For our own purposes, ginkgo biloba is useful in terms of treating different types of vascular deficiency. But ginkgo has also successfully been used to treat dementia and senility in dogs.
Due to its safety and amazingly useful elements, ginkgo is one of those wonder herbs. For its value in improving circulation in small capillaries, it leads to countless applications that other drug treatments simply can’t manage.
There have been a lot of studies on the effectiveness of ginkgo, with as many as 400 of them in the mix pertaining to both human and animal usage. In Europe in particular, ginkgo is one of the most frequently prescribed drugs for a number of ailments.
Safe to Use…
There have been no significant clinical trials, but its relative safety to use and the corresponding human trials have been encouraging when it comes to determining if ginkgo’s a good option for dogs.
As always, take the precautions into account and follow any instructions before using. If you’re uncertain, check with a holistic vet first.
Dosing Ginkgo Biloba for Dogs
Here’s a helpful guide:
- If using a powder or capsule of straight, 500 mg for dogs weighing 25-50 lbs every 8-12 hrs.
- If using an extract or tincture, use 5-10 drops for every 10 lbs every 8-12 hrs.
Senior Dog Wisdom formula above includes Ginkgo Biloba, but also includes other crucial fatty acids and antioxidants for your dog’s brain health.
It far outweighs just using Ginkgo alone for dogs showing symptoms of dementia.
What Gingko Is Typically Used For
- There are two groups of chemical constituents in ginkgo: flavone glycosides and terpene lactones. These constituents are believed to aid in improving blood flow in small capillaries, which subsequently may help to treat vascular difficulties in older dogs.
- Ginkgo may also contribute to the moving of so-called “sticky blood” in smaller capillaries and help clear those areas particularly susceptible to blockage.
- Ginkgo, on top of the aforementioned assistance to small capillaries, helps promote the elasticity and tone of blood vessels in dogs. This makes them stronger and less vulnerable to tricky things like degenerative diseases. Because of the importance of these small capillaries and their connection to tissues in the brain, ears and extremities, you can imagine how valuable ginkgo can be in terms of fighting conditions like stroke. Blood flow is very, very important.
- Ginkgo has also been cited as useful in terms of fighting conditions like age-related depression and abnormal behaviors. Once again, this comes down to circulation. Because ginkgo gets in to those small capillaries and clears things out to promote proper flow, it ensures that the brain and other vital parts get the blood it needs. It also ensures that the body can heal itself more effectively because of the promotion of blood flow.
- Some have also cited ginkgo’s use in a tonic for weak kidney function. Once again, one has to only take a look at its properties in terms of assisting blood flow to see the connection here. Because of the kidney’s dependence on blood flow, different herbal options have made big strides in terms of treating kidney issues.
- Ginkgo tea has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese herbology using the seeds for respiratory issues and especially asthma.
- Early onset of Cushings disease by slowing down the release of the adrenal hormone. Our Adrenal Calm Herbal Blend can also help dogs diagnosed with Cushings by reducing the Cortisol levels.
Ginkgo in all its applications, whether as a tonic or tincture or capsule form, is considered fairly safe.
- If it’s used in conjunction with blood thinners or with animals with blood-clotting disorders, it may run the risk of thinning the blood too much and therefore having a problematic effect.
- Pets with bleeding disorders should not be given ginkgo one week prior to surgery and one week after.
- Do not use this herb if your dog is taking Coumadin (Warfarin), Heparin, Aspirin or any other nonsteroidal medicines.
- There have also been some cases where ginkgo has led to restlessness, diarrhea and nausea in some dogs. It should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation, but is otherwise considered relatively safe to use.
About Ginkgo Biloba
The ginkgo tree, known as ginkgo biloba is actually one of the oldest species of trees in the world, with signs of it appearing in the fossil record some 250 million years ago. It has evolved rather slowly in the genus through time and all other connected species have been wiped out, with ginkgo biloba the only survivor.
It’s believed there were one several hundred varieties of ginkgo biloba, in fact, spanning the globe for around two million years before their eventual extinction.
The ginkgo tree is only found in the wild in China, but it has been cultivated throughout the world. It grows best in well-watered and drained environments and is noted for its fan-shaped leaves, with healthy trees living as long as a thousand years.
The tree is deciduous, which means it loses its leaves seasonally. It blooms in the early spring and the fruits develop and ripen by the middle of summer.
In terms of usage, the ginkgo is derived from the harvested leaves. Nuts from the ginkgo biloba tree were harvested for thousands of years, but most modern herbalists are more interested in producing tinctures, teas and even capsules from the leaves.
Ginkgo biloba is a safe, effective herbal remedy that all pet owners should consider using for their beloved four-legged friend.
References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen