Review – Kiss of Approval: Ginkgo Biloba Extract by Illuminate Labs
Today’s review is for the Ginkgo Biloba Extract by Illuminate Labs.
When I studied for my certification in brain fitness, ginkgo biloba was one of the nootropics in the list to recommend to clients. I did some more research on my own about this amazing plant because I kept hearing such great things about it.
Then, a few months ago, I found Illuminate Labs, a high-quality online provider of nootropics and supplements, and I immediately reached out to them for two reasons:
- They are based in the United States but meet European Union dietary supplement standards, which are the strictest in the world. This was a huge selling point for me because I’m from Europe (Italy, to be exact), and I know how strict regulations are there. This gives me peace of mind as a customer, knowing that I’m using safe and trustworthy products.
- They use third-party laboratories to test their products and sell only products that pass this rigorous testing. As you probably know, the world of supplements is unregulated, it’s not approved by the FDA, so you always have to be very careful about the brands and products you’re buying. It’s about your health, right? Illuminate Labs are revolutionary because they show those results on every product page of their website, and they also include published papers on the benefits of each product. This offers 100% transparency (on their homepage, you can watch a video titled “How We’re Fixing the Supplement Industry” that explains how they work).
Currently, you can order the following products on Illuminate Labs’ website:
– Ashwagandha Extract
– Ceylon Cinnamon Extract
– Panax Ginseng Extract
– Ginkgo Biloba Extract (the one that I am reviewing today)
WHAT IS GINKGO BILOBA?
Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest plant extracts that has been used as a form of treatment for thousands of years in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It is an extract from the ginkgo biloba tree native to China, which is most recognized for its neuroprotective, antioxidant properties (as it fights oxidative stress that usually worsens with aging), and its ability to enhance circulation thanks to its active compounds (including flavonoids, terpenoids, and organic acids). This powerhouse supplement is now making a comeback as an effective nootropic.
What are nootropics? I talk about these often, especially in my presentations, and here’s a brief explanation.
Nootropics are substances designed to improve various aspects of cognition. These can include memory, mood, creativity, concentration, and motivation among others. They support memory, boost brain power, and protect your brain from deteriorating over time.
Extensive research is now showing that lifestyle choices can have a huge effect on our brain performance, and diet, sleep, movement, and self-care can all contribute to a healthy brain. However, nootropics can give you a boost in cognitive function by supporting the brain’s antioxidant capacity. So, why not try them?
Not only that, but ginkgo biloba has been shown to inhibit cellular toxicity induced by beta-amyloid proteins, the plaques that build up in the spaces between neurons in the brain and are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the main properties of ginkgo biloba is that it enhances blood flow throughout the brain and the body. This means that it provides an efficient supply of oxygen, glucose, and other nutrients to our cells, especially our nerve cells. This is crucial for optimal brain function. Examine.com (an online encyclopedia that collates scientific research using evidence-based practice methodology in the health, nutrition and supplementation fields) defines ginkgo biloba “the most commonly ingested herb for brain health.” 
This leads to several benefits:
- Strengthening of the walls of the veins
- Enhanced cognition in healthy individuals, as well as in those with age-related cognitive impairment
- Improved working memory
- Enhanced mental clarity and alertness
Ginkgo biloba’s benefits don’t stop there. It has been found that this herb helps improve energy and mood as it increases production of serotonin and norepinephrine, two very important neurotransmitters (chemical messengers). The result is an increased ability to deal with stressful situations in a better, more positive way.
So, here’s my experience with Illuminate Labs’ Ginkgo Biloba Extract.
- Illuminate Labs provided me with this free product in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced by Illuminate Labs in any way.
- I am not affiliated with Illuminate Labs.
PACKAGING / INGREDIENTS
I received one bottle of Ginkgo Biloba Extract with a supply for 30 days (60 capsules, 2 per day) in less than a week after I connected with the founder and president, Calloway Cook. I was very pleased with their quick shipping.
The cost for one bottle is currently $40. It might sound a little expensive compared to other nootropics, but I think it’s worth it considering the efforts that the company is making to ensure transparency and safety of their products. They also offer a monthly subscription for 40% ($16.00) on your first order and 15% ($6.00) on all remaining orders.
The packaging is very clean, I love the all-white bottle with green accents as a contrast (each product from Illuminate Labs has a different “signature” color).
Ingredients: 240 mg Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract per capsule.
Standardized to Minimum 24% Flavone Glycosides & Minimum 6% Terpene Lactones.
Other ingredients: Rice Flour, Hypromellose (Cellulose Capsule), Magnesium Stearate, Silicon Dioxide.
There’s a green checkmark that indicates the product “passed third-party testing for purity and label accuracy. See illuminatelabs.io/products/ginkgo-biloba-extract for test results.” This is the product page where you can access all the test results and research papers that I mentioned above.
The capsules are allergen free, gluten free, 100% vegan, and GMO-free. Very happy to see that!
One more pleasant detail: Part of their profits (5%) goes to charity (Cure Childhood Cancer).
I took the Ginkgo Biloba Extract every morning after breakfast. Each capsule is 2 cm. (about 3/4-inch) long, they were very easy to swallow, tasteless, and almost odorless. I also liked the fact that they are clear, and I can see the contents.
Three days later, I noticed some small breakouts on my chin that disappeared completely after 24 hours. These are usually markers that show detoxification in my body, possibly related to the improved blood flow, so I considered them as a positive effect of the product.
I kept taking the product as indicated every day for the entire month. After a couple of weeks, I noticed more alertness and increased concentration. I felt inclined to do more in my day-to-day activities, I felt more motivated, and I was fighting against the temptation of procrastination less often.
KISS OF APPROVAL?
This product gets my Kiss of Approval and I recommend it.
I’m already taking excellent care of myself by eating healthy foods for my body and my brain, keeping a consistent sleep pattern, staying active every day, and dedicating time to self-care, but I recommend Illuminate Labs’ Ginkgo Biloba Extract if you want to improve your cognitive function, working memory, mood, and reduce some anxiety that might be accompanying you during the day (especially during these difficult times dealing with the coronavirus pandemic).
As with all supplements, taking Ginkgo Biloba instead of standard medications is that it’s all natural and you don’t have to deal with potential side effects such as drowsiness and, most importantly, inflammation which is often caused by drugs. However, always talk with your healthcare practitioner before taking any supplements, especially if you are already taking medications for any conditions (supplements might interfere with the medication’s actions), you are pregnant, or you are nursing.
To know more about Illuminate Labs, their testing process, and their products, visit their website.
 Examine.com – Ginkgo Biloba (including links to several studies)
Holistic Life Coach, Brain Fitness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with neuroscience, biohacking, positive psychology, stress management, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.