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PLANT PROFILE LIST
SPECIES / FAMILY: Ginkgo Biloba / Ginkgoaceae
OTHER COMMON NAME(S):
CONDITIONS: sun-partial shade
PORTION: no more than 5 per day for children and 10 for adults, and not every day.
COMMENT: Dates back to dinosaurs. Oldest living tree, a living fossil. The cooked seed/nut tastes like a nutty green bean or chestnut with the look and texture of a light-green jellybean and chews like a jellybean, as well. Pick off of the ground. Push seed/nut out. Might want to wear gloves due to some getting an allergic reaction. Wash off, can use buckwheat flour in water as a mild abrasive.
Delicious stir fried for 10-15 minutes, then add salt. It will pop like popcorn, so keep the lid on, or bake for an hour in oven at 350F, or boil. // The seed can be boiled and used to thicken soups, porridges etc. It needs to be heated before being eaten in order to destroy a mildly acrimonious principle. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.(1)
CAUTION: Do not eat raw. People with a vitamin B6 shortage should not eat cooked Ginkgo seeds. Children under six should not eat more than five (5) cooked seeds a day. No one should eat cooked Ginkgo seeds every day. Skipping a day is recommended. In a well-fed society eating a few cooked seeds in season is not a problem. But if you eat 50 cooked seeds AND have a poor diet (and or you’re a kid, thus less seeds needed) it can be an issue. Also some people get contact dermatitis from handling fresh Ginkgo fruit. The fruit have some urushiol, the active chemical in poison ivy which is why you wear gloves when collecting them. (2) The seed contains a mildly acrimonious principle that is unstable when heated. It is therefore best to cook the seed before eating it to ensure any possible toxicity is destroyed. Avoid if on blood thinning medication (e.g. warfarin). Discontinue prior to surgery. Avoid parenteral use as possible hypotension, shock, dizziness. Excessive seed ingestion can cause 'gin-man' food poisoning.(1)
NUTRITION/MEDICINAL: The seed is rich in niacin. It is a good source of starch and protein, but is low in fats. These fats are mostly unsaturated or monosaturated. Protein: 10.4g; Fat: 3.3g; Carbohydrate: 83g; Fibre: 1.3g; Ash: 3.5g; Minerals - Calcium: 11mg; Phosphorus: 327mg; Iron: 2.6mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 15mg; Potassium: 1139mg; Zinc: 0mg; Vitamins - A: 392mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.52mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.26mg; Niacin: 6.1mg; B6: 0mg; C: 54mg; Antianxiety; Antiasthmatic; Antibacterial; Antifungal; Astringent; Cancer; Digestive; Expectorant; Infertility; Ophthalmic; Sedative; Tonic; Vermifuge.(1)
OTHER USES: Oil; Soap; Wood. An oil from the seed is used as a fuel in lighting. A soap substitute is produced by mixing the pulp of the seed (is the fruit meant here?) with oil or wine. Wood - light, soft, it has insect repelling qualities.(1)
SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):
- http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/09/ginkgo.html (good photos)