Ginkgo Biloba is a tree species used for its herbal properties.1 It’s native to China and is most often used in medicine as an extract that’s made from the dry leaves.2 Some of the components of ginkgo biloba act as antioxidants, and the herb been used to treat blood disorders. Today, people praise ginkgo biloba memory benefits since its extract helps keep your mind sharp.1 Ginkgo biloba is well tolerated, although people taking blood thinners or those with clotting disorders should proceed with caution since ginkgo biloba side effects include effects on the circulatory system.3
Ginkgo Biloba Uses and Health Benefits
Ginkgo biloba uses commonly involve treating circulatory and memory problems. Patients with the following conditions can reap ginkgo biloba benefits:
- Intermittent Claudication- Intermittent claudication describes leg pain caused by narrowing of the arteries.4 One of the many ginkgo biloba benefits is that it opens arteries and improves circulation, which makes it a promising solution for treating this type of pain.
- Peripheral Artery/Vascular Disease- This condition is when the blood vessels outside your heart begin to narrow. Since one of the many ginkgo biloba uses is to open the blood vessels, it can help promote blood flow that’s usually restricted in patients with peripheral artery/vascular disease.
- Memory Loss - One of the most praised ginkgo biloba benefits is its ability to help promote memory retention. Although ginkgo biloba memory boosting properties are commonly recommended for healthy people, it’s suggested that the extract may help with memory-related issues like dementia and age-related memory impairment.5
- Schizophrenia - In combination with antipsychotics, ginkgo biloba may help patients suffering from schizophrenia.5
- Macular Degeneration - Macular degeneration is a condition that affects your vision. It’s suggested that ginkgo biloba may help prevent this because of its antioxidants and its effects on blood flow. When used as a precautionary measure, it may help reduce vision loss typically associated with aging.
- Altitude Sickness- Altitude sickness, also called “mountain sickness,” is caused by reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. Since ginkgo biloba promotes circulation, it can help boost low oxygen tolerance to prevent altitude sickness.
Individuals can buy ginkgo biloba extract pills to enjoy ginkgo biloba memory enhancement properties and its benefits on the circulatory system. Ginkgo biloba dosage recommendations range from taking one capsule a couple of times per week6 to taking a 120 mg dose per day in divided doses for each meal.2
Ginkgo Biloba Side Effects and Precautions
Ginkgo biloba side effects are minimal, although it’s always recommended you talk with your doctor before starting an herbal supplement. A high ginkgo biloba dosage or taking the supplement while you’re on other medication may produce side effects like:
- Upset stomach
- Skin reactions1
Some patients have also reported internal bleeding, but it’s unclear if the ginkgo biloba dosage was the cause or if the symptom was due to combining the supplement with blood thinning drugs.1 Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, patients with epilepsy, and patients with diabetes should talk to their doctors before taking ginkgo biloba.1