Possibly Effective for
Research shows that taking a ginkgo extract for 4 weeks can reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Dementia related to Alzheimer's disease, vascular disease or other diseases.
Some research shows that taking ginkgo for up to one year slightly improves some symptoms of Alzheimer's, vascular, or other dementias. Doses of 240 mg per day might work better than doses of 120 mg per day. However, there are concerns that findings from many of these studies may not be reliable. While most research shows that ginkgo helps for symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, there are some conflicting findings. This makes it hard to determine which people might benefit. While ginkgo may help treat the symptoms of various types of dementia, ginkgo does not appear to help prevent dementia from developing. Also, it does not appear to prevent Alzheimer’s related dementia from getting worse. Early research shows that taking a specific ginkgo leaf extract called EGb 761 (Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals) daily for 22-24 weeks seems to be as effective as the drug donepezil (Aricept) for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. But, other research suggests that ginkgo leaf extract might be less effective than the conventional drugs donepezil (Aricept) and tacrine (Cognex). Taking ginkgo together with prescription medications like donepezil or rivastigmine does not appear to be better than taking the medication alone for the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Vision problems in people with diabetes.
There is some evidence that taking ginkgo leaf extract by mouth for 6 months can improve color vision in people with retinal damage caused by diabetes.
Vision loss related to glaucoma.
Taking ginkgo leaf extract by mouth for up to 12.3 years seems to improve pre-existing damage to the visual field in some people with glaucoma. However, since conflicting research shows that ginkgo does not prevent glaucoma progression when taken for only 4 weeks, it may need to be taken for a longer time in order to see any improvement.
Leg pain when walking related to poor blood flow (peripheral vascular disease).
Some evidence shows that taking ginkgo leaf extract increases the distance people with poor blood circulation in their legs can walk without pain. Taking ginkgo might also reduce the chance of requiring surgery. However, people with this condition may need to take ginkgo for at least 24 weeks before they see improvement.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Taking ginkgo leaf extract by mouth seems to relieve breast tenderness and other symptoms associated with PMS when started during the 16th day of the menstrual cycle and continued until the 5th day of the following cycle.
Research shows that taking ginkgo daily in addition to conventional antipsychotic medications for 8-16 weeks can reduce symptoms of schizophrenia. It may also reduce some side effects like thirst and constipation and adverse effects associated with the antipsychotic medication, haloperidol.
A movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia.
Tardive dyskinesia is a movement disorder that is caused by certain antipsychotic drugs. Research shows that taking a specific ginkgo extract (EGb 761, Yi Kang Ning, Yang Zi Jiang Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Jiangsu, China) for 12 weeks can reduce the severity of tardive dyskinesia symptoms in people with schizophrenia who are taking antipsychotic drugs.
Taking ginkgo leaf extract by mouth seems to improve symptoms of dizziness and balance disorders.
Possibly Ineffective for
Sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressant drugs.
Although some early research suggests that taking ginkgo leaf extract by mouth might improve sexual problems caused by antidepressant drugs, more recent research suggests it is probably not effective.
Mental problems caused by chemotherapy.
Research shows that taking a specific ginkgo leaf extract called EGb 761 (Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals) twice daily starting before the second cycle of chemotherapy and continuing until one month after chemotherapy treatment ends does not prevent mental problems caused by the chemotherapy in people being treated for breast cancer.
High blood pressure.
Research shows that taking a specific ginkgo leaf extract (EGb 761) by mouth for up to 6 years does not reduce blood pressure in older people with high blood pressure.
Taking ginkgo leaf extract or ginkgolide B, a specific chemical found in ginkgo extract, does not improve mental function or disability in people with multiple sclerosis.
Seasonal depression (seasonal affective disorder).
Taking ginkgo leaf extract by mouth does not seem to prevent winter depression symptoms in people with seasonal depression.
Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Taking ginkgo leaf extract by mouth does not seem to improve ringing in the ears.
Likely InEffective for
Taking a specific ginkgo extract (EGb 761, Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals) does not reduce the chance of having a heart attack, chest pain, or stroke in elderly people.
Insufficient Evidence for
Age-related vison loss (age-related macular degeneration).
There is some early evidence that ginkgo leaf extract might improve symptoms and distance vision in people with age-related vision loss.
Hayfever (allergic rhinitis).
Early research shows that applying specific eye drops (Trium, SOOFT) that contain ginkgo extract and hylauronic acid three times daily for one month can reduce eye redness, swelling and discharge in people with swollen eyes due to seasonal allergies.
Research on the effects of ginkgo leaf extract on altitude sickness is inconsistent. Some research suggests that taking ginkgo leaf extract can reduce altitude sickness symptoms when taken 4 days before climbing. However, other research shows that using a specific ginkgo extract (GK501, Pharmaton Natural Health Products) for 1-2 days before climbing does not prevent altitude sickness.
Research shows that taking two capsules of a specific product containing ginkgo extract, ginger, and Picrorhiza kurroa (AKL1, AKL International Ltd) twice daily for 12 weeks does not improve lung function or asthma symptoms in adults with asthma.
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The effect of ginkgo on symptoms related to ADHD is unclear. There is early evidence that a product containing ginkgo leaf extract and American ginseng might help improve ADHD symptoms such as anxiety, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness in children 3-17 years-old. But other research shows that taking ginkgo extract does not improve ADHD symptoms compared to methylphenidate, a drug used to treat ADHD, in children 6-14 years-old. Also, taking gingko extract along with methylphenidate does not seem to greatly improve parent or teacher reported ADHD symptoms compared to methylphenidate alone in children 6-12 years-old.
Research shows that taking a specific ginkgo extract (Ginko T.D. Tolidaru Pharmaceuticals) daily for 10 weeks along with conventional medication does not improve autism symptoms in children.
A lung disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Research shows that taking a specific product that contains ginkgo extract, ginger, and Picrorhiza kurroa (AKL1, AKL International Ltd) twice daily for 8 weeks does not improve lung function in people with COPD.
Research suggests that taking a ginkgo leaf extract called EGb 761 twice daily for 10 weeks does not help people with a cocaine addiction.
The effect of gingko leaf extract on mental function and memory in healthy adults is not clear. Some research shows that ginkgo might improve memory, speed of thinking, and attention in healthy adults. But other research shows no benefit. More studies are needed to determine the effect of gingko on mental function in healthy adults.
Early research suggests that using a specific ginkgo leaf extract (EGb 761, ONC) intravenously (by IV) together with anticancer drugs might benefit people with advanced colorectal cancer.
Early research suggests that taking a specific ginkgo leaf extract (EGb 761) for about 30 days might reduce dyslexia in children aged 5-16 years.
Early research suggests that taking specific ginkgo leaf extract tablets (Bio- Biloba, Pharma Nord) together with coenzyme Q-10 capsules (Bio Quinone Q10, Pharma Nord) by mouth for 84 days might increase feelings of wellness and perception of overall health and reduce pain in people with fibromyalgia.
Early research suggests that taking carbohydrates from the outer layer of the ginkgo fruit by mouth twice daily for 30 days might reduce tumor size in people with stomach cancer.
There is some early evidence that taking ginkgo might help short-term hearing loss due to unknown causes. However, many of these people recover hearing on their own. It is hard to know if ginkgo has any effect.
Early research suggests that taking a combination of ginkgo and certain conventional medications might decrease some symptoms of hemorrhoids, including bleeding and pain.
Headaches related to migraines.
Early research shows that taking ginkgolide B, a chemical found in ginkgo leaf extract, might help prevent migraines in children and women.
Evidence suggests that using ginkgo leaf extract for 6 months is associated with a decreased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Early research suggests that taking a specific injectable form of ginkgo leaf extract (EGb 761) intravenously (by IV) together with anticancer drugs might slow the progression of pancreatic cancer in some people.
Quality of life.
Early evidence suggests that taking ginkgo extract (LI 1370, Lichtwer Pharma) for 6 months might improve quality of life measures such as activities in daily living, mood, sleep, and alertness in older people.
Early research suggests that taking a specific ginkgo leaf extract (EGb 761, Tanakan Ipsen) might reduce some of the negative effects of radiation on the body.
Skin toxicity caused by radiation.
Early research suggests that applying a specific cream product (Radioskin 2, Herbalab di Perazza Massimiliano Company) that contains ginkgo extract, Aloe vera, and metal esculetina along with another product (Radioskin 1, Herbalab di Perazza Massimiliano Company) might improve skin moisture and reduce skin adverse events in breast cancer patients receiving radiation treatments.
Blood vessel disorder (Raynaud's syndrome).
Some research suggests that taking ginkgo leaf extract for 10 weeks by mouth might decrease the number of painful attacks per week in people with a blood vessel disorder called Raynaud's syndrome. However, other research suggests that ginkgo is not beneficial or is less effective than drugs such as nifedipine.
Some research shows that taking ginkgo leaf extract daily for 8 weeks does not improve sexual function in women with sexual arousal disorder. However, taking a specific combination product containing ginkgo, ginseng, damiana, L-arginine, multivitamins, and minerals (ArginMax for Women) for 4 weeks appears to improve sexual satisfaction in women with sexual dysfunction.
The effect of ginkgo on recovery in people who have had a stroke caused by blocked blood vessels is not clear. Some evidence suggests that people might improve more after a stroke when treated with ginkgo. However, higher quality research shows no benefit.
Skin discolorations (Vitiligo).
There is some early research that taking a specific ginkgo leaf extract (Ginkgo Plus, Seroyal) might decrease the size and spread of skin lesions.
"Hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis).
Thinking problems related to Lyme disease.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
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