December 9, 2013

Gingko biloba: Promoting Circulation and Mental Clarity in More Ways Than One.

Ginko Twins, C. Nishaan Sandhu November 2013, Maryland Walk.

Oh, the Beautiful, golden fans of Gingko biloba...

one of the oldest tree genus in the world and considered to be one of the most prime examples of living fossil...

These beauties have seen much over the many millennia, as herbalist and friend, Hannah McLeod*, shared earlier this summer in a presentation on Gingko. She also touched on the many memories witnessed by these trees are a lovely metaphor relative to their Medicinal uses for memory.

Gingko leaves are used for what some like to refer to as a 'brain tonic' for improved memory.

Though, I prefer to describe it as a tree whose medicinal uses, historically speaking, is thought to help promote circulation to the brain via the dialation of our blood vessels.

Though many of us may experience memory loss or foggy thinking, not all of us need to increase blood flow to our brains!

 So...these stunning leaves, as medicine, are not necessarily good medicine for all.

However, could it be beneficial for those whose circulation is lacking and unable to deliver a nourishing source of oxygen rich blood to their brains?

Some have used Gingko leaves for altitude sickness or and as a food source. At Weeds of Eden, we would would make a blend of Gingko and Reishi for friends who journeyed to higher mountain ranges. Though, in terms of interesting palettes....the fruits of the female Gingko smell so very similar to vomit, that I am not quite sure how one can consider them edible!

Actually, I have heard that once you get past the stinky, fleshy layer of fruit, a prized food source awaits inside... However, my nose is barely brave enough to walk through a trail of ripe fruits without covered my all facial breathing apparatuses...and I digress...

I have heard clients report feeling a sense of improved memory while using the leaves as medicine, who continue to take Gingko regularly. That having been said, this is not a medicine that I feel very well versed in and I look forward to taking the time to get there.

Botanically speaking, the leaves are twice lobed and show lines that are outwardly flowing.

They are one and the same, yet, double, like twins; an archetype that symbolizes communication of ideas and an outward representation of community...

Astronomically speaking, it touches on the flowing constellation of Gemini, the stellar twins.

When I see this visual representation of the power of two, I think of community, relationships, and the sharing of information... the "communication between" that cultivates a sense of one-ness and life within our community.

I think of the ever flowing circulatory systems of the planet.

The Earth's bodies of water ebb and flow much like our veins;


transporting nourishment to the surfaces in which it pass, cleansing the walls of debris, altering the terrain and allowing for a constant flow of newness.

These vessels of the earth from above in space are astonishingly beautiful.  

The imagery can be seen as an expression of how metaphorically similar these bodies of water can be seen to our own bodies circulation of water and nutrients. 

Our Earth's circulatory system, in which Gingko has been nourished by for years, is a visual representation of how the many bodies that make up our living communities intertwine with one another.

We have more in common than many of us think or see...especially if we peer through a lens that is very isolated within our own sense of self.

The expansiveness of the Earth's circulation illustrates how a lively and flowing community can share similar nourishment and beauty when open minded and moving freely; through thoughts, helping hands, words (both written and spoken), ideas, art, healing, inspiration, etc.

Often, water symbolically represents emotions, and blood represents bonding, life shared and trust.

This reminds me of the saying, "blood is thicker than water"...though, approximately 82% of our blood is without the very thing we claim as "lesser than", the empire of blood could not exist!

Our vital force is literally more connected than we often realize from the surface.

It is when we attempt to separate the water from the blood-our emotions, feelings and connections- from our very lives and daily interactions that our communities begin to atrophy.

Gingko trees, can share a metaphor that voices what it is to stand strong and be fully yourself by allowing the time and space to nourish yourself appropriately and express yourself with ease.

Yet, Gingko also shares how we must also be aware of our role in this ever breathing, communicating, sharing and circulating force in which We Are One.

We have built a modern world whose circulatory system is blocked by dams that enable constant separation, both real and philosophically symbolic.

Many of us are separate from the origins of our food, our warmth, our shoes, our art, even our thoughts.
When we lack true interactions with our community, it becomes easy for people, places and ideas to become exploited or treated cruelly.

We may not ways be able to always see over these damns, but, if we at least give them attention, out energies can begin to erode those static surfaces.

A body of water is made up of many molecules, and, you are not alone. 

In fact, it is quite the opposite, we have a huge capacity for love and support to share. More than many imagine. Recognizing and embracing such possibility is the catalyst for great change. 

When we take the time to actually listen, get to know and understand one another, we can almost always find that we share at least something in common that helps us to form community.

 Even better, the uncommon pieces that are shared are what make a vastly colorful, resourceful, and living community where we all honor one another's gifts by receiving and sharing.

We must realize that a few dams are much weaker than the combined forces of our hearts, our connections, our creativity in supporting one another in the sharing of our True talents.

These attributes nourish our community, our blood, ourselves...and they really do have the power to sculpt the communities in which we live.

Anyhow, I will stop here...

Gingko is such a powerfully beautiful tree in which there are many stories to tell. I wonder what it could do simply as an Plant Ally in which you ponder with?

There is a long corridor of Gingkos close to my home in Kentucky. I anticipate the glorious transmutation of their fan-shaped leaves from green to gold in Autumn.

The photo above was taken on a late November walk in Maryland. It reminded me of how much Gingko shares with us already....all the thoughts that can be inspired as we spend time together...


*I wanted to thank, Hannah McLeod, for inspiring me to think more deeply about the Philosophical wisdom and age of the Summer of 2013. When I posted this photo to Facebook, I did not intend on writing, but, then was brought back to the thoughts I shared with her about Gemini, change, circulation, communication and community after her talk. Her botanical presentation left a beautiful impression on me! 

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