For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS  
For Daily Alerts

    Ginkgo Biloba (Maidenhair Tree): Uses, Benefits & Risks

    The sole surviving member of the ginkgoacea family, the ginkgo biloba tree is widely known for its therapeutic properties. The dried green leaves of the tree are used to produce an [1]  extract, which is utilised due to its high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids. Ginkgo biloba seed and dried leaves have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 1,000 years.

    ginkgo biloba

    Today, the ancient plant extract is available in liquid form which is applied in the treatment of mental [2]  health conditions, fatigue and Alzheimer's disease. Clinical studies support the claim that the ancient plant extract possesses various health benefits and protects your body from oxidative stress and damages.

    The unique combination of antioxidants and phenolic compounds in the plant extract are increasingly inclined towards improving [3]  brain function and blood circulation. Ginkgo biloba is mostly used for treating the ailments in older people but is justly beneficial for people of all age groups. It is safe to be consumed by children too, however, the dosage varies according to the age and health of the individual.

    Phytochemicals In Ginkgo Biloba

    The leaf extracts of the plant contain proanthocyanidins, [4]  phenolic acids, flavonoid glycosides, such as kaempferol, myricetin, isorhamnetin and quercetin, and the terpene trilactones, bilobalides, and ginkgolides. The leaves also contain alkylphenols and polyprenols, and [5]  ginkgo biflavones.

    Uses Of Ginkgo Biloba

    From a herbal remedy to therapeutic countermeasure, the ancient plant is applied [6]  in the treatment of various conditions. Most commonly, ginkgo biloba is used for treating

    • schizophrenia,
    • anxiety,
    • depression,
    • altitude sickness [7] ,
    • blood pressure problems,
    • asthma,
    • erectile dysfunction,
    • insufficient blood flow to the brain,
    • neuropathy,
    • premenstrual syndrome,
    • cancer,
    • macular degeneration, and
    • attention [8]  deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Benefits Of Ginkgo Biloba

    1. Improves cognitive health

    Ginkgo is known for its ability to improve brain function and health. It helps treat [9]  cerebral insufficiency and improves the associated confusion, chronically low concentration, fatigue, headaches, decreased physical performance, and mood changes. Studies have revealed that it contributes towards elevating one's mental performance and well-being. Consuming [10]  ginkgo can have a positive impact on your focus, memory and attention span. The benefits of your cognitive health also include better social behaviour and improved performance in carrying out daily tasks.

    2. Manages symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer's

    Various studies have linked ginkgo to the treatment of [11]  Alzheimer's and dementia symptoms. It has been asserted that ginkgo can increase the functional capabilities of individuals suffering from Alzheimer's. Another study pointed out that the ancient plant has evidently reduced the symptoms associated with [12]  dementia when used for a period of 22 to 24 weeks.

    3. Improves heart health

    The anti-inflammatory properties of ginkgo have been proven to have an impact on improving the [13]  heart health. It reduces the build-up of atherosclerotic plaque which causes arteriosclerosis and reduces the LDL cholesterol levels. The superior antioxidant property possessed by the plant also works towards improving the [14]  heartbeat regulation.

    4. Reduces anxiety and depression

    Consuming ginkgo is observed to have beneficial results in managing the symptoms of anxiety. Studies have revealed that, upon consuming ginkgo, individuals suffering from anxiety disorder were revealed to have better relief. The antioxidant property [15]  of the plant works wonders and was asserted that there was a 45% reduction in the individuals' anxiety levels. Likewise, the anti-inflammatory properties of ginkgo help in managing the symptoms related to [16]  depression.

    5. Fights PMS symptoms

    Ginkgo is pointed out to have an impact on managing mood swings, muscle pain, headaches, fatigue and anxiety. It treats both the psychological and [17]  physical symptoms and helps improve your mood. Various studies have been conducted to gather a clear understanding on the impact the extract has on the [18]  PMS symptoms, and most of the studies revealed a gradual decline in the severity of the symptoms.

    6. Treats ADHD symptoms

    As aforementioned, ginkgo is extremely beneficial in treating cognitive related issues. Studies have revealed that the plant is beneficial in reducing the symptoms of [19]  ADHD in children. It provides relief to individuals and helps improve their concentration skills. It is also shown to have an impact on reducing the symptoms of dyslexia.

    7. Improves sleep quality

    By impacting the REM function and cycle, the [20]  antioxidant property of ginkgo can help manage and improve the lack of sleep. Consuming the extract can help increase your sleep quality, especially in individuals who are using antidepressants.

    ginkgo facts

    8. Treats migraine

    Ginkgo has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating headache related issues. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties [21]  possessed by the plant extract can help limit the onset of a severe migraine. A stress-induced headache can be cured by consuming the recommended dosage. It helps the condition by elevating the blood vessel dilation, thereby eradicating the [22]  triggers.

    9. Improves libido

    Some studies have revealed that ginkgo can aid in treating erectile dysfunction. Consuming ginkgo helps improve the levels of nitric oxide in the blood, thereby improving the circulation through the dilation of the [23]  blood vessels. It improves libido by improving the blood circulation to all parts of the body, especially the genitals. Likewise, by managing the hormonal balance, it helps regulate the serotonin levels, blood pressure and circulation which directly impacts the [24]  low libido.

    10. Maintains eye health

    The platelet-activating factors present in ginkgo helps in the prevention of membrane damage that is caused by the free radicals. It helps lower the risk of [25]  macular degeneration as well. Ginkgo is also used to treat pink eye symptoms, due to its antibacterial property.

    11. Fights fibromyalgia

    Studies have revealed that ginkgo is effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia, a disorder affecting the nervous system. It is used as a natural [26]  fibromyalgia treatment, as it can help reduce the associated symptoms such as muscle pain accompanied by fatigue, headache, and sleeping difficulty, anxiety and depression.

    12. Promotes healthy skin

    Regular consumption of ginkgo is asserted to have an impact on improving your skin quality. It is shown to have an effect in reducing the symptoms of [27]  vitiligo. Ginkgo also helps in getting rid of skin roughness and wrinkles. It gets rid of the wrinkles and roughness due to the flavonoids that increased the [28]  skin moisture.

    13. Helps heal haemorrhoids

    Being anti-inflammatory in nature, ginkgo is pointed out to have a definite impact in treating painful haemorrhoids. It manages the condition by reducing swelling, pain and bleeding. Regarded as an effective haemorrhoids treatment method, ginkgo decreases the inflammation.

    14. Reduces symptoms of asthma

    Ginkgo possesses properties that reduce the levels of [29]  inflammation and improves the antioxidant activity in your body. It also helps improve the nerve functioning, thereby reducing the difficulties caused during an asthma attack.

    15. Increases effectiveness of schizophrenia treatment

    Various studies have focused on bringing out the impact ginkgo has on reducing the symptoms related to schizophrenia, when used as an add-on with the drugs used for the treatment. Although it does not cease the symptoms in an extensive manner, it does help increase and improves the responses to the [30]  medications.

    Dosage Of Ginkgo Biloba

    The impact of the extract on your body is dependent on the recommended dosage of it. For each condition, the dosage varies. It is also dependent on the age, and health of the [31]  individual.

    • Altitude sickness - 80 milligrams, taken orally two times daily.
    • Cognitive function - 120-600 milligrams, taken orally two times daily.
    • Dementia - 120-240 milligrams, taken orally in divided doses - two to three times daily.
    • Premenstrual syndrome - 80 milligrams, taken orally two times daily. Start on day 16 and continue until day 5 of the next cycle.
    • SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction - 60-240 milligrams, taken orally two times daily.
    • Vertigo or tinnitus - 120-160 milligrams taken orally in divided doses two to three times daily.
    • Raynaud's disease [32]  - 360 milligrams, taken orally in divided doses three times daily.
    • Normal tension glaucoma - 40 milligrams, taken orally three times daily for 4 weeks.

    *Consult a doctor before starting the medication.

    Risks Of Ginkgo Biloba

    • If you are allergic to urushiols, avoid consuming the plant [33]  as it can have adverse effects on your body.
    • If you are using medications for any sort of bleeding disorders, steer away from ginkgo as it may increase the risk of bleeding.
    • If you are taking medications like ibuprofen, avoid ginkgo as it can hinder with the clotting of blood and can have severe side effects.
    • Individuals with diabetes or hypoglycemia should not take ginkgo as it can lower the blood sugar levels.
    • During pregnancy and breastfeeding, do not take ginkgo.
    • It can increase the risk of thyroid [34]  and liver cancer.
    • Ginkgo seeds and unprocessed ginkgo leaves can cause seizure and death.

    Side Effects Of Ginkgo Biloba

    The most common negative outcomes of consuming the extract are[35]

    • restlessness, 
    • nausea,
    • diarrhoea,
    • headaches,
    • dizziness,
    • stomach ache, and
    • vomiting.
    View Article References
    1. [1] Ferrante, R. J., Klein, A. M., Dedeoglu, A., & Beal, M. F. (2001). Therapeutic efficacy of EGb761 (Gingko biloba extract) in a transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.Journal of Molecular Neuroscience,17(1), 89-96.
    2. [2] Kleijnen, J., & Knipschild, P. (1992). Ginkgo biloba.The Lancet,340(8828), 1136-1139.
    3. [3] Birks, J., & Evans, J. G. (2009). Ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia.Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (1).
    4. [4] van Beek, T. A., & Montoro, P. (2009). Chemical analysis and quality control of Ginkgo biloba leaves, extracts, and phytopharmaceuticals.Journal of Chromatography A,1216(11), 2002-2032.
    5. [5] van Beek, T. A. (2002). Chemical analysis of Ginkgo biloba leaves and extracts.Journal of Chromatography a,967(1), 21-55.
    6. [6] Mahadevan, S., & Park, Y. (2008). Multifaceted therapeutic benefits of Ginkgo biloba L.: chemistry, efficacy, safety, and uses.Journal of Food Science,73(1), R14-R19.
    7. [7] McKenna, D. J., Jones, K., & Hughes, K. (2001). Efficacy, safety, and use of ginkgo biloba in clinical and preclinical applications.Alternative Therapies in Health And Medicine,7(5), 70.
    8. [8] Ahlemeyer, B., & Krieglstein, J. (2003). Pharmacological studies supporting the therapeutic use of Ginkgo biloba extract for Alzheimer’s disease.Pharmacopsychiatry,36(S 1), 8-14.
    9. [9] leijnen, J., & Knipschild, P. (1992). Ginkgo biloba for cerebral insufficiency.British journal of clinical pharmacology,34(4), 352-358.
    10. [10] Cieza, A., Maier, P., & Pöppel, E. (2003). Effects of Ginkgo biloba on mental functioning in healthy volunteers.Archives of medical research,34(5), 373-381.
    11. [11] Yang, G., Wang, Y., Sun, J., Zhang, K., & Liu, J. (2016). Ginkgo biloba for mild cognitive impairment and alzheimer’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.Current topics in medicinal chemistry,16(5), 520-528.
    12. [12] Savaskan, E., Mueller, H., Hoerr, R., von Gunten, A., & Gauthier, S. (2018). Treatment effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761® on the spectrum of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.International psychogeriatrics,30(3), 285-293.
    13. [13] Yang, Y., Li, Y., Wang, J., Sun, K., Tao, W., Wang, Z., ... & Wang, Y. (2017). Systematic Investigation of Ginkgo biloba leaves for treating cardio-cerebrovascular diseases in an animal model.ACS chemical biology,12(5), 1363-1372.
    14. [14] Mohammad Nabavi, S., Habtemariam, S., Daglia, M., Braidy, N., Rosa Loizzo, M., Tundis, R., & Fazel Nabavi, S. (2015). Neuroprotective effects of ginkgolide B against ischemic stroke: A review of current literature.Current topics in medicinal chemistry,15(21), 2222-2232.
    15. [15] Savage, K., Firth, J., Stough, C., & Sarris, J. (2018). GABA‐modulating phytomedicines for anxiety: A systematic review of preclinical and clinical evidence.Phytotherapy Research,32(1), 3-18.
    16. [16] Ozgoli, G., Selselei, E. A., Mojab, F., & Majd, H. A. (2009). A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba L. in treatment of premenstrual syndrome.The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,15(8), 845-851.
    17. [17] Tamborini, A., & Taurelle, R. (1993). Value of standardized Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) in the management of congestive symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.Revue francaise de gynecologie et d'obstetrique,88(7-9), 447-457.
    18. [18] Salehi, B., Imani, R., Mohammadi, M. R., Fallah, J., Mohammadi, M., Ghanizadeh, A., ... & Akhondzadeh, S. (2010). Ginkgo biloba for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: a double blind, randomized controlled trial.Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry,34(1), 76-80.
    19. [19] Murray, B. J., Cowen, P. J., & Sharpley, A. L. (2001). The effect of Li 1370, extract of Ginkgo biloba, on REM sleep in humans.Pharmacopsychiatry,34(04), 155-157.
    20. [20] Montes, P., Ruiz-Sanchez, E., Rojas, C., & Rojas, P. (2015). Ginkgo biloba extract 761: a review of basic studies and potential clinical use in psychiatric disorders.CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-CNS & Neurological Disorders),14(1), 132-149.
    21. [21] Usai, S., Grazzi, L., & Bussone, G. (2011). Gingkolide B as migraine preventive treatment in young age: results at 1-year follow-up.Neurological Sciences,32(1), 197-199.
    22. [22] Usai, S., Grazzi, L., Andrasik, F., & Bussone, G. (2010). An innovative approach for migraine prevention in young age: a preliminary study.Neurological sciences,31(1), 181-183.
    23. [23] Cohen, A. J., & Bartlik, B. (1998). Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.Journal of sex & marital therapy,24(2), 139-143.
    24. [24] Kang, B. J., Lee, S. J., Kim, M. D., & Cho, M. J. (2002). A placebo‐controlled, double‐blind trial of Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant‐induced sexual dysfunction.Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental,17(6), 279-284.
    25. [25] Russo, V., Stella, A., Appezzati, L., Barone, A., Stagni, E., Roszkowska, A. M., & Noci, N. D. (2009). Clinical efficacy of a Ginkgo biloba extract in the topical treatment of allergic conjunctivitis.European journal of ophthalmology,19(3), 331-336.
    26. [26] Lister, R. E. (2002). An open, pilot study to evaluate the potential benefits of coenzyme Q10 combined with Ginkgo biloba extract in fibromyalgia syndrome.Journal of international medical research,30(2), 195-199.
    27. [27] Szczurko, O., Shear, N., Taddio, A., & Boon, H. (2011). Ginkgo biloba for the treatment of vitilgo vulgaris: an open label pilot clinical trial.BMC complementary and alternative medicine,11(1), 21.
    28. [28] Parsad, D., Pandhi, R., & Juneja, A. (2003). Effectiveness of oral Ginkgo biloba in treating limited, slowly spreading vitiligo.Clinical and Experimental Dermatology: Experimental dermatology,28(3), 285-287.
    29. [29] Chu, X., Ci, X., He, J., Wei, M., Yang, X., Cao, Q., ... & Deng, X. (2011). A novel anti-inflammatory role for ginkgolide B in asthma via inhibition of the ERK/MAPK signaling pathway.Molecules,16(9), 7634-7648.
    30. [30] A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of extract of Ginkgo biloba added to haloperidol in treatment-resistant patients with schizophrenia.
    31. [31] Kleijnen, J., & Knipschild, P. (1992). Ginkgo biloba for cerebral insufficiency.British journal of clinical pharmacology,34(4), 352-358.
    32. [32] DeKosky, S. T., Williamson, J. D., Fitzpatrick, A. L., Kronmal, R. A., Ives, D. G., Saxton, J. A., ... & Kuller, L. H. (2008). Ginkgo biloba for prevention of dementia: a randomized controlled trial.Jama,300(19), 2253-2262.
    33. [33] Ernst, E. (2002). The risk–benefit profile of commonly used herbal therapies: Ginkgo, St. John's Wort, Ginseng, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto, and Kava.Annals of internal medicine,136(1), 42-53.
    34. [34] Sierpina, V. S., Wollschlaeger, B., & Blumenthal, M. (2003). Ginkgo biloba.American Family Physician,68(5), 923-926.
    35. [35] Cohen, A. J., & Bartlik, B. (1998). Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.Journal of sex & marital therapy,24(2), 139-143.

    Read more about: ginkgo biloba uses benefits
    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Boldsky sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Boldsky website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more