Ginkgo Biloba (A complete review)

What is Ginkgo Biloba?

Ginkgo Biloba is an antioxidant-rich herb, used to improve brain health and treat a variety of conditions.

Although dietary supplements usually contain concentrates of the plant’s leaves, Ginkgo Biloba seeds are usually utilized for healing purposes in conventional Chinese medicine.

Ginkgo Biloba contains various flavonoids and enhances the immune system.

It also protects against age-related issues, for example, dementia, by improving blood flow to the brain, among other advantages. 

Health Benefits Of Ginkgo Biloba:

Ginkgo Biloba is said to help in the treatment or prevention of the following medical issues: 

  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Fatigue
  • Glaucoma
  • High blood pressure
  • Insulin resistance
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Sexual dysfunction in women
  • Tinnitus

Also, Ginkgo Biloba is said to preserve memory (treating Pseudodementia), as well as speed up recuperation from a stroke. 

Does Ginkgo Biloba promote brain health? 

Studies have revealed mixed results on whether Ginkgo Biloba promotes brain health.

One study showed that Ginkgo was more successful than the placebo in helping Alzheimer’s disease and vascular or mixed dementia.

However, the study could not reconcile a predictable advantage for using Ginkgo Biloba in the treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions. 

Does Ginkgo Biloba promote eye health? 

Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to be useful in the treatment of glaucoma and other eye maladies.

Ginkgo Biloba contains antioxidants and improves blood flow. This has been shown to reduce retinal degeneration.

There is also evidence that Ginkgo Biloba  enhances color vision in patients with diabetic retinopathy.  

Does Ginkgo Biloba help reduce high blood pressure?

Preliminary studies suggest that Ginkgo Biloba may help reduce blood pressure.

Six studies showed a positive effect of the herb on decreasing blood pressure, but three other studies showed no change.

More research is required before Ginkgo Biloba can be suggested for blood pressure control. 

What are the possible side effects of taking Ginkgo Biloba? 

Ginkgo biloba may trigger the following symptoms: digestive problems, diarrhea, allergic skin reactions,  muscle weakness, dizziness, headaches, and nausea.

Since Ginkgo Biloba may influence blood clotting, it should not be used by individuals with a blood disorder or individuals who are taking prescription medication for blood clots, for example, warfarin, garlic, aspirin, vitamin E and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

A few instances of bleeding have happened in people who were not on another blood thinner. 

People with epilepsy or diabetes also should stay away from the use of Ginkgo Biloba except if the herb is taken under the supervision of a doctor.

Pregnant women also should not take Ginkgo. 

Given the number of drugs and supplements that may interact with Ginkgo, it is a good idea to consult with a physician before taking Ginkgo. 

Ginkgo contains a compound called Ginkgo toxin.

Despite the fact that Ginkgo toxin is largely found in Ginkgo nuts, it is also present in small amounts in the leaves, and has been found to block vitamin B6 action.

As indicated by one case report, a woman experienced a tonic-clonic seizure after eating a lot of Ginkgo nuts and it brought down her blood vitamin B6 levels.

After treatment, which included vitamin B6 drug, her symptoms settled, and no seizures recurred.

What is the standard dosage for Ginkgo Biloba? 

There is no set standard dose for Ginkgo Biloba.

Various plans and dosages have been utilized in examining and exploring the herb’s impact on different conditions.

The correct dose for you may depend upon a few factors, including your age, sexual orientation, clinical history, and formulation used. 

As usual, talk with your healthcare provider to get advice in regards to the correct dose for you. 

For many years, leaves from the Ginkgo Biloba tree have been a typical treatment in Chinese medication.

In the U.S., many take ginkgo supplements in the hopes that they will improve memory and sharpen cognitive abilities. 

Why do people take Ginkgo Biloba? 

Ginkgo improves blood flow to the brain and functions as an antioxidant.

This may eventually lead to certain advantages for specific clinical issues, yet the outcomes of studies are mixed. 

A few studies have discovered that in healthy people, Ginkgo Biloba may modestly support memory and cognitive speed.

Other studies have not discovered an advantage. Some experimental reports indicate that Ginkgo Biloba can help with memory issues caused  by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

It appears to help prevent the progression of dementia symptoms, particularly if the dementia is believed to be the consequence of atherosclerotic vascular disease.

What is the difference between drug and supplement regulation?

 

There is acceptable proof that ginkgo may ease leg pain brought on by clogged arteries.

It may help with some other circulation problems also.

Likewise, ginkgo may alleviate PMS symptoms, such as breast tenderness and mood changes.

Specialists have endorsed ginkgo for different conditions, including ADHD, despair and other mental conditions, multiple sclerosis, and tinnitus from a vascular origin.

A few people are also using ginkgo to prevent high altitude sickness; however, experts have not yet concluded that it is viable for that purpose.

Numerous uses of the ginkgo show guarantee, however, but more research should be done. 

How much Ginkgo Biloba should you take?

Ginkgo Biloba has no standard dose of supplements. Nonetheless, in clinical studies, practically all clinical preliminaries have used a traditional concentrate of ginkgo, standardized to 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones.

A typical dose in individuals with dementia is 40 milligrams of the herb multiple times a day.

For improving cognitive function in healthy people, people have taken between 120 milligrams to 600 milligrams daily. 

Can you get Ginkgo Biloba naturally from foods?

The main source of ginkgo is from the ginkgo tree. Most ginkgo supplements are from the leaves.

Ginkgo seeds can be hazardous, particularly when pure. 

 

What are the risks of taking Ginkgo Biloba? 

 

  • Side effects. In certain individuals, Gingko leaf supplements can cause migraines, confusion, heart palpitations, queasiness, gas, and diarrhea. Allergies to ginkgo can trigger rashes.
  • Risks. If you have a blood disorder or are arranging a medical procedure, consult with your primary care physician before using ginkgo. You should not take ginkgo if you have any ailments – particularly diabetes, epilepsy, or fertility problems, except if your Primary Care Provider prescribes it. Try not to eat untreated pieces of the ginkgo plant. Uncooked ginkgo seeds can cause seizures and death. 
  • Interactions. If you take any prescriptions or supplements routinely, consult with your primary care physician before you begin using ginkgo supplements. They can interact with blood thinners, anti-platelet drugs, aspirin, antidepressants, NSAID painkillers, anticonvulsants, medications, for diabetes, tranquilizers that influence the liver. It might also interct with garlic, saw palmetto, St. John’s wort, and Yohimbe. Ginkgo may diminish the effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT.)

Given the potential risks, ginkgo is not prescribed for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

 

What is some other important information I should know before taking Ginkgo Biloba? 

Gingko is known by numerous different names, including bai guo ye, rinsing, and fossil tree.

In any case, the supplement is most famously known as Ginkgo Biloba, and you will definitely see it on store shelves labelled as that.

Numerous health food markets and vitamin shops sell this item. 

To ensure that you get the correct dose, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that you search for a Supplement Facts mark on the item that you purchase.

This name will contain crucial data, including the amount per serving.

You can also see whether different ingredients have been added to the item, for example, fillers, binders, and flavorings. 

Finally, the association proposes that you search for an item that contains a seal of endorsement from an outsider association that gives quality testing.

These associations incorporate U.S. Pharmacopeia, ConsumerLab.com, and NSF International.

A seal of endorsement from one of these associations does not ensure the item’s security or viability however it confirms that the item was manufactured correctly, contains the ingredients listed on the mark, and does not contain unsafe degrees of contaminants.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Ginkgo Biloba: 

Is it safe to take Ginkgo Biloba every day?

There is no standard dose for Ginkgo Biloba. Commonly, people with dementia take 40 milligrams three times a day and healthy people who want to improve their cognitive function take 120-600 milligrams daily.

What is Ginkgo Biloba used for?

The extract Ginkgo Biloba is used to treat blood disorders, improve memory problems, enhance cardiovascular function, and improve eye health. 

Does Ginkgo Biloba work immediately?

It usually takes about six weeks to see effects from taking Ginkgo Biloba. 

Is Ginkgo Biloba good for memory?

A few studies have discovered that in healthy people, ginkgo may modestly support memory and cognitive speed. Other studies have not discovered an advantage. Some experimental reports indicate that Ginkgo Biloba can help with memory issues caused  by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It appears to help prevent the progression of dementia symptoms, particularly if the dementia is believed to be the consequence of atherosclerotic vascular disease. 

Does Ginkgo Biloba work sexually?

Ginkgo Biloba is said to increase circulation and improve sexual function. 

Does Ginkgo Biloba cause liver damage?

Some studies in laboratory animals have shown that Gingko Biloba increases the risk for liver cancer. However, studies in humans have suggested moderate intake of the extract in US consumers does not alter liver function. 

Does Ginkgo Biloba raise blood pressure?

Ginkgo Biloba may reduce blood pressure, so it should not be taken with other blood pressure medications because then blood pressure may drop to dangerously low levels. 

Does Ginkgo Biloba increase the risk of bleeding?

Several studies have indicated that Ginkgo Biloba may increase the risk of bleeding. 

 

Is Ginkgo Biloba good for the eyes?

 

Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to reduce retinal degeneration. There is also evidence that Ginkgo Biloba enhances color vision in patients with diabetic retinopathy.  

In this article, we discussed what Ginkgo Biloba is used for, common drug interactions, and important information to know before taking it. 

Want to learn more about Ginkgo Biloba? Try these recommended readings!

1.    Ginkgo Biloba: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin, A-231 Paperback – January 11, 2000, by Stephan Brown

2.             Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot Paperback – March 31, 2015, by Peter Crane (Author), Pollyanna von Knorring (Illustrator)

3.             Ginkgo Biloba (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) Hardcover – February 23, 2000, by Teris A vanBeek (Editor)

4.             Ginkgo Biloba A Global Treasure: From Biology to Medicine 1997th Edition by T. Hori (Editor), Robert W. Ridge  (Editor), Walter Tulecke (Editor), Peter Del Tredici  (Editor), Jocelyne Tremouillaux-Guiller (Editor), Hiroshi Tobe (Editor)

5.            Gingko Biloba: An Herbal Foundation of Youth For Your Brain

Sources/References:

1.    Mei N, Guo X, Ren Z, Kobayashi D, Wada K, Guo L. Review of ginkgo Biloba-induced toxicity, from experimental studies to human case reports. J Environ Sci Health C Environ Carcinog Ecotoxicol Rev. 2017;35(1):1-28. DOI:10.1080/10590501.2016.1278298

2.             Xiong XJ, Liu W, Yang XC, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract for essential hypertension: a systemic review. Phytomedicine. 2014;21(10):1131-6. DOI:10.1016/j.phymed.2014.04.024

3.             Weinmann S, Roll S, Schwarzbach C, Vauth C, Willich SN. Effects of Ginkgo Biloba in dementia: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Geriatr. 2010;10:14. DOI:10.1186/1471-2318-10-14

4.             Saccà SC, Corazza P, Gandolfi S, et al. Substances of interest that support glaucoma therapy. Nutrients. 2019;11(2). DOI:10.3390/nu11020239

5.             Fundukian, L., ed. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, third edition, 2009.

6.             Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

7.             National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

8.             Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.

9.             Natural Standard.

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