Ginkgo Biloba: Pros and Cons Explained

Ginkgo Biloba comes from the leaves of one of the world’s oldest tree species. These days, the herb is often used in its standardized forms. The popularity of Ginkgo Biloba has only increased in the last few years, mainly due to claims of its efficacy in the treatment of a variety of ailments.

While there’s some evidence that points to the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties of the herb and how this may help in the increase of blood flow and circulation, more testing is required.

As always, people are advised to seek the advice of a medical professional before adding a Ginkgo supplement to their diet.

gingko capsule fork

What does Ginkgo Biloba do?

Ginkgo Biloba is mainly supplemented for improved brain function. This includes memory enhancement, mental alertness as well as the reduction of mental fatigue and low energy. The herb is also used in traditional medicinal practice as a treatment for enhancing memory and in addressing circulatory disorders.

From the evidence that has been collected regarding Ginkgo, the supplement may be helpful in keeping the blood vessels dilated to reduce blood platelet stickiness. This is essential to ensure proper blood clotting and to help prevent loss of blood. Ginkgo Biloba Extra or GBE may also be used in the treatment of a number of psychological, neurological and cardiovascular disorders.

Ginkgo Biloba Pros and Cons

Ginkgo Biloba Benefits

In ancient traditional medicine, the herb was used to cure cough and bladder related problems. Today, it’s known to offer numerous health benefits such as:

  • Increasing the efficiency of the body’s metabolism, regulating neurotransmitters as well as boosting the levels of oxygen not only in the body but most especially, in the brain.
  • The herb may be used in preventing cholesterol from transforming into plaque, a process that is generally linked to the hardening of the arteries. The herb is also known to help the blood vessels relax.
  • Treating disorders in the ear and eyes due to the positive effects of Ginkgo on the body’s circulation.
  • Preventing damage to body organs since the herb can block platelets— an activating element that triggers diseases like psoriasis and other skin conditions.
  • Enhancing brain circulation which leads to the improvement in long and short-term memory, improvement in mental clarity as well as an increase in reaction time.
  • Countering eye disease including cataracts and glaucoma as well as improving faulty vision.
  • Stimulating nitric oxide production, which plays a crucial role in the function of the circulatory system.
  • Providing muscle cramp relief.
  • Reducing liver damage.
biloba leaf moist

It is also credited for helping in the better absorption and synthesis of Vitamin E. Ginkgo Biloba contains phytoestrogens that make it a great remedy for women experiencing menopause. It may also be used as a supplement for those diagnosed with breast cancer.

It’s also used in treating a variety of sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction, impotency, infertility, as well as loss of libido. Some people also take it to help improve their sexual performance.

Possible Downsides of Ginkgo Biloba

Ideally, people shouldn’t take more than 40 milligrams of Ginkgo Biloba a day, especially long term, due to the possibility of negative consequences to one’s health.

It is also advised not to take the supplement when you’re taking other drugs that are designed to be anticoagulants including fish oil, aspirin, ibuprofen and a variety of antidepressants.

Among the possible adverse effects of Ginkgo Biloba are:

  • Can potentially cause headaches and gastrointestinal disorders.
  • It isn’t ideal for people suffering from clotting related issues.
  • It can cause allergic reactions including hypersensitivity, rash, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing and dizziness. It may cause vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
  • In some extreme instances, taking the supplement in excessive amounts may lead to internal brain hemorrhage.
gingko tea strainer

Final Thoughts

Due to Ginkgo’s blood-thinning properties, it is not advised for use in pregnant women and mothers that are breastfeeding.

It shouldn’t be administered to patients that suffer from certain forms of blood loss. People with severe sensitivity to the skin should also be cautious when handling any part of the Ginkgo plant— be it the fruits, seeds, or leaves.

They may develop a rash or dermatitis from coming into contact with the plant. The plant also shouldn’t be ingested directly. They should only be taken in extracts as powder or capsule forms, manufactured by trusted and renowned pharmaceutical companies.

The tree from which these extracts are taken from is quite robust and can survive extreme weather and temperatures.

If you intend on taking Ginkgo Biloba for treating certain health ailments, you’ll want to consult a health professional first for proper guidance on dosage, side effects, and compatibility with your own health.

Robert Woods
At POP, we strive to provide practical preventative advice. We strive to figure out ways to prevent problems that people might have trouble grasping. We've found that other sources have trouble articulating concepts in a way that regular people can understand.
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The products and supplements mentioned on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, alleviate or prevent any diseases. All articles on this website are the opinions of their respective authors who do not claim or profess to be medical professionals providing medical advice. This website is strictly for the purpose of providing opinions of the author. You should consult with your doctor or another qualified health care professional before you start taking any dietary supplements or engage in mental health programs.