Ginkgo Biloba vs Ginseng: Differences Explained

Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba have been popular fixtures of herbal medicines for centuries. This popularity transcends time as they remain among the most popularly used supplements today. When used in conjunction, they are known to help support cognitive function in humans including concentration, memory, thinking, understanding and decision-making.

Ginseng has also earned a reputation for its benefits in helping to reduce fatigue, tiredness, and stress.

Ginseng vs Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba

Also known as maidenhair, this tree originally grows in China where it has been cultivated and grown for thousands of years and is used to treat a variety of maladies. As the only member of an ancient plant species to have survived, it is often referred to by herbalists as a living fossil.

The seeds and leaves of the plant are a staple in traditional Chinese herbal and medicinal practices. However, modern research has been focused on the plant’s extract, which primarily comes from its leaves.

yellow leaf ginkgo

Supplements made from Ginkgo extract are known for a number of uses and health claims. Most are related to the circulatory system. And like many supplements, there are Ginkgo Biloba pros and cons which you have to take note of.

Among its many benefits are:

  • It fights inflammation
  • It contains a lot of antioxidants
  • It helps reduce symptoms of dementia and other psychiatric disorders
  • It helps improve heart health and circulation
  • It can help reduce anxiety
  • It’s effective at improving brain function
  • It is useful for treating depression
  • It helps treat social dysfunction
  • It helps reduce symptoms of PMS
  • It helps combat symptoms of COPD and asthma
  • It helps treat migraines and headaches
  • It helps support eye health and vision

Generally, most adults will find that there is very low risk of taking Ginkgo as a supplement. However, there have been instances when it has caused serious harm to some people. If you are taking certain medications or are allergic to alkylphenols in plants, it is best not to take Ginkgo.

As such, before adding a Ginkgo supplement to your diet, it is prudent that you consult with a medical professional.

Among the potential side effects you might experience are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Allergic reaction/ rash
  • Stomach pain
ginseng ginkgo powder


Ginseng has been a popular part of traditional Chinese medicine for many centuries. This short plant grows slow and is known for its fleshy roots. Depending on the length of time that it’s grown and harvested, it can be classified as red, white, or fresh ginseng.

Fresh ginseng takes 4 years to harvest. The white variety takes 4 to 6 years and the red variety is only harvested after 6 years or more.

A variety of ginseng types are available but the Panax ginseng or Asian ginseng and Panax quinquefolius or American ginseng are the most popular.

Ginseng is known to offer a whole host of benefits such as:

  • It can help improve brain function
  • It is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation
  • It can help address erectile dysfunction
  • It boosts the immune system
  • It can help lower and regulate blood sugar
  • It may be beneficial for increasing energy levels as well as fighting tiredness

Research shows  that ginseng is generally safe and shouldn’t produce serious side effects to people that are regularly taking it as a supplement. However, if you are diabetic and you are taking ginseng to help regulate your blood sugar, it is advised that you watch out for instances of low blood sugar.

If you’re taking anticoagulants, taking ginseng as a supplement might reduce their overall effectiveness.

ginseng in basket

Since there aren’t comprehensive safety guidelines in the use of ginseng as a supplement, it is not recommended to be used by women and children. This is especially true for breastfeeding or pregnant women.

Also, there’s evidence that shows that the effectiveness of ginseng in the body may be reduced due to its extended use.


As an herbal supplement, ginseng has been popularly used in China for many centuries. Touted for its anti-inflammatory properties and for being a powerful antioxidant, it is also known to help in blood sugar regulation and can possibly be beneficial for those with cancer.

Ginkgo Biloba, on the other hand, can help improve blood circulation and is also known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Combined together, the powerful characteristics of these herbs can potentially benefit the nervous system and can even be effective against a variety of diseases.

Still, it’s worth noting that the science prying their effectiveness and efficacy is still a bit behind. While Ginkgo Biloba has been in use as a supplement for centuries, how it truly works is yet to be fully understood. Most of the research available these days is either inconclusive or inconsistent. It’s best to remember this before taking any of these supplements and to consult a medical professional before doing so.

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.