Ginkgo Biloba is a plant native to Asia, China, Japan and Korea. The seeds have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine thousands of years ago, but more recent applications of Gingko Biloba uses leaf extracts (1).
Fresh ginkgo seeds could kill you (2)
One study found that a specific extract of ginkgo helped reduce symptoms of anxiety after four weeks of treatment (3).
Some evidence suggests taking ginkgo in combination with Panax ginseng can enhance memory in healthy adults and the combination might be more effective than the individual products (4-6).
Have vertigo? Gingko could help. Two studies show that ginkgo leaf extract could improve symptoms of vertigo (7-9).
Ginseng could also help with PMS especially with relieving breast tenderness and psychological symptoms according to another study. Taking 80 mg of gingko leaf extract twice daily starting on the 16th day of the menstrual cycle and continued until the 5th day of the following cycle for up to two cycles (10-11).
Taking ginkgo leaf extract orally does not seem to prevent winter depression symptoms in patients with seasonal affective disorder (12).
(1) Briskin DP. Medicinal plants and phytomedicines. Linking plant biochemistry and physiology to human health. Plant Physiol 2000;124(2):507-14.
(2) Arenz A, Kelin M, Flehe K, et al. Occurrence of neurotoxic 4′-O-methylpyridoxine in ginkgo biloba leaves, ginkgo medications and Japanese ginkgo food. Planta Med 1996;62:548-51.
(3) Woelk H, Arnoldt KH, Kieser M, Hoerr R. Ginkgo biloba special extract EGb 761 in generalized anxiety disorder and adjustment disorder with anxious mood: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Psychiatr Res 2007;41:472-80.
(4) Scholey AB, Kennedy DO. Acute, dose-dependent cognitive effects of Ginkgo biloba, Panax ginseng and their combination in healthy young volunteers: differential interactions with cognitive demand. Hum Psychopharmacol 2002;17:35-44.
(5) Wesnes KA, Ward T, McGinty A, Petrini O. The memory enhancing effects of a Ginkgo biloba/Panax ginseng combination in healthy middle-aged volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2000;152:353-61.
(6) Singh, B., Song, H., Liu, X. D., Hardy, M., Liu, G. Z., Vinjamury, S. P., and Martirosian, C. D. Dangshen (Codonopsis pilosula) and Bai guo (Gingko biloba) enhance learning and memory. Altern Ther Health Med 2004;10(4):52-56.
(7) Diamond BJ, Shiflett SC, Reiwel N, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract: mechanisms and clinical indications. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2000;81:668-78.
(8) Cesarani A, Meloni F, Alpini D, et al. Ginkgo biloba (EGb 761) in the treatment of equilibrium disorders. Adv Ther 1998;15:291-304.
(9) Haguenauer JP, Cantenot F, Koskas H, Pierart H. [Treatment of equilibrium disorders with Ginkgo biloba extract. A multicenter, double-blind drug vs. placebo study]. Presse Med 1986;15:1569-72.
(10) Tamborini A, Taurelle R. [Value of standardized Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) in the management of congestive symptoms of premenstrual syndrome]. Rev Fr Gynecol Obstet 1993;88:447-57.
(11) Ozgoli, G., Selselei, E. A., Mojab, F., and Majd, H. A. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba L. in treatment of premenstrual syndrome. J Altern.Complement Med 2009;15(8):845-851.
(12) Lingaerde O, Foreland AR, Magnusson A. Can winter depression be prevented by Ginkgo biloba extract? A placebo-controlled trial. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1999;100:62-6