December 2016
The Herb Lady

Ginkgo Biloba

In 1995, I wrote an article about ginkgo biloba. Soon after the article appeared in The Montgomery Advertiser, I received an interesting communication. It was from Clayton Fawkes, the president of Golden Fossil Tree Society Inc., located in Lombard, Illinois.

The letter began, "One of our Alabama members wrote me a letter recently with an article by you entitled, ‘Ginkgo an exotic gift from Mother Nature.’"

I was invited to join this organization, started back in the 1970s. Since the dues were only $2 per year, I joined for five years. Every so often, I received a very interesting newsletter.

Here is a quote from one of those letters. "At least 250,000,000 years before homo sapiens pushed through the mists of antiquity, the gingko tree dotted the reptile-ridden landscape of the Mesozoic era. Of the thousands of plant species existing today, the ginkgo is a remarkable and tenuous link to that remote past. How remote is summed up in a tribute to the ginkgo by the late Sir Albert Seward, ‘An emblem of changelessness, a heritage from worlds of an age too remote for our human intelligence to grasp … a tree that has in its keeping the secrets of the immeasurable past.’"

I have lived in a good many places and often planted a tree. The last tree I planted was a ginkgo in Goshen. As I write these words, that tree is getting ready to delight people with its annual display if gorgeous golden foliage. To me, these trees are beautiful at any time of the year, even when their limbs are bare. At one time, I saw streets in Montgomery lined with ginkgo.

Although the ginkgo tree (also known as the golden fossil tree) is originally from China, you will find imprints of the once-living fossil in our own petrified forest. At one point, Fawkes informed me that there are now ginkgo trees growing in every country in the world. If so, they must be adaptable to all climates. AMAZING!!!

In my ginkgo folder, I found an article my late cousin, Dr. Theo Dalton, sent to me some years ago. It states that ginkgo is an excellent herb for the brain’s health. A quote from this article states, "Ginkgo is one of the most important herbs for the brain. It is important to understand that its components don’t go directly to the brain. The ginkgosides work as herbal antioxidants throughout the body, and enhance the microcirculation of its capillary beds. This is why ginkgo is beneficial to all organs that have rich blood supplies, including the heart, liver, kidneys and spleen."

Time went by and I ceased to hear from Fawkes. I contacted his grandson and learned he had passed away. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be associated with this gentleman and for all the wonderful information he furnished. I wish there was room to share it all with you.

Once again, I suggest you consult with your physician before taking alternatives.


Nadine Johnson can be reached at PO Box 7425, Spanish Fort, AL 36577, by calling 251-644-5473, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..