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Ginko Biloba: Uses, Benefits, Precautions and More!

By Dr Anuja Bodhare +2 more

The content has been written by a medical expert.


The term ginkgo was taken from an incorrect conversion of Yin-Kwo from the Japanese language which means silver fruit while the term biloba stands for the bilobed leaves of the plant. This plant is also referred to by various other names like fossil tree, ginkgo, Japanese silver apricot, baiguo, maidenhair tree, yinhsing, etc. The English name is maidenhair tree.1,2 

ginkgo biloba herb

Ginkgo biloba is a medicinal plant native to China. It belongs to the family Ginkgoaceae. It is a deciduous tree as it shed leaves seasonally, shed petals after flowering, and sheds fruit when ripe. Ginkgo biloba is called a living fossil as it has lived through millions of years without undergoing any changes and with no existent relative.1,3 

The plant has characteristic leaves that are fan-shaped with 2 lobes and thick margins. For various potential health benefits, the extract from the dried leaves of this plant is in use for millions of years.1,3 In the United States it is marketed as a dietary supplement that is regulated by the US-FDA.4 

I stumbled upon some amazing information. Guess what? Ginkgo biloba might actually help reduce the severity of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. Yep, that’s right! Studies have shown that taking Ginkgo biloba extract may have a positive impact on those troublesome symptoms that bother women every month.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Nutritional Value of Ginkgo Biloba : 

Macronutrient Per 100 g of Raw Ginkgo Biloba5: 

Nutrient  Amount  
Energy  182 Kcal 
Total fat 01.68 g 
Total carbohydrate  37.60 g  
Protein 04.32 g  

Micronutrients Per 100 g of Raw Ginkgo Biloba5: 

Vitamin A  558   IU 
Vitamin B   
Thiamine 0.220 mg  
Pyridoxine 0.328 mg  
Pantothenic acid  0.160 mg  
Riboflavin 0.160 mg 
Folate 54.00 mcg  
Niacin 06.00 mg 
Vitamin C 15.00 mg 
Sodium  7 mg 
Potassium 510.0 mg 
Magnesium 27.00 mg  
Manganese  0.113 mg 
Calcium 2.000 mg 
Iron 1.000 mg 
Copper  0.274 mg 
Zinc 0.340 mg 

In my opinion, Ginkgo biloba might be a game-changer for Raynaud’s phenomenon. A cool study showed that people who took Ginkgo biloba for 10 weeks had fewer symptoms of the disease. It’s like ginkgo waved its leafy wand and made those uncomfortable symptoms disappear! But hold on, we may need more studies to be absolutely sure.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Potential Uses of Ginkgo Biloba:   

This plant has no US-FDA-approved uses and there is limited data to back up the various health conditions in which they are used which are as follows 6,   

Potential Uses of Ginkgo Biloba for Age-Related Diseases: 

Due to its antioxidant potential, may be helpful benefit on the DNA of the cell, protection of the mitochondria which is the power of the cell, prevention of lipid breakdown and apoptotic effect that may speed the programmed cell death it is being tried in age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s, stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s, aging, etc.7 More research is needed to support the use of ginkgo biloba in age-related diseases in humans. Therefore, talk to your healthcare provider and get a proper diagnosis.

Potential Uses of Ginkgo Biloba for the Brain:  

Potential Uses of Ginkgo Biloba for Cognitive Functions: 

The cognitive function of the brain is the ability of a person to think, remember, learn, make decisions, speak languages, etc. These functions show a decline in age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia which is the inability of a person to memory is affected in Alzheimer’s disease. The extract of Ginkgo biloba has shown neuroprotective effect by clearing free radicals, increasing dopaminergic transmission, blood flow to the brain, and by various other mechanisms, etc., in animal and cell culture studies.6,8,9

The extract may help for organic brain syndromes which are characterized by a memory deficit, tinnitus, headache, dizziness, low mood, and poor concentration.10 With regards to treating dementia already developed in a person, the plant may have little effect in such situations. It may be given as a supplement to help with dementia but there is no sufficient scientific data confirming it and more studies need to be done.6,8,9 

Studies have shown ginkgo extract to reduce anxiety levels in patients with GAD.6 Some studies have shown an improvement in the symptoms but are not sufficient.6  You must consult a qualified doctor for any brain related disorders for further guidance.

Properties Uses of Ginkgo Biloba for the Ear:   

Tinnitus is a condition where the person has a ringing or other noises in one or both their ears. There are many reasons for the development of tinnitus one being cerebral insufficiency that is reduced blood flow to the blood. Ginkgo biloba extract has been shown to help with tinnitus in studies but it may show a missed response thus more studies are needed.10  

Vertigo is a condition where the person feels a sense of imbalance. The plant extract may have been studied for these conditions but needs more scientific data to support this use for such health condition.11

Potential Uses of Ginkgo Biloba for the Heart:  

Ginkgo biloba extract may have blood vessel relaxing, platelet aggregation inhibiting actions, therefore it may reduce chances of clots and anti-swelling properties. This might contribute in maintaining the heart health but due to lack of strong evidence, the use of Ginkgo biloba extract is not indicated at this moment for benefits for heart disease. 11,10  

Potential Uses of Ginkgo Biloba for Diabetic Nephropathy:  

Ginkgo biloba may increase blood sugar levels, but animal studies have shown that Ginkgo biloba extract can possibly reduce damage to the kidneys caused by high blood sugars which develop after many years of having high blood sugar. It may therefore it has potential use in diabetic nephropathy.10,13 However, serious conditions like diabetes must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. Therefore, kindly consult a doctor and do not self-medicate.

Potential Uses of Ginkgo Biloba for the Eye:   

Macular degeneration is a common eye disorder post 50 years where there is thinning of the macula the part of the retina of the eye needed for clear vision. Glaucoma is a disorder where due to an increase in eye pressure there is visual impairment. Studies have shown improvement in vision in macular degeneration and glaucoma by improving the blood supply to the retina and thus protecting the retinal cells.11 Please do not try to use any herbs on your own for sensitive organs like eyes.

Also Read: 16 Home Remedies for Glowing Skin 

Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba for Wound Healing:  

Animal models have shown an increased rate of wound closure due to an increase in collagen synthesis. More research needs to be done in this regard.14 

Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba for Blood Vessel Diseases: 

As it improves circulation it may be used for intermittent claudication conditions where the legs hurt on walking a certain distance due to compromised blood circulation. It may have some effect on dementia of vascular origin, stoke.10 However more human studies are needed to estimate the extent to which it will be beneficial for human health.

Potential Uses of Ginkgo Biloba as an Antimicrobial:  

Traditionally ginkgo seeds are used topically in treating skin conditions owing to their antibacterial effects. Studies have been done where it has shown effect against many bacteria due to the presence of an acid called ginkgolic acid.15 

Though there are studies that show the potential use of ginkgo biloba in various conditions, but these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of ginkgo biloba on human health. 

Let me share some captivating information. In a study with asthma patients, Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) was tested to see if it might help reduce airway inflammation. The results showed that GBE may significantly decrease the presence of inflammatory cells in the airways. These findings suggest that GBE might be a beneficial addition to standard asthma therapy.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

How to Use Ginkgo Biloba:   

The extract of dried leaf is used as a dietary supplement taken orally. A dose of 80- 240 mg of dry extract is divided into 2-3 daily doses (average dose = 120mg). The German commission E command recommends a dose of 120 -240 mg per day divided into 2-3 daily doses.17 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor. 

Also Read: How to Get Water Out of Your Ear: Safe and Effective Methods Explored

Side Effects of Ginkgo Biloba:  

  • Bleeding problems as it inhibits platelets.16,17 
  • Headaches, palpitations, stomach upset, constipation, and skin allergies have been noted.2 
  • In animal toxicity studies the leaf extract showed to increase risk of thyroid and liver cancer but its translation to humans is not yet clear.2 
  • It causes uterine contraction therefore in pregnancy can lead to an abortion or preterm delivery. Also, its safety in breast feeding women is not clear so it is better to be avoided.2 
  • Food poisoning on the consumption of the seeds is characterized by vomiting, loss of consciousness, and fits, usually reported in China and Japan as they consume the seeds as an ordinary food item for ages.16,17 
  • Seizure cases have been reported.16,17 
  • It causes induction of CYP-450 enzymes leading to many drugs interactions. CYP -450 is a group of enzymes that break down many drugs in the liver of the body.16,17 
  • Cases of ventricular arrhythmias which disappeared on discontinuation of ginkgo have also been reported.16,17 

Also Read: Black Salt – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Precautions to Take With Ginkgo Biloba:     

Pregnancy and Lactation: 

In the purview of its antiplatelet activity, it is to be avoided in pregnancy especially during labour, as bleeding time will be prolonged. Also, there is not much known about its safety during lactation therefore it is to be avoided and more studies need to be conducted.18 

Patients on Anticoagulants and Anti-Platelet Drugs: 

In these patients, the International Normalized Ratio (INR) and bleeding time are to be monitored as there is a risk of bleeding that can occur.16,17 

Patients Taking Drugs That are Metabolized by CYP-450 Enzyme: 

In these patients it will lead to therapy failure as the drug levels of those that are metabolized by CYP-450 will be lowered e.g., diazepam, midazolam, etc.16,17 

Patients with High Blood Sugar:  

Monitor the blood sugar levels as ginkgo raises the sugar levels just rendering the diabetes medicine ineffective.10 

Patients Undergoing Surgery: 

Due to the risk of bleeding, it should be stopped 2-3 weeks before undergoing elective surgery.16,17 

Interactions of Ginkgo Biloba with Other Drugs:   

Anticoagulant Drugs:  

There can be bleeding therefore the INR and bleeding time must be monitored if the person is on anticoagulants like warfarin, heparin, etc., and is started with Ginkgo biloba.16,17 

Antiplatelet Drugs:  

There can be bleeding therefore the INR and bleeding time must be monitored if the person is on anticoagulants like aspirin, clopidogrel, etc., and is started with Ginkgo biloba.16,17 

Drugs Metabolized by CYP-450 Enzymes:  

It will lead to a decrease in the blood levels of the drugs metabolized by the enzymes leading to therapy failure.16,17 

Also Read: Gulvel – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Frequently Asked Questions:   

1) What is Ginkgo Biloba Called in Hindi? 

This plant is referred to by various other names like fossil tree, ginkgo, Japanese silver apricot, baiguo, maidenhair tree, yinhsing, etc., but there is no name in the Hindi language for this plant.2 

2) What is Ginkgo Biloba Used for? 

It is used as a dietary supplement. It improves the cognitive functions of the brain, the blood flow to the brain, tinnitus, vertigo, intermittent claudication, macular degeneration, glaucoma, vitiligo, tardive dyskinesia and in wound healing.10,11,14 

3) Where Can I find Ginkgo Biloba? 

It is native to China but is now available all over the world.1,3 

4) Does Ginkgo Biloba Thin the Blood? 

Ginkgo biloba might show anti-platelet action.16,17 You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements.

5) What is Ginkgo Biloba in Urdu? 

This plant is referred to by various other names like fossil tree, ginkgo, Japanese silver apricot, baiguo, maidenhair tree, yinhsing, etc., but there is no name in the Urdu language for this plant.2 

Also Read: Chandraprabha Vati – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions


  1. Tasiu Isah; Rethinking Ginkgo biloba L.: Medicinal uses and conservation; Pharmacognosy Review. 2015 Jul-Dec; 9 (18); 140-148. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557237/  
  1. NIH. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Ginkgo. [Internet] Available from: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/ginkgo  
  1. CABI. Invasive Species Compendium. Ginkgo biloba. [Internet] Available from: https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/25193  
  1. NIH. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Ginkgo. [Internet] Available from: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/ginkgo/index.cfm  
  1. USDA. Agriculture Research Service. [Internet] Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170584/nutrients  
  1. Natascia Brondino, Annalisa De Silvestri; Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Ginkgo biloba in Neuropsychiatric Disorders: From Ancient Tradition to Modern-Day Medicine. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013 May; (); 1-11. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679686/  
  1. Wei Zuo, Feng Yan; Advances in the Studies of Ginkgo Biloba Leaves Extract on Aging-Related Diseases. Aging and Disease. 2017 December; 8 (6); 812-826. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5758353/#!po=22.2892  
  1. Sandeep Kumar Singh, Saurabh Srivastav; Neuroprotective and Antioxidant Effect of Ginkgo biloba Extract Against AD and Other Neurological Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2019 July; 16(3); 666-674. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6694352/  
  1. T Yoshitake, S Yoshitake; The Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 and its main constituents flavonoids and ginkgolides increase extracellular dopamine levels in the rat prefrontal cortex. Br J Pharmacol. 2010 Feb; 159 (3); 659-668. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828029/  
  1. American Botanical Council. Ginkgo Biloba leaf extract. [Internet] Available from: https://www.herbalgram.org/resources/expanded-commission-e/ginkgo-biloba-leaf-extract/  
  1. STATPEARLS. Gingko biloba. [Internet] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541024/  
  1. Cindy  M. Meston, Alessandra H. Rellini; Short- and Long-term Effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract on Sexual Dysfunction in Women. Arch Sex Behav. 2008 August; 37 (4); 530-547. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863090/  
  1. Xiaoyan Yu, Qing Su; Ginkgo biloba leaf extract prevents diabetic nephropathy through the suppression of tissue transglutaminase. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2021 February; 2021 January; 21 (); 1-10. Available from: https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/etm.2021.9764   
  1. Sana Bardaa, Khouloud Makni; Development and Evaluation of the Wound Healing Effect of a Novel Topical Cream Formula Based on Ginkgo biloba Extract on Wounds in Diabetic Rats. BioMed Research International. 2021 October; (); 1-12. Available from: https://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2021/6474706.pdf  
  1. Francois Chassagne, Xinyi Huang; Validation of a 16th Century Traditional Chinese Medicine Use of Ginkgo biloba as a Topical Antimicrobial. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2019 April; 10 (755); 1-24. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00775/full  
  1. Nan Mei, Xiaoging Guo; Review of Ginkgo biloba-induced toxicity, from experimental studies to human case reports. J Enciron Sci Health C Environ Carcinog Ecotoxicol Rev. 2019 February; 35 (1); 1-28. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6373469/  
  1. Bruce J. Diamond, Mary R. Bailey; Ginkgo biloba Indications, Mechanisms, and Safety. Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2013; (); 73-78. Available from: https://sci-hub.hkvisa.net/10.1016/j.psc.2012.12.006  
  1. Jean-Jacques Dugoua, Edward Mills; Safety and efficacy of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) during pregnancy and lactation. 2006 November; 13 (3); e277-284. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17085776/

Also Read: Ashokarishta – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions


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