In this review, we will look at Ginkgo Biloba, what it is, the effects, benefits, safety, recommended dosage, and the potential side effects you may run into. You'll also find information and reviews from Reddit users at the end of this article.
Do you want to improve your memory, focus, and energy?
Millions of people take Ginkgo Biloba every day to boost their cognitive performance. It’s one of the most popular nootropics in the world for good reason – it works!
You don’t have to be a genius to know that Ginkgo Biloba is a great choice for anyone looking for an edge in life.
It can help you perform better at work, keep your mind sharp and focused, and increase your energy levels so you feel more motivated throughout the day.
In this article, we take a look at it in closer detail whilst also exploring its benefits, suggested dosage, and potential side effects.
So keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this great herbal supplement.
What is Ginkgo Biloba?
Ginkgo Biloba is also known as maidenhair and is a large tree with fan-shaped leaves that is native to China. It has been growing for more than 200 million years and is used for a variety of treatments. It is sometimes referred to as the only surviving member of an ancient order of plants and therefore a living fossil.
The tree, although native to China, is also native to Japan and Korea and is not grown in Europe and the United States.
The scientific terms for extracts of the Gingko plant are EGb761 and GBE and it is noted for its cerebral-enhancing effects [R]. It has been studied in places such as France, Germany, and China and has been deemed safe, effective, and powerful.
Its leaves and seeds are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine and modern research tends to focus on the ginkgo extract taken from the leaves. Research has focused on the extract’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as platelet-forming and circulation-boosting effects, and how it can improve overall brain health [R].
The extract is made up of two active constituents. These are flavonoids and terpenoids and they are known to have extremely strong antioxidant properties. These constituents have been linked to slowing down the progression of age-related diseases by limiting any damage to cells, tissue, and DNA [R].
The most common benefits people report range from an improved cognitive function, to an increase in energy to reduced symptoms related to chronic disease. It also exerts protective effects against mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress in the body [R].
It is commonly taken by mouth and though the benefits of the herb are vast, scientific evidence to support these claims is still growing.
What are the Benefits and Effects of Ginkgo Biloba?
The benefits of Ginkgo Biloba have mostly been associated with brain function, heart health, and blood circulation and it has been reported that it is the most commonly ingested herb to help with brain health.
Let’s take a look at the health benefits Ginkgo Biloba provides:
It Can Improve Blood Circulation and Heart Health
In traditional Chinese medicine, ginkgo seeds were used to open channels of energy to different organ systems in adults. These systems included the liver, brain, lungs, and kidneys. Gingko’s ability to increase blood flow across the body is now believed to be the key to its many benefits.
It increases blood flow by promoting the dilation of blood vessels and this means it’s a great supplement for those with poor circulation [R].
Gingko also has protective effects on heart and brain health and may be able to prevent a stroke. This is down to the medicine’s anti-inflammatory properties. These anti-inflammatory properties have also been shown to make it effective in treating things like glaucoma [R].
Reduces Symptoms of Psychiatric Disorders and Dementia
Gingko has been reported with treating symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, yet there is no evidence of it being able to delay or prevent the disease from developing.
It may help with cognitive decline and dementia as it improves blood flow to the brain, this means it especially relates to vascular dementia [R].
It might also be able to treat symptoms of psychiatric disorders and might be able to treat symptoms of schizophrenia. It has also been shown to reduce side effects from antipsychotic medications [R].
Reduces Anxiety and Can Treat Depression
Gingko can help reduce symptoms of anxiety [R] and this may be attributed to the high levels of antioxidants in the herb.
It might also be able to treat symptoms of depression [R] and calm users down in stressful situations. This is related to the anti-inflammatory properties of the herb, which allows to body to cope with high-stress hormone levels.
Helps with Headaches and Dizziness
In traditional Chinese medicine, this was a popular use. Despite there not being as much research done on this area, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects might be useful in treating headaches or migraines [R].
It might also help with headaches that are linked to constricted blood vessels or reduced blood flow, as Gingko can help dilate the blood vessels.
The medicine might also be able to help with dizziness, also known as vertigo, and can help with balance disorders.
Helps with Premenstrual Syndrome
Gingko has been said to relieve tenderness of the breast associated with PMS. For this to work, you should take the extract during the 16th day of your cycle and continue with it until the 5th day of your next cycle.
Research also suggests Gingko can help with psychological symptoms of PMS [R].
Improves Brain Function
Gingko has been reported to increase brain function, whilst also boosting mental performance, improving working memory and focus, and increasing attention span [R].
It might also be able to improve thinking skills and memory in those recovering from a stroke. It might not be as effective as an IV, yet ginkgo does not have to be prescribed by a healthcare provider.
Can Improve Respiratory Diseases
Research suggests Gingko Biloba might be able to help with respiratory diseases such as COPD as a result of its anti-inflammatory properties [R]. This can possibly reduce inflammation in the airways and increase lung capacity.
More research needs to be carried out into this benefit, but Gingko has also been used to also improve symptoms of asthma [R].
Treats Sexual Dysfunction
Sexual dysfunctions such as low libido or erectile dysfunction can be treated with Ginkgo Biloba. This is because the medicine can improve blood levels of nitric oxide and this improves blood circulation via the dilation of blood vessels. An increased blood flow to certain parts of the body can therefore treat sexual dysfunctions.
The use of Ginkgo to increase sexual desire and contentment in women undergoing sexual psychotherapy has been studied and it was found that the Gingko combined with therapy was effective over a long-term period [R].
You can buy Ginkgo Biloba in the form of a capsule, tablet, liquid extract, or dried leaf, and usually, it takes around 4-6 weeks to notice the effects. However, this depends on which health benefit you are using it for.
Time limitations based on health condition:
- It should be taken for 8 weeks if treating impaired memory.
- It should be taken for at least 6 weeks for blood vessel disorders.
- To treat vertigo or tinnitus, it should be taken between six to eight weeks, unless there is further evidence of effectiveness if continued.
Effects also depend on the dosage meaning although you should always stick to recommended dosages, the more you take, the greater effect it will have.
Dosage recommendations can range from 40 to 360mg daily, however, the most common recommended dose of the herbal supplement is between 120 to 240mg, divided into 2 to 3 doses.
These dosage recommendations are for taking the standardized extract containing between 24-32% flavonoids and 6-12% terpenoids.
What are the Side Effects of Ginkgo Biloba?
As with all supplements, there are potential side effects to look out for.
It’s important to talk to a medical professional before trying the herb and although the risk remains low, it could cause harm to certain users. If you are allergic to plants with alkylphenols or taking other medications, you should not be taking Gingko Biloba.
Gingko can react to certain medications and this could increase the risk of bleeding. You should avoid mixing Gingko with blood thinners (especially aspirin), antidepressants, diabetes medications and/or NSAIDs.
Potential side effects of Gingko Biloba include:
- Stomach Pain
- Allergic Reaction
There might also be an increased risk of bruising and bleeding or cause arrhythmia.
The roasted seed or the crude plant are not recommended to be taken by mouth. Eating more than 10 roasted seeds a day can increase the risk of having a seizure. Moreover, eating fresh seeds of the plant is poisonous and could even lead to death.
If you ever experience harmful side effects from taking Gingko or interacting with other medications, ensure you see a doctor.
Here are some reviews of Gingko Biloba from users and contributors on Reddit.
According to ‘Quh49zvf’:
‘I have taken 120 mg a daily, and have experienced some increase in my short-term and long-term memory after around 2 weeks. I have also tested this by doing a memory test (recall numbers) before and after three weeks, and I did 25-30% better in the test after the three weeks.
Since I am having exams now, I tried to take a dose of 300 mg an hour before the two of my exams and noticed that I felt much less nervous. I also noticed that I could concentrate for longer periods of time compared to when I did not take it.’
According to ‘FadedConch’:
‘Started taking this a few months ago to help with brain fog when I first get to work and memory loss. It seems to have helped my performance somewhat noticeably. I’m normally pretty forgetful and […] I tend to be less forgetful and less draggy when I take it as opposed to still being half asleep when I get to work for the first couple of hours.
I take one capsule at 6 pm every day before I go into work a night shift. Mon-Thurs and sometimes on the weekend if I have extra work to do.’
According to ‘lisanderc’
‘I’ve used it and continue to use it in treatment and healing from a concussion I had 3 years ago. Really does help, as you can truly feel and see the results after a number of weeks of continuous use (dosage dependent of course). Helps with brain fog and creativity for me.’
Where to Buy Ginkgo Biloba Online?
Although you can find the herbal extract in most health stores, the best place to buy Ginkgo Biloba is online as you can often find the highest quality and for a great price. We’ve linked a website we think you should check out below:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Your questions answered.
Is Gingko Biloba and Ginseng the Same?
These two herbs are very similar yet they do have multiple differences. A key difference many people notice is to do with the extracts. Both extracts of these plants derive from different parts. Ginseng extract comes from the roots, whereas Ginkgo Biloba extract is made from leaves and seeds.
What are the Active Ingredients in Ginkgo Biloba?
The active ingredients in the extract are flavone glycosides and terpene lactones, however, Ginkgo Biloba extract is the active ingredient that is extracted from the ginkgo leaves themselves.
Is Ginkgo Biloba Safe?
The plant has been studied in places such as France, Germany, and China and has been deemed safe, effective, and to have a vast amount of health benefits. Research however is still being done on the plant to understand it in more depth.
How Effective is Ginkgo Biloba?
Ginkgo biloba has proven to be effective in improving cognitive functions and protecting the brain from damaging free radicals. It can also improve focus and memory, and help prevent early memory loss.
To summarise Gingko Biloba is a tree native to China, in which the leaves are extracted and used in supplements to treat problems such as memory loss and improve blood circulation, brain function, and overall heart health.
Full of anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, it can alleviate stress and leave you feeling great, however, studies are still being done to work out its full range of benefits and uses. It’s safe to use when taken at the recommended dosage and has been used for centuries.
As with all pharmaceutical drugs, herbs, and nootropics, we would always recommend that you contact your doctor first as they have a full list of your medical records, and can understand your individual circumstances best.
They can also offer guidance as to what may or may not be appropriate for you specifically and will have a wealth of knowledge about possible drug interactions.