Ginkgo Spa Cape Town History

Ginkgo Biloba

The Ginkgo Tree is the sole survivor of a plant group that lived in the temperate regions of both hemispheres, during the Mesozoic era over 250 million years ago. It is a tree which has in its keeping the secrets of an immeasurable past. Glaciers of the ice age nearly erased it from the earth along with the dinosaurs. It was at the Shaolin Temple in the Honan province of China where the last remaining plants of the Ginkgo tree were discovered. These trees were cultivated and revered by the monks of the temple who saved them from extinction.

The Ginkgo is known for its many virtues. One such virtue is the possession of the human quality of loyalty. Ginkgo Trees are either male or female. Today, Ginkgo trees are only found where they have been planted by man. In autumn, their leaves turn a beautiful golden yellow. Pollution, insects, and disease do not easily affect the Ginkgo Tree. It has no relatives in its family or species. This golden fossil tree, as it is sometimes called, is the sole survivor of a very ancient group. The Ginkgo Tree is a phenomenon, an object of veneration, a sacred tree of the East, a symbol of unity of opposites, by some seen as a symbol of changelessness, possessing miraculous power, bearer of hope and of the immeasurable past, a symbol of love. Because of all its properties, it is associated with longevity. Artists have long been inspired by the aesthetic charm of the Ginkgo and its leaves. Due to veneration and its protection against fire, this tree has, since ancient times, been planted in China and Japan in temple gardens, near shrines and castles. The famous Hiroshima-tree is also near a temple. Old Ginkgoes are worshipped like a god in Japan. To indicate the sacred character of the tree a shimenawa (cord of rice straw) is tied round the enormous trunk of the tree. This is also believed to ward off evil spirits.

And for us, the Ginkgo is symbolic for being resilient and adaptable within an ever changing environment. It represents longevity. The light green colour is synonymous with a fresh, young beginning. The company logo with its three ginkgo leaves arranged in a circle, symbolize the Spa’s three main areas of concentration: Mind, Body, and Soul, with the circle representing the holistic approach that embraces the philosophy of every Ginkgo Spa & Wellness facility.

“A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.” Spanish Proverb

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Ginkgo Biloba – a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

English Version

The leaf of this Eastern tree
Which has been entrusted to my garden
Offers a feast of secret significance,
For the edification of the initiate.

Is it one living thing
That has become divided within itself?
Are these two who have chosen each other,
So that we know them as one?

I think I have found the right answer
To these questions;
Do my songs not make you feel
That I am both one and twain?

German Version

DIESES BAUMES BLATT VON ASTEN
MEINEM GARTEN ANVERTRAUT,
GIBT GEHEIMEN SINN ZU KOSTEN,
WIE’S DEN WISSENDEN ERBAUT.

IST ES EIN LEBENDIG WESEN,
DAS SICH IN SICH SELBST GETRENNT?
SIND ES ZWEI, DIE SICH ERLESEN,
DASS MAN SIE ALS EINES KENNT?

SOLCHE FRAGEN ZU ERWIDERN,
FAND ICH WOHL DEN RECHTEN SINN.
FÜHLST DU NICHT AN MEINEN LIEDERN,
DASS ICH EINES UND DOPPELT BIN?

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