The most common usage for ginkgo biloba supplements are the prevention of altitude sickness and the resolution of vertigo and dizziness. This is because it appears to improve blood circulation and dilate blood vessels. This same mechanism is also responsible for ginkgo biloba supplements’ other known effects, like helping prevent and control migraine headaches, improving memory, treating sexual dysfunction, and reducing PMS and menstrual pain. What’s more, ginkgo biloba supplementation has some positive correlation with reductions in anxiety and depression symptoms, suggesting that (when taken orally) ginkgo biloba may have the ability to impact mood and moderate hormonal imbalances.
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
Ginkgo biloba supplements and extracts are prepared using the leaves of the maidenhair tree. Leaves are either dried, then used to brew tea, or compressed into capsules for easy (and more regular) consumption. Some stores also sell ginkgo biloba extract, which is more concentrated and potent than other decoctions and infusions.
Because it impacts blood circulation (and, consequently, blood pressure and volume), ginkgo biloba supplements may cause headaches, lightheadedness, and heart palpitations or forceful heartbeat. If you experience these side-effects, ginkgo biloba may not be the best supplement for you, as you’re showing signs of abnormal sensitivity to its effects. Also because it impacts blood circulation (and, consequently, blood pressure and volume), people who currently have or have a history of heart issues should talk to a physician before starting to take this supplement!
Ginkgo biloba should not be taken with ibuprofin, other medications that slow blood clotting, or warfarin. Others possible interactions are:
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Buspirone (BuSpar)
- Efavirenz (Sustiva)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Medications changed by the liver – Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates, Cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) substrates, Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) substrates) interacts with GINKGO, Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with GINKGO Such as glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
- Medications that increase the chance of having a seizure (Seizure threshold lowering drugs) Such as anesthesia (propofol, others), antiarrhythmics (mexiletine), antibiotics (amphotericin, penicillin, cephalosporins, imipenem), antidepressants (bupropion, others), antihistamines (cyproheptadine, others), immunosuppressants (cyclosporine), narcotics (fentanyl, others), stimulants (methylphenidate), theophylline, and others.
- Medications used to prevent seizures Such as phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), valproic acid (Depakene), gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and others.
- Trazodone (Desyrel)
You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking Ginkgo Biloba.
“Ginkgo.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 12 Oct. 2017
“Ginkgo: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” WebMD, WebMD
Hill, Ansley. “12 Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba (Plus Side Effects & Dosage).” Healthline, Healthline Media, 29 May 2018
Moraga, Fernando A, et al. “Ginkgo Biloba Decreases Acute Mountain Sickness in People Ascending to High Altitude at Ollagüe (3696 m) in Northern Chile.” Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2007
Pizzorno, Joseph E., et al. “Premenstrual Syndrome.” The Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Medicine (THIRD EDITION), Churchill Livingstone, 3 Dec. 2015