Ginkgo is known for getting blood to the brain. Researchers believe it may also help the eyes. Eleven people treated with ginkgo biloba extract for two days showed a 23% increased blood velocity in the main eye artery (40 mg three times a day). The speedy blood came with no side effects. This is good news for anybody with eye problems relating to impaired blood flow.

Ginkgo works by interfering with the ability of blood cells to stick together. It especially works in tiny blood vessels known as capillaries. In one study, the blood flow to fingernail capillaries was increased 57%. While it’s nice to grow nails, it’s better yet to see, think, and remember. If this new research on eyes holds up, ginkgo will have a new role to play in the extension of the brain known as the eyes.

Chung HS, et al. 1999. Ginkgo biloba extract increases ocular blood flow velocity. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 15:233-40. Jung F, et al. 1990. Effect of ginkgo biloba on fluidity of blood and peripheral microcirculation in volunteers. Arzneimittelforschung 40:589-93.