Generic Name: Ginkgo Biloba
Brand Names: Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Ginkgo Focus
Drug Class: Herbals
Available Dosage Forms: Oral capsule, tablet, extract, and tea
What is Ginkgo Biloba?
Ginkgo Biloba is a herb derived from the maidenhair tree. It has been utilized in Chinese folk medicine to serve as a therapeutic agent for several conditions. Neuroprotective mechanisms of Ginkgo Biloba described in studies include:
-Delay in memory and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s
-Enhancement of neuronal growth
-Regulation of peripheral vascular supply of brain
-Prevention of cerebral ischemia
-Controlling the free radicals
S100B gene is a protein released by astrocytes in the brain and performs numerous functions necessary to maintain the integrity of the nervous system. Levels of S100B increase in response to injury, inflammation, and neuropsychiatric conditions like depression.1
Administration of Ginkgo Biloba in conjunction with antidepressant Citalopram has been shown to exert greater antidepressive effects than monotherapy with Citalopram. Augmented treatment composed of the antidepressant and herbal supplement aids in reducing the expression of S100 protein and improves depressive symptoms in geriatric patients.1
The administration of Ginkgo Biloba 120 mg daily for six weeks in anxiety and psychosocial stress refugees significantly improved anxiety and mental fatigue. However, additional research might help in eliminating the limitations of previous studies.2
How to use Ginkgo Biloba?
-Maximum well-tolerated dosage is 240 mg per day
-Do not use different formulations like a tincture, capsules, and tea at the same time
-Do not touch Ginkgo Biloba fruit pulp with bare hands as this may trigger an allergic reaction on the skin
-Avoid the use of other herbal supplements with Ginkgo Biloba
-Do not consume garlic, ginger, capsicum, clove, and turmeric
-Stop taking Ginkgo Biloba two weeks before a scheduled surgery
What are the side effects of Ginkgo Biloba?
Mild side effects:
-Decreased muscle tone
Severe adverse effects are rare but may include:
-Life-threatening allergic reaction
Who should not use Ginkgo Biloba?
-People with bleeding disorders
-Those taking blood-thinning medications and NSAIDs as these may accentuate the risks of bleeding if used with Ginkgo Biloba
-Those with a history of seizures and epilepsy
-Those with Diabetes
-Pregnant and breastfeeding women
-Hypersensitivity to ginkgo plant
The herb has interaction with several classes of drugs. Consult your doctor before you start supplementation.
- Dai CX, Hu CC, Shang YS, Xie J. Role of Ginkgo biloba extract as an adjunctive treatment of elderly patients with depression and on the expression of serum S100B. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018;97(39):e12421. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000012421
- Ahmed Mohammad Alsmadi LIT. The effect of Ginkgo biloba And psycho-education on stress, anxiety, and fatigue among refugees – Ahmed Mohammad alsmadi, LOAI. Issa. Tawalbeh, Omar Salem GAMMOH, Mohammad Qassem shawagfeh, Waleed zalloum, Ala ASHOUR, Hrayr ATTARIAN, 2018. SAGE Journals. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2010105817716184. Published June 27, 2017. Accessed August 30, 2021.