Major therapeutic interest

  • Treating intermittent painful claudication in the lower limbs;
  • Improving peripheral blood circulation affecting the extremities -fingers, toes, nose, and earlobes (Raynaud’s disease);
  • Stimulating memory and concentration: Correcting age-related memory impairment and pathological cognitive deficit;
  • Slowing progression of dementia and treating symptoms of the early phases of Alzheimer’s;
  • Treating vertigo and diminished auditory acuity of ischaemic origin (due to stoppage or reduction in blood supply to tissue or organ);
  • Improving symptoms of tinnitus;
  • Improving vasoregulation: Treating symptoms related to venous insufficiency, (dilation of the veins and blood vessels in the lower extremities), as well as signs related to hemorrhoids, reducing edema and vessel fragility.

Other therapeutic interest / Traditional Use

  • Treating diabetic retinopathy;
  • Treating impotence (erectile dysfunction caused by the arteries);
  • Treating asthma and allergies;
  • Treating depression;
  • Relieving altitude sickness;
  • Improving memory and cognition in subjects aged 50 and over.


  • Pregnancy and/or breastfeeding: Safety has not yet been established;
  • Bleeding disorders;
  • Allergy to ginkgo preparations;
  • Epilepsy: Possible increase in epileptic seizures;
  • Infertility: Possible drop in fertilization of ovocytes;
  • Diabetes: Use carefully, under close medical supervision with closely monitored blood glucose levels.

Important Notice

  • It is recommended that you stop taking ginkgo at least 2 weeks before surgery.

Drug Interactions

Known human interactions

  • Bleeding in various organs observed in patients during concomitant use with Coumadin and Aspirin;
  • One case of increased blood pressure has been observed in a patient during concomitant use with hydrochlorothiazide;
  • Increased effect of Prozac when used in combination with BuSpar (an anti-anxiety drug), St. John's Wort, and melatonin, with possible increase in the effects of different categories of antidepressants (like Celexa, Prozac, Fluoxetine, Effexor, Nardil, Parnate, etc.)

Known animal interactions

  • Decreased effect of anticonvulsive substances with possible diminished effectiveness of Dilantin, Lamictal, Tegretol, Phenobarbital, etc.

Suspected interactions

  • May increase the effects of anticoagulants/antithrombotic agents (Coumadin, Lovenox, heparin, etc.), antiplatelet drugs (Plavix, Ticlid), and of salicylic acid derivatives (acetylsalicylic acid or ASA, aspirin, Entrophen, etc.) and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (Voltaren, Ibuprofen [Advil, Motrin], Naprosyn, etc.);
  • May alter insulin secretion and effects on the plasma concentration of glucose with possible influence on the effects of oral hypoglycemic drugs like Actos, Diabeta, Diamicron, Avandia, Glucophage (Metformine), etc. and insulin;
  • May alter the metabolism of drugs in different categories, including Tylenol, Inderal, ReQuip, Tambocor, Dilantin, Zofran, Aricept, Duragesic, Lopressor, Prosac, Desyrel, Cardizem, Mevacor, Neoral, Sandimmune, Sporanox, Nizoral, Allegra, Halcion, Biaxin, Losec, and many others.

Parts used

Leaves and seeds

Main constituents

  • Flavonoids (bilobetin, ginkgetin, iso-ginkgetin), flavonols (kaempferol, quercetin, isorhamnetin and their glycosides), terpinoids (ginkgolide), bilobalide.
  • Note: In Canada, only the leaf is authorized for pharmaceutical use.

Other names

Ginkgo biloba, Maidenhair tree, Fossil Tree, Kew Tree