sites; in the "semi-wild" stands at Tian Mu Shan, many specimens are found along stream banks, rocky slopes, and cliff edges. Accordingly, Ginkgo retains a prodigious capacity for vegetative growth. It is capable of sprouting from embedded buds near the base of the trunk (lignotubers, or basal chi chi) in response to disturbances, such as soil erosion. Old individuals are also capable of producing aerial roots (chi chi) on the undersides of large branches in response to disturbances such as crown damage; these roots can lead to successful clonal reproduction upon contacting the soil. These strategies are evidently important in the persistence of Ginkgo; in a survey of the "semi-wild" stands remaining in Tian Mu Shan, 40% of the Ginkgo specimens surveyed were multi-stemmed, and few saplings were present.

Stem

Ginkgo branches grow in length by growth of shoots with regularly spaced leaves, as seen on most trees. From the axils of these leaves, "spur shoots" (also known as short shoots) develop on second-year growth. Short shoots have very short internodes (so they may grow only one or two centimeters in several years) and their leaves are usually unlobed. They are short and knobby, and are arranged regularly on the branches except on first-year growth. Because of the short internodes, leaves appear to be clustered at the tips of short shoots, and reproductive structures are formed only on them (see pictures below - seeds and leaves are visible on short shoots). In Ginkgos, as in other plants that possess them, short shoots allow the formation of new leaves in the older parts of the crown. After a number of years, a short shoot may change into a long (ordinary) shoot, or vice versa.

Leaves


The leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are unique among seed plants, being fan-shaped with veins radiating out into the leaf blade, sometimes bifurcating (splitting) but never anastomosing
Anastomosis
An anastomosis is the reconnection of two streams that previously branched out, such as blood vessels or leaf veins. The term is used in medicine, biology, mycology and geology....

 to form a network. Two veins enter the leaf blade at the base and fork repeatedly in two; this is known as dichotomous venation. The leaves are usually 5–10 cm (2-4 inches), but sometimes up to 15 cm (6 inches) long. The old popular name "Maidenhair tree" is because the leaves resemble some of the pinnae of the maidenhair fern, Adiantum capillus-veneris
Adiantum capillus-veneris
Adiantum capillus-veneris, the Southern maidenhair fern, black maidenhair fern, and venus hair fern, is a species of fern in the genus Adiantum with a subcosmopolitan worldwide distribution...

.

Leaves of long shoots are usually notched or lobed, but only from the outer surface, between the veins. They are borne both on the more rapidly-growing branch tips, where they are alternate and spaced out, and also on the short, stubby spur shoots, where they are clustered at the tips.

Reproduction

Ginkgos are dioecious
Plant sexuality
Plant sexuality covers the wide variety of sexual reproduction systems found across the plant kingdom. This article describes morphological aspects of sexual reproduction of plants....

, with separate sexes, some trees being female
Female
Female is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, which produces non-mobile ova .- Defining characteristics :The ova are defined as the larger gametes in a heterogamous reproduction system, while the smaller, usually motile gamete, the spermatozoon, is produced by the male...

 and others being male
Male
Male refers to the biological sex of an organism, or part of an organism, which produces small mobile gametes, called spermatozoa. Each spermatozoon can fuse with a larger female gamete or ovum, in the process of fertilization...

. Male plants produce small pollen cones
Conifer cone
A cone is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta that contains the reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. The male cones, which produce pollen, are usually herbaceous and much less conspicuous even at full maturity...

 with sporophyll
Sporophyll
A sporophyll is a leaf that bears sporangia. Both microphylls and megaphylls can be sporophylls. In heterosporous plants, sporophylls bear either megasporangia , or microsporangia...

s each bearing two microsporangia spirally arranged around a central axis.

Female plants do not produce cones. Two ovule
Ovule
Ovule means "small egg". In seed plants, the ovule is the structure that gives rise to and contains the female reproductive cells. It consists of three parts: The integument forming its outer layer, the nucellus , and the megaspore-derived female gametophyte in its center...

s are formed at the end of a stalk, and after pollination
Pollination
Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilisation and sexual reproduction. Pollen grains transport the male gametes to where the female gamete are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself...

, one or both develop into seeds. The seed is 1.5–2 cm long. Its fleshy outer layer (the sarcotesta
Sarcotesta
The sarcotesta is the outermost fleshy covering of Cycad seeds. Below this layer is usually the sclerotesta, the coating that makes direct contact with the cycad seed. In some species, however, there is an intermediate layer that is thought to be used in water retention and storage....

) is light yellow-brown, soft, and fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

-like. It is attractive in appearance, but contains butanoic acid (also known as butyric acid) and smells like rancid butter
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

 or vomit when fallen. Beneath the sarcotesta is the hard sclerotesta
Sclerotesta
Sclerotesta is the innermost fleshy coating of cycad seeds, usually located directly below the Sarcotesta....

 (the "shell" of the seed) and a papery endotesta, with the nucellus surrounding the female gametophyte
Gametophyte
A gametophyte is the haploid, multicellular phase of plants and algae that undergo alternation of generations, with each of its cells containing only a single set of chromosomes....

 at the center.

The fertilization of ginkgo seeds occurs via motile sperm, as in cycads, ferns, mosses and algae. The sperm are large (about 70–90 micrometres) and are similar to the sperm of cycads, which are slightly larger. Ginkgo sperm were first discovered by the Japanese botanist Sakugoro Hirase in 1896. The sperm have a complex multi-layered structure, which is a continuous belt of basal bodies that form the base of several thousand flagella which actually have a cilia-like motion. The flagella/cilia apparatus pulls the body of the sperm forwards. The sperm have only a tiny distance to travel to the archegonia, of which there are usually two or three. Two sperm are produced, one of which successfully fertilizes the ovule. Although it is widely held that fertilization of ginkgo seeds occurs just before or after they fall in early autumn, embryos ordinarily occur in seeds just before and after they drop from the tree.

Distribution and habitat

Although Ginkgo biloba and other species of the genus were once widespread throughout the world, their range shrank until by two million years ago it was restricted to a small area of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.
For centuries it was thought to be extinct in the wild, but is now known to grow in at least two small areas in Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 province in Eastern China, in the Tian Mu Shan
Tianmu Mountain
Tianmu Mountain, also known as Tianmushan , is a mountain in Lin'an County in Northwestern Zhejiang province in eastern China. Tianmushan is located west of Hangzhou, China. It is made up of two peaks. The West Tianmu Peak, also called Xianren Peak and the East Tianmu Peak, also called Daxian Peak...

 Reserve. However, recent studies indicate high genetic uniformity among ginkgo trees from these areas, arguing against a natural origin of these populations and suggesting that the ginkgo trees in these areas may have been planted and preserved by Chinese monks over a period of about 1,000 years. Whether native ginkgo populations still exist has not been demonstrated unequivocally.

Where it occurs in the wild it is found infrequently in deciduous forests and valleys on acidic loess
Loess
Loess is an aeolian sediment formed by the accumulation of wind-blown silt, typically in the 20–50 micrometre size range, twenty percent or less clay and the balance equal parts sand and silt that are loosely cemented by calcium carbonate...

 (i.e. fine, silty soil) with good drainage. The soil it inhabits is typically in the pH range of 5 to 5.5.

In many areas of China it has been long cultivated and it is common in the southern third of the country. It has also been commonly cultivated in North America for over 200 years, but during that time it has never become significantly naturalised.

Taxonomy and naming

The species was initially described by Linnaeus in 1771, the specific epithet biloba derived from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 bis 'two' and loba 'lobed', referring to the shape of the leaves. Two names for the species recognise the botanist Richard Salisbury, a placement by Nelson as Pterophyllus salisburiensis and the earlier Salisburia adiantifolia proposed by James Edward Smith
James Edward Smith
Sir James Edward Smith was an English botanist and founder of the Linnean Society.Smith was born in Norwich in 1759, the son of a wealthy wool merchant. He displayed a precocious interest in the natural world...

. The epithet of the latter may have been intended to denote a characteristic resembling Adiantum, the genus of maidenhair ferns.

The relationship of Ginkgo to other plant groups remains uncertain. It has been placed loosely in the divisions Spermatophyta and Pinophyta
Pinophyta
The conifers, division Pinophyta, also known as division Coniferophyta or Coniferae, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the Kingdom Plantae. Pinophytes are gymnosperms. They are cone-bearing seed plants with vascular tissue; all extant conifers are woody plants, the great majority being...

, but no consensus has been reached. Since Ginkgo seeds are not protected by an ovary
Ovary (plants)
In the flowering plants, an ovary is a part of the female reproductive organ of the flower or gynoecium. Specifically, it is the part of the pistil which holds the ovule and is located above or below or at the point of connection with the base of the petals and sepals...

 wall, it can morphologically be considered a gymnosperm
Gymnosperm
The gymnosperms are a group of seed-bearing plants that includes conifers, cycads, Ginkgo, and Gnetales. The term "gymnosperm" comes from the Greek word gymnospermos , meaning "naked seeds", after the unenclosed condition of their seeds...

. The apricot-like structures produced by female ginkgo trees are technically not fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

s, but are seeds that have a shell that consists of a soft and fleshy section (the sarcotesta
Sarcotesta
The sarcotesta is the outermost fleshy covering of Cycad seeds. Below this layer is usually the sclerotesta, the coating that makes direct contact with the cycad seed. In some species, however, there is an intermediate layer that is thought to be used in water retention and storage....

), and a hard section (the sclerotesta
Sclerotesta
Sclerotesta is the innermost fleshy coating of cycad seeds, usually located directly below the Sarcotesta....

).

The ginkgo is classified in its own division, the Ginkgophyta, comprising the single class Ginkgoopsida, order Ginkgoales, family Ginkgoaceae
Ginkgoaceae
The Ginkgoaceae is a family of gymnosperms which appeared during the Mesozoic Era, of which the only extant representative is Ginkgo biloba, which is for this reason sometimes regarded as a living fossil...

, genus Ginkgo
Ginkgo
Ginkgo , also spelled gingko and known as the Maidenhair Tree, is a unique species of tree with no close living relatives...

 and is the only extant species within this group. It is one of the best-known examples of a living fossil
Living fossil
Living fossil is an informal term for any living species which appears similar to a species otherwise only known from fossils and which has no close living relatives, or a group of organisms which have long fossil records...

, because Ginkgoales other than G. biloba are not known from the fossil record after the Pliocene
Pliocene
The Pliocene Epoch is the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5.332 million to 2.588 million years before present. It is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch...

.

Etymology

The older Chinese name for this plant is 銀果 ('silver fruit'), nowadays pronounced as yínguǒ in Mandarin.
The most usual names today are 白果 bái guǒ ('white fruit') and yínxìng ('silver apricot
Apricot
The apricot, Prunus armeniaca, is a species of Prunus, classified with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation.- Description :...

'). The former name was borrowed
Loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

 directly in Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

 (as bạch quả).
The latter name was borrowed in Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

 (as ぎんなん "ginnan") and Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

 (as 은행 "eunhaeng"), when the tree itself was introduced from China.

The scientific name Ginkgo appears to be due to a process akin to folk etymology.
Chinese characters
Kanji
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters hanzi that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana , katakana , Indo Arabic numerals, and the occasional use of the Latin alphabet...

 typically have multiple pronunciations in Japanese, and the characters 銀杏 used for ginnan can also be pronounced ginkyō.
Engelbert Kaempfer
Engelbert Kaempfer
Engelbert Kaempfer , a German naturalist and physician is known for his tour of Russia, Persia, India, South-East Asia, and Japan between 1683 and 1693. He wrote two books about his travels...

, the first Westerner to see the species in 1690, wrote down this pronunciation in his Amoenitates Exoticae (1712) with the "awkward" spelling "Ginkgo". This appears to be a simple error of Kaempfer, taking his spelling of other Japanese words into account, a more precise romanization
Romanization of Japanese
The romanization of Japanese is the application of the Latin alphabet to write the Japanese language. This method of writing is known as , less strictly romaji, literally "Roman letters", sometimes incorrectly transliterated as romanji or rōmanji. There are several different romanization systems...

 would have been "Ginkio" or "Ginkjo".

Palaeontology

The Ginkgo is a living fossil
Living fossil
Living fossil is an informal term for any living species which appears similar to a species otherwise only known from fossils and which has no close living relatives, or a group of organisms which have long fossil records...

, with fossils recognisably related to modern Ginkgo from the Permian
Permian
The PermianThe term "Permian" was introduced into geology in 1841 by Sir Sir R. I. Murchison, president of the Geological Society of London, who identified typical strata in extensive Russian explorations undertaken with Edouard de Verneuil; Murchison asserted in 1841 that he named his "Permian...

, dating back 270 million years. The most plausible ancestral group for the order Ginkgoales is the Pteridospermatophyta, also known as the "seed ferns," specifically the order Peltaspermales. The closest living relatives of the clade are the cycads, which share with the extant G. biloba the characteristic of motile sperm. Fossils attributable to the genus Ginkgo first appeared in the Early Jurassic
Early Jurassic
The Early Jurassic epoch is the earliest of three epochs of the Jurassic period...

, and the genus diversified and spread throughout Laurasia
Laurasia
In paleogeography, Laurasia was the northernmost of two supercontinents that formed part of the Pangaea supercontinent from approximately...

 during the middle Jurassic
Jurassic
The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about Mya to  Mya, that is, from the end of the Triassic to the beginning of the Cretaceous. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic era, also known as the age of reptiles. The start of the period is marked by...

 and Early Cretaceous
Early Cretaceous
The Early Cretaceous or the Lower Cretaceous , is the earlier or lower of the two major divisions of the Cretaceous...

. It declined in diversity as the Cretaceous progressed, and by the Paleocene
Paleocene
The Paleocene or Palaeocene, the "early recent", is a geologic epoch that lasted from about . It is the first epoch of the Palaeogene Period in the modern Cenozoic Era...

, Ginkgo adiantoides was the only Ginkgo species left in the Northern Hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

 while a markedly different (and poorly documented) form persisted in the Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

. At the end of the Pliocene
Pliocene
The Pliocene Epoch is the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5.332 million to 2.588 million years before present. It is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch...

, Ginkgo fossils disappeared from the fossil record everywhere except in a small area of central China where the modern species survived. It is doubtful whether the Northern Hemisphere fossil species of Ginkgo can be reliably distinguished. Given the slow pace of evolution and morphological similarity between members of the genus, there may have been only one or two species existing in the Northern Hemisphere through the entirety of the Cenozoic
Cenozoic
The Cenozoic era is the current and most recent of the three Phanerozoic geological eras and covers the period from 65.5 mya to the present. The era began in the wake of the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous that saw the demise of the last non-avian dinosaurs and...

: present-day G. biloba (including G. adiantoides) and G. gardneri from the Paleocene
Paleocene
The Paleocene or Palaeocene, the "early recent", is a geologic epoch that lasted from about . It is the first epoch of the Palaeogene Period in the modern Cenozoic Era...

 of Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

.

At least morphologically, G. gardneri and the Southern Hemisphere species are the only known post-Jurassic taxa that can be unequivocally recognised. The remainder may have been ecotypes or subspecies
Subspecies
Subspecies in biological classification, is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, ora taxonomic unit in that rank . A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one...

. The implications would be that G. biloba had occurred over an extremely wide range, had remarkable genetic flexibility and, though evolving
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

 genetically, never showed much speciation
Speciation
Speciation is the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise. The biologist Orator F. Cook seems to have been the first to coin the term 'speciation' for the splitting of lineages or 'cladogenesis,' as opposed to 'anagenesis' or 'phyletic evolution' occurring within lineages...

. While it may seem improbable that a species may exist as a contiguous entity for many millions of years, many of the Ginkgo's life-history parameters fit. These are: extreme longevity; slow reproduction rate; (in Cenozoic and later times) a wide, apparently contiguous, but steadily contracting distribution coupled with, as far as can be demonstrated from the fossil record, extreme ecological conservatism (restriction to disturbed streamside environments).

Modern-day G. biloba grows best in environments that are well-watered and drained, and the extremely similar fossil Ginkgo favored similar environments: the sediment record at the majority of fossil Ginkgo localities indicates it grew primarily in disturbed environments along streams and levees. Ginkgo therefore presents an "ecological paradox" because while it possesses some favorable traits for living in disturbed environments (clonal reproduction) many of its other life-history traits (slow growth, large seed size, late reproductive maturity) are the opposite of those exhibited by modern plants that thrive in disturbed settings.

Given the slow rate of evolution of the genus, it is possible that Ginkgo represents a pre-angiosperm strategy for survival in disturbed streamside environments. Ginkgo evolved in an era before flowering plants, when fern
Fern
A fern is any one of a group of about 12,000 species of plants belonging to the botanical group known as Pteridophyta. Unlike mosses, they have xylem and phloem . They have stems, leaves, and roots like other vascular plants...

s, cycad
Cycad
Cycads are seed plants typically characterized by a stout and woody trunk with a crown of large, hard and stiff, evergreen leaves. They usually have pinnate leaves. The individual plants are either all male or all female . Cycads vary in size from having a trunk that is only a few centimeters...

s, and cycadeoids
Bennettitales
Bennettitales is an extinct order of seed plants that first appeared in the Triassic period and became extinct toward the end of the Cretaceous...

 dominated disturbed streamside environments, forming a low, open, shrubby canopy. Ginkgos large seeds and habit of "bolting" - growing to a height of 10 m before elongating its side branches - may be adaptions to such an environment. The fact that diversity in the genus Ginkgo drops through the Cretaceous (along with that of ferns, cycads, and cycadeoids) at the same time that flowering plants were on the rise, supports the notion that flowering plants with better adaptations to disturbance displaced Ginkgo and its associates over time.

Ginkgo has been used for classifying plants with leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 that have more than four veins per segment, while Baiera for those with fewer than four veins per segment. Sphenobaiera has been used to classify plants with a broadly wedge-shaped leaf that lacks a distinct leaf stem. Trichopitys is distinguished by having multiple-forked leaves with cylindrical (not flattened) thread-like ultimate divisions; it is one of the earliest fossils ascribed to the Ginkgophyta.

Cultivation and uses

Ginkgo has long been cultivated in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

; some planted trees at temples are believed to be over 1,500 years old. The first record of Europeans encountering it is in 1690 in Japanese temple gardens, where the tree was seen by the German botanist Engelbert Kaempfer
Engelbert Kaempfer
Engelbert Kaempfer , a German naturalist and physician is known for his tour of Russia, Persia, India, South-East Asia, and Japan between 1683 and 1693. He wrote two books about his travels...

. Because of its status in Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 and Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

, the Ginkgo is also widely planted in Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 and parts of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

; in both areas, some naturalization has occurred, with Ginkgos seeding into natural forests.

In some areas, most intentionally planted Ginkgos are male cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s grafted onto plants propagated from seed, because the male trees will not produce the malodorous seeds. The popular cultivar 'Autumn Gold' is a clone of a male plant.

Ginkgos adapt well to the urban environment, tolerating pollution and confined soil spaces. They rarely suffer disease problems, even in urban conditions, and are attacked by few insects. For this reason, and for their general beauty, ginkgos are excellent urban and shade trees, and are widely planted along many streets.

Ginkgos are also popular subjects for growing as penjing
Penjing
Penjing , also known as penzai , tray landscape, potted scenery, potted landscape, and miniature trees and rockery is the ancient Chinese art of growing trees and plants, kept small by skilled pruning and formed to create an aesthetic shape and the complex illusion of age...

 and bonsai
Bonsai
is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing from which the art originated, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ...

; they can be kept artificially small and tended over centuries. Furthermore, the trees are easy to propagate from seed.

Extreme examples of the Ginkgo's tenacity may be seen in Hiroshima
Hiroshima
is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, where six trees growing between 1–2 km from the 1945 atom bomb explosion were among the few living things in the area to survive the blast (photos and details). While almost all other plants (and animals) in the area were destroyed, the ginkgos, though charred, survived and were soon healthy again. The trees are alive to this day.

The ginkgo leaf is the symbol of the Urasenke
Urasenke
is the name of one of the main schools of Japanese tea ceremony. It is one of the san-Senke ; the other two are Omotesenke and Mushakōjisenke....

 school of Japanese tea ceremony
Japanese tea ceremony
The Japanese tea ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered green tea. In Japanese, it is called . The manner in which it is performed, or the art of its performance, is called...

. The tree is the national tree of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

.

Culinary use

The nut-like gametophyte
Gametophyte
A gametophyte is the haploid, multicellular phase of plants and algae that undergo alternation of generations, with each of its cells containing only a single set of chromosomes....

s inside the seeds are particularly esteemed in Asia, and are a traditional Chinese food. Ginkgo nuts are used in congee
Congee
Congee is a type of rice porridge popular in many Asian countries. It can be eaten alone or served with a side dish. Names for congee are as varied as the style of its preparation...

, and are often served at special occasions such as weddings and the Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

 (as part of the vegetarian dish called Buddha's delight
Buddha's delight
Buddha's delight, often transliterated as Luóhàn zhāi, lo han jai, or lo hon jai, is a vegetarian dish well known in Chinese and Buddhist cuisine...

). In Chinese culture, they are believed to have health benefits; some also consider them to have aphrodisiac
Aphrodisiac
An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire. The name comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable...

 qualities. Japanese cooks add Ginkgo seeds (called ginnan) to dishes such as chawanmushi
Chawanmushi
Chawanmushi is an egg custard dish found in Japan that uses the seeds of ginkgo. Unlike many other custards, it is usually eaten as an appetizer...

, and cooked seeds are often eaten along with other dishes.

When eaten in large quantities or over a long period, especially by children the gametophyte (meat) of the seed can cause poisoning by MPN (4'-O-methylpyridoxine
Ginkgotoxin
Ginkgotoxin is a neurotoxin naturally occurring in Ginkgo biloba. It is an antivitamin structurally related to vitamin B6...

). MPN is heat stable and not destroyed by cooking. Studies have demonstrated that convulsions caused by MPN can be prevented or terminated with pyridoxine
Pyridoxine
Pyridoxine is one of the compounds that can be called vitamin B6, along with pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. It differs from pyridoxamine by the substituent at the '4' position. It is often used as 'pyridoxine hydrochloride'.-Chemistry:...

.

Some people are sensitive to the chemicals in the sarcotesta, the outer fleshy coating. These people should handle the seeds with care when preparing the seeds for consumption, wearing disposable gloves. The symptoms are allergic contact dermatitis
Dermatitis
-Etymology:Dermatitis derives from Greek derma "skin" + -itis "inflammation" and genetic disorder.-Terminology:There are several different types of dermatitis. The different kinds usually have in common an allergic reaction to specific allergens. The term may describe eczema, which is also called...


or blister
Blister
A blister is a small pocket of fluid within the upper layers of the skin, typically caused by forceful rubbing , burning, freezing, chemical exposure or infection. Most blisters are filled with a clear fluid called serum or plasma...

s similar to that caused by contact with poison ivy
Poison ivy
Toxicodendron radicans, better known as poison ivy , is a poisonous North American plant that is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant that causes an itching rash in most people who touch it...

. However, seeds with the fleshy coating removed are mostly safe to handle.

Medicinal uses

Extracts of Ginkgo leaves contain flavonoid
Flavonoid
Flavonoids , are a class of plant secondary metabolites....

 glycosides and terpenoids (ginkgolide
Ginkgolide
thumb|right|Chemical structure of ginkgolidesGinkgolides are biologically active terpenic lactones present in Ginkgo biloba. They are diterpenoids with 20-carbon skeletons, which are biosynthesized from geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate....

s, bilobalide
Bilobalide
Bilobalide is a biologically active terpenic trilactone present in Ginkgo biloba.-Chemistry:Bilobalide is a main constituent of the terpenoids found in Ginkgo leaves. It also exists in minor amounts in the roots. It is a sesquiterpenoid, i.e. it has a 15-carbon skeleton...

s) and have been used pharmaceutically. Ginkgo supplements are usually taken in the range of 40–200 mg per day. Recently, careful clinical trial
Clinical trial
Clinical trials are a set of procedures in medical research and drug development that are conducted to allow safety and efficacy data to be collected for health interventions...

s have shown Ginkgo to be effective in treating dementia
Dementia
Dementia is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging...

 but not preventing the onset of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death...

 in normal people.

In memory enhancement

Ginkgo is believed to have nootropic
Nootropic
Nootropics , also referred to as smart drugs, brain steroids, memory enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers, are drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals, and functional foods that improve mental functions such as cognition, memory, intelligence, motivation, attention, and concentration...

 properties, and is mainly used as memory
Memory
In psychology, memory is an organism's ability to store, retain, and recall information and experiences. Traditional studies of memory began in the fields of philosophy, including techniques of artificially enhancing memory....

 and concentration
Attention
Attention is the cognitive process of paying attention to one aspect of the environment while ignoring others. Attention is one of the most intensely studied topics within psychology and cognitive neuroscience....

 enhancer, and anti-vertigo
Vertigo (medical)
Vertigo is a type of dizziness, where there is a feeling of motion when one is stationary. The symptoms are due to a dysfunction of the vestibular system in the inner ear...

 agent. However, studies differ about its efficacy. The largest and longest independent clinical trial to assess Ginkgo biloba’s ability to prevent memory loss has found that the supplement does not prevent or delay dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Some controversy has arisen over the conclusions drawn by some studies that were funded by a firm which marketed Ginkgo.


In 2002 a long-anticipated paper appeared in JAMA
Journal of the American Medical Association
The Journal of the American Medical Association is a weekly, peer-reviewed, medical journal, published by the American Medical Association. Beginning in July 2011, the editor in chief will be Howard C. Bauchner, vice chairman of pediatrics at Boston University’s School of Medicine, replacing ...

 titled "Ginkgo for memory enhancement: a randomized controlled trial." This Williams College study, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging
National Institute on Aging
The National Institute on Aging ' is a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health , located in Baltimore, Maryland.The NIA leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life...

 rather than Schwabe, examined the effects of ginkgo consumption on healthy volunteers older than 60. The conclusion, now cited in the National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health are an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and are the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. Its science and engineering counterpart is the National Science Foundation...

's ginkgo fact sheet, said: "When taken following the manufacturer's instructions, ginkgo provides no measurable benefit in memory or related cognitive function to adults with healthy cognitive function."
...
The impact of this seemingly damning assessment, however, was ameliorated by the almost simultaneous publication of a Schwabe-sponsored study in the less prestigious journal Human Psychopharmacology. This rival study, conducted at Liberty University
Liberty University
Liberty University is a private Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty's annual enrollment is around 72,000 students, 12,000 of whom are residential students and 60,000+ studying through Liberty University Online...

, was rejected by JAMA, and came to a very different—if not exactly sweeping—conclusion: There was ample evidence to support "the potential efficacy of Ginkgo biloba EGb 761 in enhancing certain neuropsychological/memory processes of cognitively intact older adults, 60 years of age and over."


According to some studies, Ginkgo can significantly improve attention in healthy individuals. In one such study, the effect was almost immediate and reaches its peak in 2.5 hours after the intake.

One study suggests that Ginkgo's effect on cognition may be attributable to its inhibitory effect on norepinephrine reuptake
Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor
A norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor or adrenergic reuptake inhibitor , is a type of drug which acts as a reuptake inhibitor for the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine by blocking the action of the norepinephrine transporter...

.

In dementia

Ginkgo has been proposed as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death...

 on the basis of positive preclinical results in mice and a 2006 study that found 160 mg of ginkgo extract as effective as a daily 5 mg dose of the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil in human subjects. A 2008 randomized controlled clinical trial published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
The International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry is a scientific journal for the field of geriatric psychiatry....

 found gingko ineffective at treating dementia
Dementia
Dementia is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging...

 in humans at a daily dose of 120 mg. A similar trial published in the same journal in 2010, however, found ginkgo effective at treating mild to moderate dementia at the higher dose of 240 mg daily. Another randomized controlled trial, published in JAMA in 2009, found no benefit from ginkgo in preventing cognitive decline or dementia. A recent meta-analysis of nine studies of ginkgo for use in the treatment of dementia concluded that it was more effective than placebo although, like other dementia drugs, the clinical significance of these moderate effects was difficult to quantify.

In other symptoms

Out of the many conflicting research results, Ginkgo extract may have three effects on the human body: improvement in blood flow (including microcirculation in small capillaries) to most tissues and organs; protection against oxidative cell damage from free radicals; and blockage of many of the effects of platelet-activating factor
Platelet-activating factor
Platelet-activating factor, also known as a PAF, PAF-acether or AGEPC is a potent phospholipid activator and mediator of many leukocyte functions, including platelet aggregation and degranulation, inflammation, and anaphylaxis...

 (platelet aggregation, blood clotting) that have been related to the development of a number of cardiovascular, renal, respiratory and central nervous system
Central nervous system
The central nervous system is the part of the nervous system that integrates the information that it receives from, and coordinates the activity of, all parts of the bodies of bilaterian animals—that is, all multicellular animals except sponges and radially symmetric animals such as jellyfish...

 disorders. Ginkgolides, especially ginkgolide B, are potent antagonists against platelet-activating factor
Platelet-activating factor
Platelet-activating factor, also known as a PAF, PAF-acether or AGEPC is a potent phospholipid activator and mediator of many leukocyte functions, including platelet aggregation and degranulation, inflammation, and anaphylaxis...

; and thus may be useful in protection and prevention of thrombus
Thrombus
A thrombus , or blood clot, is the final product of the blood coagulation step in hemostasis. It is achieved via the aggregation of platelets that form a platelet plug, and the activation of the humoral coagulation system...

, endotoxic shock, and from myocardial ischeamia
Myocardial ischemia
Myocardial ischemia is an imbalance between myocardial oxygen supply and demand. Left untreated, it results in angina pectoris, myocardial stunning, myocardial hibernation, ischemic preconditioning, postconditioning, or under the most severe instances, acute coronary syndrome and myocardial...

.Ginkgo can be used for intermittent claudication
Intermittent claudication
Intermittent claudication is a clinical diagnosis given for muscle pain , classically in the calf muscle, which occurs during exercise, such as walking, and is relieved by a short period of rest.Claudication derives from the Latin verb claudicare, "to limp".-Signs:One of the hallmarks of arterial...

.

Some studies suggest a link between ginkgo and the easing of the symptoms of tinnitus
Tinnitus
Tinnitus |ringing]]") is the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound.Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom that can result from a wide range of underlying causes: abnormally loud sounds in the ear canal for even the briefest period , ear...

.

The World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 reports that the medicinal uses of Ginkgo biloba that are supported by clinical data include treatment of the effects mild to moderate cerebrovascular insufficiency as well as the effects of peripheral
Peripheral
A peripheral is a device attached to a host computer, but not part of it, and is more or less dependent on the host. It expands the host's capabilities, but does not form part of the core computer architecture....

 arterial occlusive diseases. Cerebrovascular insufficiency, i.e., insufficient blood flow to the brain, may manifest itself as such memory deficit, disturbed concentration or headaches. Peripheral arterial occlusive diseases are those in which the blood flow to the smaller arteries are restricted and may include claudication, i.e., painful walking, and Raynaud's disease, a condition in which the extremities such as fingers, toes, nose or ears, feel numb and cold.

Preliminary studies suggest that Ginkgo may be of benefit in multiple sclerosis, showing modest improvements in cognition and fatigue without increasing rates of serious adverse events in this population.

A study conducted in 2003 by the Department of Dermatology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India concluded that Ginkgo is an effective treatment for arresting the development of vitiligo
Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a condition that causes depigmentation of sections of skin. It occurs when melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation, die or are unable to function. The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but research suggests that it may arise from autoimmune, genetic, oxidative stress,...

. The study reported that 40 mg of Ginkgo biloba three times per day for 6 months arrested the spread of vitiligo in 20 out of 25 participants in the active group, and induced marked (75% or greater) repigmentation in 10 of these participants.

A later study conducted by University of Toronto researchers and published in 2011 discussed the results of an open label pilot clinical trial of twelve patients taking 60 mg of Ginkgo biloba twice a day for 12 weeks. The study found the progression of vitiligo stopped in all participants; the total VASI (Vitiligo Area Scoring Index) indicated an average repigmentation of vitiligo lesions of 15%. The authors conclude "Larger, randomized double-blind clinical studies are warranted and appear feasible." The Toronto researchers were not sure why the Indian study had better results but they speculated on a number of things. The Indian study was longer; they did not use exactly the same Ginkgo biloba extract; the dosage was different and delivered in an alternate method. They said the genetic variations in the population might have made a difference, as well as diet and social differences. In the Toronto study, some of the participants did not complete the study until November, thus experiencing substantially less sun exposure in the later months of their treatment. Because sun exposure can stimulate the proliferation of melanocytes and vitamin D, this factor could also explain the deviation in results.

Side effects

Ginkgo may have undesirable effects, especially for individuals with blood circulation disorders and those taking anticoagulant
Anticoagulant
An anticoagulant is a substance that prevents coagulation of blood. A group of pharmaceuticals called anticoagulants can be used in vivo as a medication for thrombotic disorders. Some anticoagulants are used in medical equipment, such as test tubes, blood transfusion bags, and renal dialysis...

s such as ibuprofen
Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used for relief of symptoms of arthritis, fever, as an analgesic , especially where there is an inflammatory component, and dysmenorrhea....

, aspirin
Aspirin
Aspirin , also known as acetylsalicylic acid , is a salicylate drug, often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, as an antipyretic to reduce fever, and as an anti-inflammatory medication. It was discovered by Arthur Eichengrun, a chemist with the German company Bayer...

, or warfarin
Warfarin
Warfarin is an anticoagulant. It is most likely to be the drug popularly referred to as a "blood thinner," yet this is a misnomer, since it does not affect the thickness or viscosity of blood...

, although recent studies have found that ginkgo has little or no effect on the anticoagulant properties or pharmacodynamics of warfarin in healthy subjects. Ginkgo inhibits monoamine oxidase, and therefore should not be used by people who are taking certain types of antidepressants (monoamine oxidase inhibitor
Monoamine oxidase inhibitor
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of antidepressant drugs prescribed for the treatment of depression. They are particularly effective in treating atypical depression....

s and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor are a class of compounds typically used as antidepressants in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and some personality disorders. The efficacy of SSRIs is disputed...

s) or by pregnant
Pregnancy
Pregnancy refers to the fertilization and development of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, in a woman's uterus. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets...

 women, without first consulting a doctor.

Ginkgo side effects and cautions include: possible increased risk of bleeding, gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea
Nausea
Nausea , is a sensation of unease and discomfort in the upper stomach with an involuntary urge to vomit. It often, but not always, precedes vomiting...

, vomiting
Vomiting
Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose...

, diarrhea
Diarrhea
Diarrhea , also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day. It is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and...

, headaches, dizziness, heart palpitation
Palpitation
A palpitation is an abnormality of heartbeat that causes a conscious awareness of its beating, whether it is too slow, too fast, irregular, or at its normal frequency. The word may also refer to this sensation itself...

s, and restlessness. If any side effects are experienced, consumption should be stopped immediately.

Allergic precautions and contraindications to use

People taking pharmaceutical blood thinners such as warfarin
Warfarin
Warfarin is an anticoagulant. It is most likely to be the drug popularly referred to as a "blood thinner," yet this is a misnomer, since it does not affect the thickness or viscosity of blood...

 or coumadin
Coumadin
*For the rodenticide class of anticoagulant poisons sometimes loosely referred to as coumadins or coumarins, see 4-hydroxycoumarins.*For the pharmaceutical with the trade name Coumadin, see warfarin....

 should consult with their doctor before taking Gingko biloba extracts, as it acts as an anti-coagulant.

The presence of amentoflavone
Amentoflavone
Amentoflavone is a constituent of a number of plants with medicinal properties, including Ginkgo biloba and Hypericum perforatum .It is a biflavonoid ....

 in Gingko biloba leaves would indicate a potential for interactions with many medications through the strong inhibition of CYP3A4
CYP3A4
Cytochrome P450 3A4 , a member of the cytochrome P450 mixed-function oxidase system, is one of the most important enzymes involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics in the body. CYP3A4 is involved in the oxidation of the largest range of substrates of all the CYPs. As a result, CYP3A4 is present in...

 and CYP2C9
CYP2C9
Cytochrome P450 2C9 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the CYP2C9 gene.- Function :CYP2C9 is an important cytochrome P450 enzyme with a major role in the oxidation of both xenobiotic and endogenous compounds. CYP2C9 makes up about 18% of the cytochrome P450 protein in liver microsomes...

; however, there is a lack of any empirical evidence supporting this. Further, at recommended doses, studies have shown "Multiple-dose administration of Ginkgo biloba did not affect cytochrome P-450 2D6 or 3A4 activity in normal volunteers." It is possible that the concentration of amentoflavone found even in commercial Gingko biloba extracts is too low to be pharmacologically active.

Ginkgo biloba leaves also contain long-chain alkylphenols together with the extremely potent allergens, the urushiol
Urushiol
Urushiol is an oily organic allergen found in plants of the family Anacardiaceae, especially Toxicodendron spp. . It causes an allergic skin rash on contact, known as urushiol-induced contact dermatitis...

s (similar to poison ivy). Individuals with a history of strong allergic reactions to poison ivy, mangoes, and other urushiol-producing plants are more likely to experience an adverse reaction when consuming Ginkgo-containing pills, combinations, or extracts.

See also

  • André Michaux
    André Michaux
    André Michaux was a French botanist and explorer.-Biography:Michaux was born in Satory, now part of Versailles, Yvelines. After the death of his wife within a year of their marriage he took up the study of botany and was a student of Bernard de Jussieu...

    , introduced the ginkgo to North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

  • Antioxidant
    Antioxidant
    An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When...

  • Ginkgo/Wanapum State Park
    Ginkgo/Wanapum State Park
    Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park/Wanapum Recreational Area is a state park at Vantage, Washington including 27,000 feet of freshwater shoreline on the Wanapum Reservoir on the Columbia River. Petrified wood was discovered in the region in the early 1930s, which led to creation of the park...

     in central Washington, USA
  • Herbalism
    Herbalism
    Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, herblore, and phytotherapy...

  • List of edible seeds
  • Naturopathic medicine
    Naturopathic medicine
    Naturopathy, or Naturopathic Medicine, is a form of alternative medicine based on a belief in vitalism, which posits that a special energy called vital energy or vital force guides bodily processes such as metabolism, reproduction, growth, and adaptation...


External links

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