Ginkgo Biloba

Herbal Supplements

Peer Reviewed

Ginkgo biloba is often referred to as GBE (Ginkgo Biloba Extract). Although ginkgo biloba is a tree, the leaves are used to make standardized GBE preparations.
 Ginko biloba foliage treeThis herb may benefit circulation by strengthening blood vessels and reducing blood platelet stickiness. Improved circulation promotes oxygenation and benefits the brain (central nervous system), extremities, and may help impotence due to impaired blood flow. Ginkgo biloba’s antioxidant properties may help protect the body from the effects of aging.

GBE may help memory loss, vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), headaches, depression, leg cramps, asthma, eczema, and some heart and kidney disorders. Researchers are investigating the benefits of GBE in treating Alzheimer's disease.

Sources of Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is available in the following forms: dried herb, fluid extracts, tinctures, and capsules. Purchase standardized ginkgo biloba.

Guidelines and Cautions
Always follow package directions.

  • Do not handle or eat the fruit of ginkgo biloba.
  • Side effects, although rare, may include headache, dizziness, and/or gastrointestinal upset.
  • If you are currently taking a blood-thinning drug such as Coumadin or over-the-counter painkillers, first seek the advice of a medical professional.
  • Ginkgo biloba should not be used by people who have bleeding disorders, or who are scheduled for surgery or a dental procedure.
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing should first seek the advice of a medical professional.
  • Ginkgo biloba should never be given to infants or children.

Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.

Updated on: 01/22/19
Continue Reading
Mark R. McLaughlin, MD
While I have had some patients that describe improvement of their symptoms from various dietary supplements, there is little scientific evidence that they work. In small amounts, I do not believe they are harmful, but I am not convinced they are any more effective than adhering to a healthy, well-balanced diet. On the contrary, there is strong scientific evidence showing that patients with a poor overall nutritional status have higher complication rates from surgery.
Continue Reading:


In herbal preparations ginger is used to cleanse the colon (bowel disorders), stimulate circulation, and to reduce the symptoms of motion, morning, and seasickness.
Read More