Date: Wed, 30 Aug 1995 18:10:46 -0600
From: Rick Remington <bf137.FREENET.HSC.COLORADO.EDU>
Subject: Re: Ginkgo leaves
>Recently, I've been plucking a ginko leaf or two off of the trees outside while I walk the dog in the AM and munching on it right on the spot. I've not really heard of anyone eating ginko raw, only the dried leaves ground up and put in capsules. I'm assuming that this is OK to do--so far I am healthy. Anyone have any comments or knowledge on this?
For standardized gingko extracts, the industry spec generally requires the removal of a compound known as ginkgolic acid quantitated as anacardic acid to < 1ppm. As far as I can tell, ginkgolic/anacardic acids has been shown to cause intestinal upset/diarrhea and possibly dermatitis upon excessive dosing. I believe that clinical studies have shown this to occur in small percentages upon ingestion.
I would recommend that if you chew the leaves, that you do so without an empty stomach, as having food in your system would dilute the these acids causing less susceptibility to the symtoms mentioned.
I have read somewhere that ginkgolic acids have beneficial effects as well.
Cashews also contain anacardic acids.
Hope I helped to shed some light.