Koreans have long been fascinated with the Ginkgo tree. The Donguibogam medical text of 1613 specifically calls out the consumption of Ginkgo nuts for the treatment of respiratory ailments. As an International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) ingredient, Ginkgo nut extract is an extract from Korea and, while a few skin care products feature Ginkgo leaf extract, incorporation of Ginkgo nut extract within skin care products is exceptionally rare. Ginkgo nuts are small and separating the outer fruit (for extraction) from the seed (discarded) by hand is a very slow process and does not provide ideal material from which to initiate an extraction. The extraction process is technically difficult and takes approximately four months. The fruity part of the Ginkgo nut provides the most beneficial extract. This portion of the nut has a strong odor so proper extraction techniques are essential for a commercially valuable result. The smell of Ginkgo nut extract is remarkably pleasant.
Both Ginkgo nut and Ginkgo leaf extracts possess concentrated antioxidant activity and are rich in vitamins C and E. Ginkgo also appears to exhibit anti-
inflammatory properties and aid fibroblast production of collagen and elastin thus, exerting protective effects on blood vessels. Its beneficial properties are attributed to various flavonoids, including quercetin, kaemphferol and ginkgetin. Other key bioactive molecules include ginkgolide and bilobalide, catechin, tannin and luteolin.
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