Gingko Biloba is one of the most trusted and widely used natural remedies in the world. It has been used for centuries as a trusted herbal treatment. It’s also famous as world’s oldest type of tree. Gingo Biloba can be used for treating migraine headache symptoms, other types of headaches, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dementia, asthma, poor leg circulation, depression, memory loss treatment, fatigue, anxiety, altitude sickness and numerous other ailments.
A 2001 survey by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 27 percent of the 33,000 people pooled have successfully tried Gingko Biloba.
The Gingko Biloba tree can live up to 1,200 years and its seeds and leaves have been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. Currently, most of the supplements use its concentrated extracts that come from its dried green leaves.
Gingko Biloba and Migraine Treatment
The leaves of the Gingko tree are very rich in terpenoids and flavonoids. These chemicals are antioxidants that quickly attack free radicals (which damage cells) in the body. Therefore, Gingko Biloba is believed to prevent or reduce the damage which the free radicals might cause.
Studies on Gingko Biloba’s Efficacy in Treating Migraines
There are only few studies of Gingko Biloba on migraine sufferers. In one study, carried out in 2009, a group of 55 women with ocular migraine, but without any headache were given Gingko Biloba supplements for about 5 months. This study found that total migraine attacks reduced significantly. This study’s results are not that convincing because they were never compared to an inactive placebo or another treatment. Also, all patients in this study knew they were being given Gingko Biloba, so some results may have been clouded by that knowledge.
Gingko Biloba-Available Formulations
- Dried leaves
- Liquid drinks
- Liquid extract
- Herbal Tea for migraines
- Soft gels
- Skin masks, skin creams for topical use (applied directly to the skin)
- Side Effects and some Precautions
- Vomiting and/or nausea
- Upset stomach
- Skin rash
- Irritation around the mouth
Who all should avoid Gingko Biloba?
It’s best to discuss your situation with your doctor. If you have some health conditions or you take other supplements or medications, your doctor is the best person to advice you on taking Gingko Biloba.
You should avoid roasted, raw or fresh Gingko seeds. They contain significant amount of giingkotoxin, a chemical that can sometimes cause seizures and even death. You should also avoid Gingko food. Natural remedies are more safe as they are made from leaf extracts, which don’t have large amounts of gingkotoxin.
You should not take Gingko Biloba with blood thinners, before dental procedures or surgery without discussing it with your doctor.
All those who are allergic to sumac, mango rind, poision oak, poison ivy, and cashews may also be bit sensitive to Gingko Biloba.
If you have diabetes, you should use caution and discuss the issue with your doctors because it may impact insulin and blood sugar levels.
Pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding should consult their doctor before taking Gingko Biloba.