Is called Ginkgo biloba and it's likely you have it heard of how Anti-aging, elixir of eternal youth, infallible remedy for cognitive decline. Indeed this millenary plant of oriental origin, considered a true treasure of botany, boasts powerful and transversal benefits, but normally nand the western countries, the ginko is marketed in the form of extracts standardized in the form of drops, capsules or tablets. THE its use However it can also happen in the kitchen: the essential is to make moderate use of his seed that, if consumed in high quantitiesto, can be very toxic.
Foglie, fruits and seeds
The origins of Ginkgo date back to 250 million years ago. The active ingredients are found in leaves, from the typical fan shape, while the fruit pulp it is irritating and toxic (and it also gives off a nauseating smell), unlike inside of the seed that it is edible after roasting. Ginkgo must all to flavonoids is terpenes (or ginkgolides), which protect heart, vessels and nervous system.
For a healthy mind, in a healthy body
Flavonoids increase indeed there resistance of blood capillaries, while I terpenes exert a nourishing and protective action on the neurons of the cerebral cortex, increase the levels of antidepressant and psychostimulant substances and contrast the decline cognitive and mnemonic.
Darwin called it a living fossil and some fossil remains of gingko leaves date back even to the Jurassic and to the Cretaceous. The word "ginkgo" comes from the Japanese Yin-kuo, what does it mean "silver apricot" since its seeds reached maturity they look like floured apricots. While the word "biloba" refers instead to the leaf shape which consists of two lobes placed together to form a fan. The internal part of the seed, despite the unpleasant smell, is edible after roasting and in the east has the reputation of being a delicious ingredient and therefore courted by the traditional chinese cuisine and Japanese.
In China ginkgo is used to make the congee, un porridge prepared by putting the rice to boil until the grain is saturated with water to the point that it begins to break, reaching a viscous consistency.
NJapanese cuisine instead it is consumed as a side dish, or it is used for the preparation of chawanmushi, a kind of salty pudding that is used as an appetizer, made with milk and eggs, with addition of mushrooms, boiled shrimp, kamaboko, enriched with soy sauce, dashi (fish broth) and mirin (sweet sake from the kitchen).
And then the herbal teas
In herbal medicine it is used for the preparation of herbal teas, infusions, juices and decoctions. Just boil a cup of water and add 1 heaped teaspoon of gingko, let it steep for 10 minutes. And then filter and drink, toasting to youth.
Emanuela Di Pasqua,
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