Ginkgo biloba

Description Ginkgo is an extract from the dried leaves of Ginkgo biloba (maidenhair tree). Ginkgo biloba is one of the world’s oldest living tree species, and its existence can be traced back more than 200 million years.

Ginkgo has been used therapeutically for many centuries and is now one of the most popular plants prescribed in Europe for cognitive disorders.

Function/ Used for The leaf contains substances that may help to support healthy circulation, particularly to the brain and extremities. Ginkgo is known to be a circulatory stimulant.
Intake N/A
As a supplement Ginkgo is available in liquid extracts, tablets and capsules.

Dosage range: 9-10g dried herb daily (or equivalent)1.

Found in (dietary sources) N/A
Deficiency N/A
Precautions and contraindications Caution use in those with abnormal bleeding conditions1.
Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding Ginkgo should not be used during pregnancy or breast-feeding1.
Interactions e.g. with other medications Due to its anti-platelet effect, Gingko should not be taken if on aspirin, warfarin (an anti-coagulant drug) or platelet-inhibitor medication.1, 2
Adverse effects In a few number of cases, ginkgo has been reported to cause mild gastrointestinal upset, headaches and dizziness.

There have been rare reports of severe allergic reactions, including skin reactions (e.g. itching, redness and blisters) and convulsions. 1, 2

References 1.       Braun & Cohen. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide. Churchill Livingstone, 2005.

2.       Mason, P. Dietary Supplements. Pharmaceutical Press, London, 2001.