Essay on Significance of Ginkgo Biloba

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Significance of Ginkgo Biloba

The ginkgo tree appeared on earth approximately 230 million years ago, which was before dinosaurs evolved. They were referred to as 'living fossils' by Charles Darwin. These trees are so hardy that one of them lived through the atomic blast that destroyed Hiroshima (Anonymous No. 2, 1997). This tree is one of the earth's two oldest trees, The members of the Ginkgoacae family grew in parts of what are now Australia, the British Isles, Greenland, China, Russia, northern Europe, Japan, South America, Africa, and in the United States during the Mesozoic Era. It later retreated to a small area in eastern China with the changes in the world climate. It is the only surviving tree of the ginkgo family (Corrigan,
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Liu Wen-Tai notes the use of leaves in treating diarrhea (Foster, 1996). In traditional China, the seeds, with fleshy rind removed, are considered to be more beneficial than the leaves. The Chinese used the seeds as an astringent for the lungs, to stop asthma, enuresis, and excessive leucorrhea. It was also used to regulate urinary frequency and to suppress coughing (Foster, 1996). The Chinese have also used the ginkgo tree for promoting life longevity and increasing sexual endurance (Anonymous No. 2, 1997). In the present day, the ginkgo tree has numerous uses.

The ginkgo tree is used for many different things in the present day. The process the leaves go through will be discussed first. The largest ginkgo tree plantation in the world is found in South Carolina. There are approximately 12 million ginkgo trees grown here. The leaves are picked from the trees when it is cooler outside. The leaves then have to be dried within 12 hours or they will begin to rot. These leaves are dried in a massive drum at temperatures up to 1, 260 degrees. More than 2.5 million pounds of dried, baled leaves, enough to fill 65 truck trailers, are shipped from South Carolina to Charleston to Europe (Anonymous No. 1, 1998). These trees are used in many different ways. The Japanese use the nuts to roast and eat at banquets and weddings. They also grind the seeds and use them to season soups, stews, and custards. This seems to be part of their

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