Ginkgo Research Study
I’d like to extend a big thank-you to everyone who joined my Ginkgo biloba research project, offered in partnership with Delta Gardens. I’d originally planned to work with 10 volunteers, but since more people expressed an interest in the essence, I expanded the group to 30. I’m very grateful for the fantastic feedback!
Getting to know the depth and range of an essence is an ongoing process, one that’s never really finished. Even essences that I’ve used for years and think I know well continue to reveal new dimensions in different situations over time. The information that I’ve collected here is just a preliminary look at Ginkgo biloba based on the experiences of a small group of people, but it will give us a little insight into what the essence has to offer.
Ginkgo biloba, also known as the Maidenhair Tree, is sometimes referred to as a living fossil as it’s one of the very oldest tree species on earth, dating back 200 million years to the Mesozoic Era - the age of the dinosaurs. According to fossil records, the trees we see lining our city streets today are not markedly different than their ancient predecessors.
About 2.5 million years ago, Ginkgos almost went extinct. Glaciation killed off all but one type of Ginkgo tree which managed to survive in what is now central China. As a result of this close call, our modern trees stand alone as a species with no living plant relatives. They are the only remaining botanical link between conifers and ferns.
Ginkgos can live an incredibly long time - well over 1000 years. Some of the oldest trees on the planet are located on the grounds of Buddhist temples in China and Japan. Their longevity is due in large part to their ability to continue producing protective chemicals as they age, substances that safeguard them from diseases and harsh environmental conditions.
The following story is one of the most compelling demonstrations of Ginkgo’s resiliency that I discovered in my research. At the end of WWII, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing thousands of civilians and decimating the landscape. A collection of Ginkgo trees - all quite close to the epicenter in Hiroshima - were stripped of their leaves, badly burned and irradiated. By all accounts, they - like every other living being in the area - were dead.
I’ve read a couple of different reports about what happened next. In one, the “dead” Ginkgos started producing leaves the following spring. In another, the trees sent out green shoots only a few weeks after the bombing. Either way, the trees (known in Japan as hibakujumoku or A-bombed trees) survived one of the most destructive episodes in our global history. They were able to regenerate thanks to pockets of highly organized living cells that remained intact, deep within their trunks.
Ancient Chinese texts suggest that Ginkgos have been used medicinally for thousands of years. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ginkgo nuts are a kidney yang tonic that can increase sexual energy and balance bladder issues like frequent urination and incontinence. Boiled into a tea, the nuts can also help relieve lung congestion and clear excess mucus.
Active compounds in Ginkgo leaves (ginkgolides and terpenes) have quite a few beneficial effects as well. Herbal tinctures and supplements made from the leaves can:
improve circulation throughout the body, increasing blood flow to important organs like the brain and heart for greater mental clarity and improved cardiac function
quiet a variety of allergic and immune-related conditions by blocking platelet-activating factor (PAF), a substance produced in our bodies that mediates inflammation
protect us from free-radicals and help to heal eye and ear disorders caused by free-radical damage
Making the Essence
The Ginkgo tree that I used to create the essence is located on a piece of land in my town in Massachusetts - a 21-acre meadow that, in 1893, was transformed into a public park. The area’s home to quite a few large trees including Copper Beech, Norway Spruce, Hemlock and Red Maple, many of which could certainly date back to the 1800s.
Ginkgo trees are dioecious - meaning, they’re either male or female. The Ginkgo that I worked with was a young male tree. In May, it produced clusters of catkin-like “flowers” - also called pollen cones or pollen sacs - that I used to make the essence.
There are three Ginkgos in the park. The tree that I ultimately chose struck me as the most communicative and seemingly eager to participate. Whenever I make an essence, I try to follow the subtle currents of energy coming from different plants and trees, and I always ask for a plant’s permission before starting the process. When I approached this particular Ginkgo and stood with it for a while, I experienced unusual waves of joy, enthusiasm, openness and forward-flow which I interpreted as a green light to go ahead with the project.
Processing the Feedback
I received written feedback from 28 of our 30 volunteers. This report is an overview of Ginkgo’s most commonly-experienced effects. The primary areas of influence that I’ll be highlighting came up for at least 5 participants and sometimes many more.
This particular study presented some new challenges for me in managing a larger volume of feedback. My brain felt overloaded as I began reading through people’s accounts of the essence. A day into the process, I started taking 3 drops of Ginkgo before sitting down to read or write, and I noticed that my brain felt less foggy. I was able to see themes running through the data and write summaries more easily. The fact that I finished this report I owe in large part to the essence I set out to explore.
Italicized text = quotes from participants
1. Mental Clarity
The Ginkgo essence appears to help clear, calm and focus the mind. Eighteen participants mentioned that they noticed a shift in their mental experience while taking Ginkgo during the 7-day trial period. According to their reports, the essence seemed to quiet mind chatter and anxious thoughts as well as enhance feelings of presence and peace.
My mind chatter stops, and I experience a very strong sense of awareness.
I felt it helped me focus and be more aware.
My mind was being focused and all the chatter and rumination that can often live there was being cleared away.
I’ve noticed a shift in clarity of thought. Sort of like a crystallizing of thought rather than the fuzzy stream that I usually experience. It feels a little like putting on my glasses and looking around at the clear world rather than looking at a fuzzy watercolor world without glasses.
The Ginkgo’s mind-clearing effects seemed to play out for people in a few different ways.
Several participants reported that they felt more focused and productive and were better able to manage demanding mental tasks. They noticed an increase in cognitive stamina and could complete items on their to-do list with greater ease.
The immediate sensation is one of extreme mental clarity. From this place I am able to work through feelings of mental overwhelm, confusion, restlessness, and distraction. The essence appears to help me with prioritizing tasks, following through on my to-do list, and making decisions with ease. The follow-up actions were much easier to enact with the help of the essence, too.
The main energetics I received from the essence during my one week trial were: stamina - mental stamina in particular, focused, calm mental energy. I felt energy circling my brain in a relaxed but focused way. I'm like, oh this is how my brain can work at its finest. The week of the trial I had an incredibly productive busy week at work. I hadn't worked that hard since I was in grad school…I felt ginkgo biloba gave my brain a boost in my ability to be uber productive - especially with some writing and copy editing - which requires a lot of brain power.
For others, having a clearer mind seemed to go hand-in-hand with feelings of relaxation which sometimes resulted in better sleep.
I felt clearer, more grounded and more calm.
At night, this essence quieted and grounded runaway thoughts attempting to problem solve but just going in circles. This would then help me sleep.
During the 7 days, I noticed that I was sleeping better - not always the whole night through but the fact that I managed a couple of whole nights was amazing - I don’t often manage to sleep well. Also of note was then when I did sleep, even if not for the whole night, the quality of sleep felt better than normal.
Quite a few mentioned that Ginkgo’s clearing effects allowed them to better see and assess situations in their lives, cut through mental interference and take appropriate action. Having this kind of perspective helped several people feel more capable and secure.
When I was done with my one-week trial, I missed taking Ginkgo and reached for the essence again to help me smooth out my frayed edges and to clear my mind of worrisome or intrusive thoughts. I would just shed them away and get to the heart of the matter and realize the truth of a situation…and realize there wasn’t any reason to be anxious.
(The essence) gives a space for clarity and certainty in thinking. It releases the self from fear and judgement of false mental constructs….spoke distinctly once - get smart - when I allowed external ideas to influence my thinking.
I felt clear in my head. Like it moved the clouds and now I can see clearer…I feel like I can make better decisions because I can see more clearly how to get to a specific goal.
One woman felt that the essence’s clearing qualities helped her see and more easily follow her true path in life.
Clearing to see soul path or space to reflect and see it more clearly. I hear: “What is your destiny? Here, step forward, I will support you.” (The essence) opens destiny paths clearly that are sovereign and true and linked to your soul contracts.
For several others, Ginkgo’s clarifying effects weren’t all that comfortable. Sweeping away distractions and mental clutter focused some participants’ attention on aspects of themselves or their lives that had fallen out of balance and were calling for a change. (I’ll say more about this in the next section).
For a few people, Ginkgo offered a sometimes painful clarity regarding the shape of their lives - highlighting traumas, patterns, past choices and limiting beliefs that were out of balance and needed their attention. Overall, the essence seemed to draw people’s awareness to what wasn’t serving them - which sometimes stimulated intense emotional reactions.
I woke up in middle of the night feeling angry, thinking about the changes I need to make, to change the unhappy feelings I have. Aware of a fear of being alone, unsupported in making changes. I want to live in a place that has more nature, less city. I may need to change my relationship with partner. I need to change internally my habits, my way of dealing with stress, need to support myself and involve other people in that, maybe find a group where I am surrounded by like-minded folks.
I noticed the return of old symptoms and anger over past unresolved issues…I’m crying, reliving the entire 25 year relationship with my husband.
It’s been an emotional week. I feel calm when I take the essence, but it definitely feels like old patterns (thoughts) especially insecurity, indecisiveness, anger, grief, unworthiness, embarrassment are all showing up.
The essence’s rebalancing qualities were not turbulent for everyone. Several people mentioned feeling more aware of their own natural limits while taking the essence and experienced a gentle pull towards self-care.
The warm tingling brought on a reminder that I needed to take the time to slow down and rest as needed.
Later in the week, as I took the essence, I got the intuitive message to pace myself and to slow down so as not to burn out. I also saw where ginkgo encourages stamina through a balanced output of energy and was warning me that I was pushing too hard.
Protective after over-exertion
One participant remarked that Ginkgo felt adaptive, offering her whatever support she might need in a particular moment to maintain a balanced state.
I only have a sense of ease that comes with taking the essence—as if it is a familiar friend that does what I need…helps me either energize or relax…
Another person mentioned that the essence helped her find a more comfortable balance with established coping strategies/addictive patterns.
I have an addictive personality and I numb my emotional pain with a lot of sugar and a lot of television - neither of which I enjoy after a point but I still keep eating or watching. I found that my binge watching and binge desert eating reduced considerably and even on the couple of occasions I did binge watch and/or binge eat, I had a very different healthier relationship with what I was doing. I was actually getting pleasure from it and was aware that I was doing it to soothe myself. But mostly the desire to do that went away.
In all cases, the spirit of the essence seemed to carry a protective quality, showing us where we might need to work on restoring emotional, physical or energetic equilibrium. One participant summed up Ginkgo’s rebalancing effects with the following observation:
What I extrapolated from my physical and emotional experiences over the first seven days is that the essence is a gentle corrector and connector. It connects the person to their physical and emotional body. It highlights and makes you aware in a very gentle way - areas of physical and emotional tension and imbalance and gently steers you back to balance by gently melting those away.
As noted above, not only does Ginkgo help to return us to balance, it also helps to restore and strengthen a sense of connectedness - both within our bodies and with our environment.
Connecting the Energy Body
After taking doses of the essence, seven participants reported feeling an influx of energy that moved either up and/or down through their core. This energy seemed to widen the central channel and connect and align the chakras. This process often released emotions or sensations stored in the energy centers.
Energetically, first it rises to the heavens then grounds you deeply into the earth. Flowing through all the chakras.
Energy pulled strongly downward thru all chakras to the earth. Then as it came up it felt like the energy centers were readjusted and cleared all the way up to the crown. Clear and free, relaxed flow all the way.
…I have a sense of groundedness and the energy shooting through my body (is) much like the sap in a tree.”
Over the course of the week, my main experience was one of widening in my body and opening downwards. This seemed to happen more ‘automatically’ during the week. And with that opening in the lower body, the arising (and hopefully) integration of much fear.
Curiously, the participants who found themselves engaging in the deepest life reviews during the week had the opposite experience - they described feelings of disconnection either within themselves or with people in their lives. One woman felt disconnected both emotionally and physically.
Thoughts about feeling isolated, not connected to friends, needing emotional support, unhappy…
I was thrown out of alignment. I’m experiencing separation. I’m not connected to anyone. Sore neck and clenching jaw. It was thrown out of alignment.
Again we see Ginkgo’s protective effect at work. It can, if necessary, separate us from patterns, relationships, etc. that may not be truly beneficial for us. The essence’s detaching action, though uncomfortable, may be a first step in helping us to reorient, realign and re-establish stronger connections both within ourselves and with others.
Connecting the Breath
Quite a few people mentioned that they were more conscious of their breathing and/or started breathing more deeply after taking the essence. Returning to the breath - to this essential life-sustaining rhythm - felt like another expression of Ginkgo’s balancing and connecting influence.
I always take deep breaths after taking the essence.
I noticed that throughout the study whenever I took the essence I would start taking deep breaths.
Noticed I took 4 very deep breaths.
Connecting the Brain
David Dalton sampled the essence during the trial period and noted another dimension of Ginkgo’s connecting signature - which may offer more insight into its mind-boosting effects. He intuited that Ginkgo could improve connections between different parts of the brain, supporting enhanced functionality and right brain/left brain communication.
Ginkgo stimulates the white matter, making communication between parts of the brain more efficient. The left and right are connected so that creativity and logic are integrated. Language develops, and a person can express the results of this integration. Deeper parts of the brain receive energy. Can be used for any personality imbalance and for psychic development.
Connecting Through Time
Several people in the study said they felt a deep connection to time (past, present and future) while taking the essence. The essence’s energetic signature seems to express something of the tree’s incredible history/longevity, helping us connect to a vast expanse of time and find our place within it.
Feeling more a part of the flow of time from the past into the present (and future?) Deep sense of trust, faith, in being part of that flow. Ancient knowledge, wisdom. Sense of opening to flow of time, something ancient.
Add to this some aspect of time that seemed to be expansive—reminded me of the Star Wars intro with the galaxies expanding.
I experienced a profound timelessness. A sense of deep primordial Cretaceous period nature abundance. Lots of dragon and dinosaur images and symbols showed up while I was on it.
Connecting To Nature
Eight participants mentioned that they felt a strong urge to visit Ginkgo trees in person during the study. Many people also shared fond memories of Ginkgos that they’d seen and loved in the past. The essence seemed to invite people into more of a relationship with the tree itself, inspiring everyone to explore their own sense of the tree's energy and purpose in their lives. The urge to reach out in this way - to spend time in the company of these trees and develop a more personal connection - felt notable to me and unique to this study. Other tree research projects I’ve offered haven’t inspired the same desire to connect.
I also visited an old, large, and beautiful ginkgo tree on the campus of Smith College on 8/12/22 after completing the week’s proving. Upon touching the tree, I had a sense of great depth and ancient wisdom.
I was told to go to a place in my city to visit the Ginkgo trees.
I have an image of the London pavements and the trees outside the Natural History Museum and I am younger, feeling at home in my skin and in my place in the world.
I had memories of ginkgo trees I had connected with in the past, a college friend of mine, her parents had a ginkgo tree in their front yard - and I saw this bright, beautiful tree with its yellow leaves shimmering in the sun and wind dancing. I just felt such a deep connection to ginkgos past and present the entire time.
A few people mentioned that the Ginkgo essence helped them connect to other dimensions of the natural world - specifically, enhancing their sensitivity to plants.
I noticed as I tended my gardens in the morning that I felt much more in tune with the plants - almost as if i could hear them speaking to me.
I also found it to initiate more of a connection with other plants in my line of work.
Eleven participants said that they felt more peaceful and stable during the trial, and many mentioned they felt noticeably calmer right after taking a dose.
Felt like I had a weighted blanket over my body, including my head. I felt very peaceful.
I would feel agitation ramp up prior to taking the essence and a sense of incredible stability from the essence itself when I took it. My system would surrender and relax almost immediately.
I felt extreme feelings of centering and peace and calm.
In a word, calm centering.
I love the clean, calming effect it has.
Several people specifically said that the essence helped them remain calm in situations that they would usually find triggering. They felt better able to take life turbulence in stride, stay out of reactive states and maintain their energy in the face of challenges.
I was able to calm quicker in reactive situations, and with more grace and forgiveness. I felt, overall, a shift in survival/coping mechanisms/ability to better resist lower vibrations, emotions, or triggers.
It helped align me more into a flow state and out of sympathetic flight or fight.
Unshakable energy despite tests.
The past week was full of highs and lows!! Much more so than usual. I was more observant of all of my emotions, and of the surrounding environment…I think the lessons from the plant were to keep calm and carry on, keep breathing through whatever is stressful.
A number of people reported that they were better able to maintain a calm state because they felt more assured of their basic safety. Some described the Ginkgo essence as a protective ally and others felt that it awakened a peaceful warrior energy within them.
Not sure if this comes from Ginkgo or my own imagining, but I have a greater sense of the unseen protective forces around me…as if the tree, ginkgo, is a solid but its influence - the aroma of its strength - is spreading through every layer of my life.
An emotional day for me, which is an unusual event. Taking ginkgo, I felt calmer, as if a light piece of silk had been spread over my rough emotions…Sense of steadiness…when I took the ginkgo today, I had a sense of reinforcement, as if I had a warrior with me for the journey.
Saw myself with a samurai sword, heard the words “serene power.”
A couple of volunteers specifically mentioned Ginkgo as a protective force in situations involving imbalanced or destructive masculine energy, helping to set clear and decisive boundaries.
…swift sword energy when needed in toxic situations especially with men in toxic masculine patterns - ability to create sharp aligned responses through words and thought…
Helps toxic masculine to see clearly and boundary to be set.
While taking the essence, another participant found that she was able to relax emotionally-defended parts of herself. For her, the essence’s protective energy felt less like a warrior and more like unconditional love.
Overall I would say the essence creates stability in the (system) and resolves the conflict at hand through offering complete unconditional love. When taking the essence my system felt safe enough to open up some very protected places. It felt as if Jesus had scooped me up! If Ginkgo were a person it would be the well known Canadian physician Gabor Maté, compassionate, neutral, caring, balanced/neutral, no charge - he meets you where you're at and holds the space beautifully. Absolutely no judgment.
As an ancient and amazingly resilient tree, Ginkgo shows us not only how to survive but how to thrive - offering us gifts of clarity, balance, connection and calm to help us on our journey. The essence invites us to tap into our own inner strength and stability, occasionally nudging us to rebalance when we’ve veered a bit too far from our center.
I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite stories to come out of this research project, relayed by a participant whose daughter happened to be working on a new drawing as the Ginkgo study was getting underway.
Interestingly, when this bottle arrived at my house and before I had even opened it, my 5-year-old daughter was drawing a picture of fairy queens and naming them. She drew one fairy king and immediately said his name was Ginkgo, and he was the only King. It’s interesting because I never mentioned this formula or tree to her prior to this happening.
Ginkgo biloba ~ I am clear, balanced, connected and calm.
1. For those who feel mentally foggy or overwhelmed; supports clear thinking and easy focus
2. For those who are experiencing an imbalance in some aspect of their lives; helps to restore emotional, physical or energetic equilibrium
3. For those who feel out-of-sync with themselves or with others; a connecting force to support alignment and flow in our bodies and our lives; opens us to new energy and new possibilities
4. For those who feel vulnerable, nervous or agitated; calms and protects
Thanks again to all the volunteers who took the time to explore the essence!
If you have any questions about Ginkgo or would like personalized suggestions on how to use it, please leave a comment here or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To purchase the Ginkgo essence, click HERE.