Ginkgo is the oldest species of tree. The leaves have been used to ease symptoms of dementia and other problems with the brain. Ginkgo has also been used to ease anxiety and improve both brain and heart health. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. Ginkgo can also be made into a tea.
120 to 240 grams daily
What Research Shows
May Be Effective
Unlikely to Be Effective
Not Enough Data to Assess
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe for most adults to take ginkgo in small doses for a short time, but allergic reactions may happen.O1-O3 Ginkgo use during pregnancy and fresh or roasted ginkgo seeds may not be safe. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period It also may not be safe to take by women who are breastfeeding.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
A. Alzheimer Disease
A1. Yang M, Xu DD, et al. A systematic review on natural medicines for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with meta-analyses of intervention effect of ginkgo. Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(3):505-521.
A2. Laver K, Dyer S, Whitehead C, Clemson L, Crotty M. Interventions to delay functional decline in people with dementia: a systematic review of systematic reviews. BMJ Open. 2016 Apr 27;6(4):e010767.
A3. Yang G, Wang Y, et al. Ginkgo Biloba for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Curr Top Med Chem. 2016;16(5):520-528.
A4. Butler M, Nelson VA, et al. Over-the-Counter Supplement Interventions to Prevent Cognitive Decline, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Clinical Alzheimer-Type Dementia: A Systematic Review. Ann Intern Med. 2018 Jan 2;168(1):52-62.
B1. Sun T, Wang X, et al. Ginkgo Biloba extract for angina pectoris: a systematic review. Chin J Integr Med. 2015 Jul;21(7):542-550.
B2. Tan D, Wu JR, et al. Ginkgo Leaf Extract and Dipyridamole Injection as Adjuvant Treatment for Angina Pectoris: A Meta-Analysis of 41 Randomized Controlled Trials. Chin J Integr Med. 2018;24(12):930-937.
C1. Savage K, Firth J, et al. GABA-modulating phytomedicines for anxiety: A systematic review of preclinical and clinical evidence. Phytother Res. 2018 Jan;32(1):3-18.
D. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
D1. Anheyer D, Lauche R, et al. Herbal medicines in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): A systematic review. Complement Ther Med. 2017 Feb;30:14-23.
E. Cognitive Function
E1. Laws KR, Sweetnam H, et al. Is Ginkgo biloba a cognitive enhancer in healthy individuals? A meta-analysis. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2012 Nov;27(6):527-533.
F1. Birks J, Grimley Evans J. Ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Jan 21;(1):CD003120.
F2. Gauthier S, Schlaefke S. Efficacy and tolerability of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761® in dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Clin Interv Aging. 2014 Nov 28;9:2065-77.
F3. Charemboon T, Jaisin K. Ginkgo biloba for prevention of dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Med Assoc Thai. 2015 May;98(5):508-513.
F4. Tan MS, Yu JT, et al. Efficacy and adverse effects of ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;43(2):589-603.
F5. von Gunten A, Schlaefke S, et al. Efficacy of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761® in dementia with behavioural and psychological symptoms: A systematic review. World J Biol Psychiatry. 2016;17(8):622-633.
F6. Yuan Q, Wang CW, et al. Effects of Ginkgo biloba on dementia: An overview of systematic reviews. J Ethnopharmacol. 2017;195:1-9.
F7. Ghorani-Azam A, Sepahi S, et al. Herbal medicine as a promising therapeutic approach for the management of vascular dementia: A systematic literature review. Phytother Res. 2018 Sep;32(9):1720-1728.
F8. Savaskan E, Mueller H, et al. Treatment effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761® on the spectrum of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Int Psychogeriatr. 2018;30(3):285-293.
F9. Spiegel R, Kalla R, et al. Ginkgo biloba extracts EGb 761® alleviates neurosensory symptoms in patients with dementia: a meta-analysis of treatment effects on tinnitus and dizziness in randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Clin Interv Aging. 2018;13:1121-1127.
G1. Loskutova E, O'Brien C, et al. Nutritional supplementation in the treatment of glaucoma: A systematic review. Surv Ophthalmol. 2019 Mar - Apr;64(2):195-216.
H. Intermittent Claudication
H1. Nicolaï SP, Kruidenier LM, et al. Ginkgo biloba for intermittent claudication. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 6;(6):CD006888.
I. Macular Degeneration
I1. Evans JR. Ginkgo biloba extract for age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jan 31;(1):CD001775.
J1. Clement YN, Onakpoya I, et al. Effects of herbal and dietary supplements on cognition in menopause: a systematic review. Maturitas. 2011 Mar;68(3):256-263.
K. Multiple Sclerosis
K1. He D, Zhang Y, et al. Pharmacological treatment for memory disorder in multiple sclerosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Dec 17;(12):CD008876.
K2. Plemel JR, Juzwik CA, et al. Over-the-counter anti-oxidant therapies for use in multiple sclerosis: A systematic review. Mult Scler. 2015 Oct;21(12):1485-1495.
L. Premenstrual Syndrome
L1. Ozgoli G, Selselei EA, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba L. in treatment of premenstrual syndrome. J ALtern Complement Med. 2009;15(8):845-851.
L2. Dante G, Facchinetti F. Herbal treatments for alleviating premenstrual symptoms: a systematic review. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2011 Mar;32(1):42-51.
L3. Jang SH, Kim DI, et al. Effects and treatment methods of acupuncture and herbal medicine for premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder: systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jan 10;14:11.
M. Psychotic Disorders
M1. Hoenders HJR, Bartels-Velthuis AA, et al. Natural Medicines for Psychotic Disorders: A Systematic Review. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2018 Feb;206(2):81-101.
N. Raynaud Phenomenon
N1. Malenfant D, Catton M, et al. The efficacy of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon: a literature review and meta-analysis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 Jul;48(7):791-795.
O1. Ernst E. The risk-benefit profile of commonly used herbal therapies: Ginkgo, St. John's Wort, Ginseng, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto, and Kava. Ann Intern Med. 2002 Jan 1;136(1):42-53.
O2. Bent S, Goldberg H, et al. Spontaneous bleeding associated with ginkgo biloba: a case report and systematic review of the literature: a case report and systematic review of the literature. J Gen Intern Med. 2005 Jul;20(7):657-661.
O3. Izzo AA. Interactions between herbs and conventional drugs: overview of the clinical data. Med Princ Pract. 2012;21(5):404-428.
P1. Chen X, Hong Y, et al. Efficacy and safety of extract of Ginkgo biloba as an adjunct therapy in chronic schizophrenia: A systematic review of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies with meta-analysis. Psychiatry Res. 2015 Jul 30;228(1):121-127.
P2. Zheng W, Xiang YQ, et al. Extract of Ginkgo biloba to Tardive Dyskinesia: Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2016;49(3):107-111.
P3. Sarris J. Herbal medicines in the treatment of psychiatric disorders: 10-year updated review. Phytother Res. 2018 Jul;32(7):1147-1162.
Q1. Zeng X, Liu M, et al. Ginkgo biloba for acute ischaemic stroke. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005;19(4):CD003691.
Q2. Wang L, Zhang T, et al. [System evaluation on Ginkgo Biloba extract in the treatment of acute cerebral infraction]. Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2015;40(10):1096-1102.
R. Tardive Dyskinesia
R1. Soares-Weiser K, Rathbone J, et al. Miscellaneous treatments for antipsychotic-induced tardive dyskinesia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Mar 19;3:CD000208.
S1. Hilton MP, Zimmermann EF, et al. Ginkgo biloba for tinnitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Mar 28;(3):CD003852.
S2. Quidel Kramer F, Ortigoza Á. Ginkgo biloba for the treatment of tinnitus. Medwave. 2018;18(6):e7295.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 5/27/2020
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