Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba Benefits

Ginkgo biloba, also known as Maidenhair, has been traced back nearly 300 million years making it the oldest surviving tree species on earth! The Chinese have used the plant medicinally for eons but many of the modern applications come from the research of German scientists. Ginkgo is a prescription herb in Germany.

Ginkgo Biloba is especially good when combined with Panax Ginseng.

Ginkgo extract has proven benefits to elderly persons. This ancient herb acts to enhance oxygen utilization and thus improves memory, concentration, and other mental faculties. The herbal extract has also been shown to significantly improve long-distance vision and may reverse damage to the retina of the eye. Studies have also confirmed its value in the treatment of depression in elderly persons. The ginkgo extract may provide relief for persons with headache, sinusitis, and vertigo. It may also help relieve chronic ringing in the ears known as tinnitus.

In studies, Ginkgo biloba has been reported as demonstrating anti-oxidant abilities with improvements of the platelet and nerve cell functions and blood flow to the nervous system and brain. It has also been reported as reducing blood viscosity. It's ability to increase vascular dilation, may help reduce retinal damage due to macular degradation and may reverse deafness caused by reduced blood flow.

Recently, extensive research on the herb has been conducted on the healing properties of the leaf extract. Germany and France have run literally hundreds of studies on the leaf extract. These studies along with similar studies in America, have shown significant results. The extract of Ginkgo biloba has been studied for its effectiveness in the treatment of Acrocyanosis, Alzheimer's disease, Cerebral atherosclerosis, Cerebral insufficiencies, Cochlear deafness, Dementia, Depression, Menopause, Peripheral and cerebral circulatory stimulation, Peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud's syndrome, Retinopathy, Senility, Short-term memory loss, Tinnitus, Vascular Diseases, and Vertigo.

It is said to be effective in improving the blood flow to the hands and the feet as well as stimulating the brain and reducing short-term memory loss. It increases blood flow to the brain, the uptake of glucose by brain cells, and has been said to improve the transmission of nerve signals.


Patients suffering from varying degrees of vascular insufficiency also noted an improvement in mood while taking ginkgo biloba extract. This has prompted a surge of interest in its use as a treatment for depression, especially in the elderly. Many people have found GBE to enhance other depression treatments and to often even prevent the need for pharmaceutical treatments in mild cases of depression. Those under the age of fifty may also benefit from ginkgo biloba's antidepressant effects. So far though, the greatest level of improvement has been noted with older patients.

Alzheimer's & Mental Function

As more than 300 studies demonstrate, ginkgo facilitates better blood flow through out the body, most notably the brain, where it both protects and promotes memory and mental function, even for people with Alzheimer's disease. It also offers a wealth of possibilities in the treatment of many other common ailments.


Since doctors are still not sure what causes Alzheimer's disease, we do not have a definite idea of how ginkgo works to stabilise, and in some cases, improve the quality of life for those suffering from this degenerative disease. Scientists have noted that Alzheimer's is marked by a major loss of nerve cells in the brain, particularly those in areas controlling memory and thinking. Since doctors have found antioxidants to help slow the destruction of nerves, it is not a stretch to see ginkgo's antioxidant properties helping in this area. The disease is also believed to have a connection to decreased blood flow to the brain. If so, ginkgo's vasodilating effects may be a big help in the treatment process. Either way, prominent doctors and scientists believe ginkgo to be the supplement of choice to help hold off and possibly treat Alzheimer's.

Antioxidant Properties

Although oxygen is essential for life, it can have adverse effects on your body. Unstable oxygen molecules can often be created during our body's normal break down and use of oxygen or can form in response to external factors and pollutants. These unstable molecules, called free radicals, can damage cells and structures within cells. If the genetic material in cells is affected and not repaired, it can replicate in new cells, contributing to cancer and other health problems. These free radicals may also weaken artery walls, allowing fatty deposits that can lead to hear disease. As an antioxidant, ginkgo biloba combats free radicals and repairs molecular damage. A great deal of research suggests that antioxidants such as GBE may play important roles in preventing or delaying heart disease, cancer and other ills. Antioxidants may even halt the damage to cells, thereby slowing the effects of aging.


Another use for ginkgo biloba is in the treatment of impotency. The main cause of male impotence is poor circulation and impaired blood flow through the penis, which is often the result of atherosclerosis. Since ginkgo biloba increases blood flow, it's been found to help up to fifty percent of patients after six months of use.

Raynaud's disease

Raynaud's disease is believed to be caused by blood vessels that over react to the cold and spasm, reducing blood flow and there by depriving extremities of oxygen. Ginkgo biloba may help this condition by widening the small blood vessels, which would keep these spasms from completely blocking the blood flow.

Parkinson's Disease

The lack of dopamine is believed to produce the progressive stiffness, shaking and loss of muscle coordination typical in Parkinson's disease. Doctor's theorise that along with other treatments, Ginkgo biloba may help symptoms by increasing the brain's blood flow and thereby allowing more of the depleted dopamine to be circulated to the areas that need it most.

Other Conditions

Other uses for which ginkgo biloba extract is often recommended include depression, diabetes related nerve damage and poor circulation, allergies, vertigo, short-term memory loss, headache, atherosclerosis, tinnitus, cochlear deafness, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and PMS.


Scientists continue to study the prevention and treatment benefits to stroke patients that are attributed to GBE. It's believed that by preventing blood clots from developing and increasing the blood flow to the brain, ginkgo biloba may help stop strokes from occurring. It's also believed that the herb inhibits free-radical damage of brain cells after a stroke.

Multiple sclerosis & Organ transplant

GBE also appears to have an anti-inflammatory action that may make it valuable in the future for conditions such as multiple sclerosis and organ transplants.

Ginkgo Biloba Herb Notes / Side Effects

Latin Names

Ginkgo biloba, Salisburia adiantifolia, Salisburia macrophylla

Common Names

Bai Guo, Ginkgo Nut, Japanese Silver Apricot, Kew Tree, Maidenhair Tree, Yinhsing


Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Improves blood flow, Strengthens blood vessels, Relaxes the lungs, circulatory system tonic, vasodilator

Indicated for

Acrocyanosis, allergies, Alzheimer's & Mental Function, asthma, cerebral atherosclerosis and/or insufficiencies, cochlear deafness, cramp from walking, dementia, depression, diabetes related nerve damage and poor circulation, diabetic retinopathy, erectile function, headaches, impotency, improving circulation to the brain in the elderly, improving deafness, improving long-distance vision and possibly reversing damage to the retina, intermittent claudication, leg ulcers, macular degeneration, menopause, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, peripheral and cerebral circulatory stimulation, peripheral vascular disease, PMS, poor circulation, Raynaud's disease, senile dementia, short-term memory loss, sinusitis, strengthening memory, strokes, tender or painful breasts, thrombosis, tinnitus, varicose veins, vertigo, white finger and spontaneous bruising.

Ginkgo should be discontinued after three months if ineffective.

Ginkgo can interfere with platelet aggregation and, as such, individuals taking anti-coagulants (blood thinners) or antithrombotic medicines, including aspirin should seek professional guidance.

Individuals who take medications to prevent seizures and individuals who have ever had a seizure should avoid taking ginkgo.

Ginkgo should be avoided two days before and one to two weeks after surgery to avoid bleeding complications.

Ginkgo is not recommended during pregnancy, breast-feeding, or early childhood.

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mila 's avatar  mila 20/03/2015 16:35

I was in a car accident in 2012 causing muscle spasms headache/migraines Thoracic and Cervical isssues this lasted with treatment dor years just when I got 90% better a car struck me from the backon 10/09/14 while I was stopped going between 30 to 40 MPH although I did not hit the window shield etc my head popped forward and popped back violently I could hear three pops instantly I began to feel pain pressure and throbbing in my head shoulders followed with numbness tingling in my right side of my body along with other symptoms this caused re injury and new injuries including concussion arm parathesia spasms mri and ct revealed reversal of the lordosis issues in cervical C2-C7 degenerative disk the next day my symptoms were increased and greater I had slurred speech I couldn't remember things I was confused the entire right side of my body was tender in pain head around my eye my ear was highly sensitive to sound shoulders arms were tingling in pain and tender I had clear liquids coming out of my right ear I could not drive for a month I had problems communicating concentrating and speaking properly my brain was vibrating I had 1 seizure my current symptoms that lingered are bad spasms headaches/migraines concentration memory with intake of information and past memories that I struggle with remembering my speech sounds good but I stutter and words come out wrong it takes me a while to compose my thoughts and speak I have recieved treatment laser therapy to my mysclesinjections in my head for my nerves that stopped the brain vibrations physical therapy but I am still syptomatic and concerned as I am a student and I am failing my simple courses due to concentration I was told that GINKGO supplements can help are there any other related vitamins and or treatment that could help me I recently seen a neurologist he evaluated my flexibility an overall 10 min new patient consultation and stated there is nothing wrong with me I highly disagree with him he didnt go over my present symptoms nor take a history or physically evaluate my head upper body muscles at all can you please tell me why I am having these issues and what can be done to help

Chris Jarmson 's avatar  Chris Jarmson 17/03/2015 05:30

I use this stuff to study, a friend got me on to it. You have to be consistent though. I used it for 6 months before I really started feeling any effects.

Jen 's avatar  Jen 21/07/2012 15:27

I just started taking Ginko for Tennitis. I notice about an hour after I take a dose (60mg) I get very warm.  Is this normal?

60 people liked this.
Student 's avatar  Student 24/06/2011 18:47

A question for a Natureopathic Doctor. Is it safe for me to take Ginko, Ginseng, Gotu Kola, Fo-ti and aloe vera together (not necessarily at the same time)? I have just started my studies for a CPA exam (extremely deficult / less then 10% pass rate) and I wanted to something natural to help me study and remember. My full time job and family make things a bit stressful somethime to study. Can a Natureopathic Doctor help?

30 people liked this.
jatt 's avatar  jatt 05/01/2011 15:40

I started using Ginkgo Biloba(5ml) intake everyday and it has greatly increased my libido and enhanced my intercourse performance...I am taking it alongwith Ginseng(5ml). I am very happy about the results which were noticable after mere 3 days of intake.

28 people liked this.
Vonda 's avatar  Vonda 17/11/2013 18:07

my 17 year old daughter is worried about her memory and focus, is she too young to start Ginkgo as a supplement?

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