Ginkgo biloba, or maidenhair, is a tree native to China that has been grown for thousands of years for a variety of uses.

Because it’s the only surviving member of an ancient order of plants, it’s sometimes referred to as a living fossil.

While its leaves and seeds are often used in traditional Chinese medicine, modern research primarily focuses on ginkgo extract, which is made from the leaves.

Ginkgo supplements are associated with several health claims and uses, most of which focus on brain function and blood circulation.

Increase Testosterone
Concerning sexual function, while there is no doubt that men differ in their perspectives, they exhibit particular similarity when it comes to this aspect of their lives. 

Understandably, impaired sexual function is one of the most feared conditions by men.

Problems that can be attributed to this are numerous, ranging from structural anomalies to hormonal imbalances and even certain medications. 

The most common symptom of deranged sexual function if erectile dysfunction.
While sildenafil (brand name Viagra) is popular in mainstream medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine values Ginkgo biloba as a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction. 

A study published in 2008 investigated the effects of Ginkgo biloba on testosterone synthesis within the Leydig cells of rats (which produce testosterone if there’s enough luteinizing hormone). 

Results indicated that ginkgo extracts can enhance both the synthesis and secretion of testosterone within Leydig cells.

Increase Performance and Endurance
Ginkgo biloba also improves aerobic endurance thanks to its vasodilation effects that enhance oxygen delivery to muscle tissue.

Ginkgo has also been shown to improve exercise endurance in patients with peripheral artery disease. However, evidence of this effect has not been scientifically proven in healthy and/or older athletes. 

Studies have also indicated that ginkgo extracts significantly improve alertness and calmness in healthy individuals, which is good for athletic performance.

Increase Brain Function
The effect of Ginkgo biloba in boosting memory function is one of the primary reasons why people use it.

This is thanks to being rich in acetylcholine – a substance naturally present in the human body that works as a neurotransmitter. So herbs that are rich in acetylcholine, such as Ginkgo biloba, are known to improve memory function.
Besides memory, ginkgo extracts have other roles in boosting brain function.
For instance, a study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal analyzed the benefits of ginkgo in neuropsychiatric disorders.

Researchers also reported significant alleviation of psychopathological symptoms in patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder with a clinically significant response of the extract reaching up to 81%. 

In the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), however, ginkgo couldn’t rival contemporary medications.

Although, it did prove to have fewer side effects and didn’t lead to insomnia and/or loss of appetite like mainstream medications for ADHD. 

Another study that examined the effect of ginkgo extracts on brain cognition found that a 14-day administration of Ginkgo biloba extract was associated with significant improvement in brain function. 

Enhances Oxygen Delivery
Oxygen delivery to tissues is a primary factor in blood flow. When the amount of blood flowing to tissues is increased, the oxygen delivery to those particular tissues is also increased.

In the human body, oxygen is carried in blood while bound to a structure called hemoglobin, which is located within red blood cells. 

Therefore, improved blood flow to tissues increases the amount of hemoglobin reaching those tissues, resulting in enhanced oxygen delivery.
Here’s how it works: 
As mentioned earlier, Ginkgo biloba extracts contain a substance called acetylcholine.
Among the many functions of acetylcholine, one of its roles in the body is to cause vasodilation – a process where blood vessels dilate. 
Once blood vessels have undergone vasodilation, the amount of blood flow through these vessels is increased, thereby enhancing oxygen delivery to the tissues as previously discussed.

Supports healthy Heart and Blood Pressure
Additional studies have shown that Ginkgo biloba is protective to the heart.
For instance, a study published in 2017 systematically investigated the effect of using ginkgo extracts in treating cardio-cerebrovascular disease. 

The results showed that ginkgo protects the heart through multiple mechanisms and several biological pathways.

It was also noted that ginkgo can help prevent ischemia, which is the reduction of blood flow to tissues or organs. 

Ginkgo also stimulates the release of a substance called nitric oxide, which enhances blood circulation, not only throughout the body but especially within vessels supplying the heart. 

Another heart-protective role of ginkgo is its anti-inflammatory effect. Studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory effects of ginkgo help maintain the integrity of the heart muscle.

Increases hair growth (Fights male-pattern baldness)
As we have already discussed, improved circulation of blood in the body is one of the key benefits of Ginkgo biloba.

Conveniently, the positive connection between blood circulation and hair growth is well established. 

Studies such as this one conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital concluded that improved blood flow to hair follicles directly enhances the growth of healthier, shinier, and fuller hair. 

Ginkgo not only causes vasodilation, but it is loaded with proteins as well, which help stimulate blood vessel growth in the skin.

 These blood vessels are then responsible for ensuring improved blood supply to hair follicles.