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Ginkgo, bai guo

Ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba, BAI GUO

The ginkgo, bai guo (white fruit), is also called yin xing (silver apricot) and gong sun guo (grandfather and grandson fruit). It is a tall, deciduous tree that can reach a height of 40 meters.

The seed is near ball-shape or oval. When the outer fleshy skin is removed it reveals a shell of a hard, white bone-like substance. This shell is in two parts, forming an angle where they join at the seam.

Inside is a membrane covering the kernel, which is edible in small quantities. The centre of the kernel is hollow. It smells a little like fresh beans, sweet but slightly bitter.

The fruit ripens in autumn, when it is harvested. Its flavor is sweet-bitter and astringent, its nature neither hot nor cold. It contains a small amount of poison (see warning below).

The fruit helps moisten the lungs, soothes asthma, is astringent and helps stop nocturnal emission and leucorrea. The kernel contain scyanic glucoside, protein, carbohydrate, fat, calcium, phosphorous, iron, vitamin B2, carotene, various amino acids, etc.

APPLICATIONS
1. ASTHMA, COUGH WITH THIN PHLEGM. Take 30 grams of the kernel and 15 grams of sugar. Add water and simmer till the kernel is cooked. Drink the liquid, including the solids, 1-2 times daily.

2. SEMINAL EMISSION. Take 15 grams of the kernel and 30 grams of rice wine*, add some water and boil till cooked. Serve both the liquid and solids daily in the evening. (*Japanese sake can be used. Ed.)

3. WEAK KIDNEYS, FREQUENT URINATING. Take 15 grams of fruit. Roast the fruit in hot cinders, remove the kernel and eat. Do this daily before going to bed.

4. INCONTINENCE IN CHILDREN (BED WETTING). Take 5 pieces of fruit, including the shell, and roast them in hot cinders. Remove the kernel and eat it. Do this every evening before bed.

5. DIARRHOEA IN SMALL CHILDREN. Take 2 pieces of fruit, discard the outer shell and obtain the kernel. Crush this. Take a fresh hen egg, make a small hole in the end and push in the crushed kernel. Hard boil the egg, remove the shell and eat. Do this in the morning and again in the evening.

6. TUBERCULOSIS. Take one dose of ginkgo oil daily before meals. Do this for 1-3 months.

7. MORBID LEUCORRHEA; LEUCORRHEA WITH REDDISH DISCHARGE. Take 9 grams of ginkgo kernel, 9 grams of lotus seeds, 60 grams of black-boned silky hen meat (or ordinary hen meat) and 30 grams of rice wine*. Steam till cooked and eat once a day. (*Japanese sake may be used. Ed.)

8. PAINFUL SWOLLEN BOILS; VARIOUS NAMELESS SORES AND BOILS. Take an appropriate measure of fresh kernel, crush and spread on the affected place. Replace in the morning and evening.

9. VARIOUS TYPES OF TINEA; CHANCRE ON GENITALS. Take an appropriate measure of fresh kernel, crush and spread on the affected parts. Do this in the morning and evening.

10. RED AND SWOLLEN NOSE. Take 2-3 pieces of fresh kernel and an appropriate measure of distiller's grain (rice left over after wine making). Chew some of this and also spread on the affected place every evening. Wash off next morning.

PREPARATIONS
GINKGO OIL. Take fruit kernels and soak in fish liver oil (i.e. cod liver oil). It is ready to use after six months.

WARNING
There are reports of children becoming seriously ill after eating 7 ginkgos, and adults becoming ill after eating 40 gingkos. The poisoning is sometimes serious enough to cause death.

NOTES. The leaves contain yellow ketone and extracts are used to treat coronary heart disease, angina pectoris, and benefit the gall bladder.

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