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Blood pressure and gingko biloba

Blood pressure and gingko biloba

An HSI member named Toni writes: “I thought I remembered reading that gingko biloba caused hypertension. Is this true? I need this product if it works.”

Toni is on the right track, but going the wrong way. Studies have shown that ginkgo may help promote hypotension – blood pressure that’s lower than usual. So any patient who takes medication to address blood pressure issues should be careful with ginkgo use and talk to their doctor before beginning a ginkgo regimen.

Another word of caution about ginkgo use appears in a book written by HSI Panelist Hyla Cass, M.D., and Kathleen Barnes: “8 Weeks to Vibrant Health: A Woman’s Take- Charge Program to Correct Imbalances, Reclaim Energy, and Restore Well-Being.” Cass and Barnes note that ginkgo acts as an antioxidant and may help prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, but they note: “Since it also functions as a blood thinner, do not combine with other anticoagulants.”

Like Toni, anyone interested in boosting mental function will find excellent information in Cass and Barnes’ book, which was featured in an issue of the HSI Members Alert. Just a few of the “8 Weeks” mental sharpness tips highlighted in that Members Alert article include:

“You need ample B vitamins to help make neurotranmitters, the chemical messengers of the brain, especially during times of stress when B vitamins are in greater demand.”

“Our trillions of brain cells are comprised of 60 to 70 percent fat or lipid, and we need a supply of essential fatty acids (EFAs) to provide the appropriate raw materials.”

“Acetyl-L-Carnitine provides fuel for the brain. It’s a powerful antioxidant, as well as a helper in making the memory neurotransmitter acetylcholine. (Use with caution in diabetes, liver disease, or kidney disease.)”

“Phosphatidylcholine and Phosphatidylserine are phospholipids that form the structure of nerve cell membranes, and decline with age.”

You can find much more information about Dr. Cass’ book at

For HSI members, the monthly Members Alert provides an excellent resource for helpful information about alternative healthcare. Learn how you can be among the first to find out about the latest groundbreaking advances that the mainstream media routinely ignores.