Definition of Gingko biloba

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Gingko biloba: An herb that is very popular as a treatment for dementia (a progressive brain dysfunction) and to improve thinking. Research demonstrates some support for the use of gingko for the following conditions: dementia and Alzheimer's disease, intermittent claudication, glaucoma, memory enhancement, macular degeneration, tinnitus, and Raynaud's phenomenon.

Gingko can cause mild stomach upset and headache and does interact with other non-prescription and prescription medications.

Gingko seems also to have blood thinning properties. Therefore, it is not recommended to be taken with aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen/Advil, Motrin or naproxen/Aleve), or medications to prevent blood clotting (anticoagulants) such as warfarin/Coumadin. Gingko should be avoided in patients with epilepsy taking seizure medicines, such as phenytoin /Dilantin, carbamazepine/Tegretol, and phenobarbital. Also, antidepressants, medications for hypertension, medications to lower blood sugar, cyclosporine, and thiazide diuretics.


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