Ginkgo

Ginkgo

Ginkgo
Ginkgo biloba, a top selling herbal supplement, is used for the treatment of dementia, dizziness and claudication (painful legs from exercise or clogged arteries). Derived from the Ginkgo tree, ginkgo biloba supplements are usually taken in the range of 40-200 mg per day. As with any supplements please consult your doctor for correct dosage and any potential side effects. Learn more about gingko from our experts.

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    Ginkgo may improve blood circulation. Improvements are documented for patients with insufficient peripheral blood flow (intermittent claudication) taking Ginkgo biloba. Among patients with intermittent claudication that was confirmed by X-rays, both total walking distance and pain-free walking distance increased significantly for those randomized to receive Ginkgo compared to those who received a placebo. However, the ultrasound measure of the rate of circulation through the legs (Doppler index) was unaffected.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Gingko biloba is intended for people who have mental impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease, memory loss or slower thinking with age. Do not take gingko biloba without the advice of your doctor. Consult with your doctor about other, perhaps more successful, ways to treat your condition.
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    The ginkgo tree, also known as the maidenhair tree, is one of the oldest living species in the world. This hardy, deciduous tree is cultivated on plantations in many parts of the world, primarily in the United States and China. Ginkgo leaves are picked, dried and extracted to manufacture ginkgo products, which are marketed widely.

    Extracts of Ginkgo biloba can be used to treat the following:
    • limping due to insufficient peripheral blood flow (disorders of peripheral circulation, or intermittent claudication)
    • memory loss due to general mental deterioration (dementia) or physical disorders that cause a decrease in mental function (organic brain syndrome)
    • dizziness (vertigo) and ringing in the ears (tinnitus), originating from insufficient blood supply to the inner ear
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    If you want to. Though there are no large studies to support its use, there's some promise that this very commonly used supplement is effective in helping improve cognition. It can also thin the blood, which can be helpful in folks with blood vessel disease but dangerous for those with clotting disorders or anticipating surgery. Because it's considered a safe antioxidant supplement, we're comfortable with you trying 120 milligrams daily to see if it has any positive effects.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    While taking gingko biloba, avoid certain drugs that may adversely interact with this supplement. These include blood thinners (anticoagulants and antiplatelets), seizure drugs, blood pressure medications (such as iltiazem, nifedipine, and verapamil), and trazodone. Ask your doctor about breastfeeding or becoming pregnant while taking gingko biloba.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Two herbs that patients ask us about more than any others are ginkgo biloba and ginseng. I lump them together here because I almost always hit them in combination when I have this talk with patients.

    Ginkgo biloba comes from the leaves and seeds of the Chinese ginkgo tree, and many people think it can boost memory, lower blood pressure, and even reverse aging. Ginseng is a root that's taken as an energy booster, and some people also believe it can strengthen the immune system.

    Do they work? Patients want a definitive answer. So we give them one: Try the supplements, and if they work for you, then yes, they work.

    There are plenty of studies on these herbs, but their results are contradictory. Most of the evidence for them comes from personal testimonials and anecdotes. It's often impossible to know what's really in a bottle of ginkgo biloba or ginseng based on the label—because labels lie (and the law allows them to lie!). What one supplement manufacturer calls "ginseng" is what another may call "garbage."

    And even if the pills genuinely contain these herbs, their potency can vary greatly. It can even depend on the time of year the herbs were harvested. Hunting for the little US Pharmocopiea "P" on the label will help ensure at least some consistency.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Ginkgo biloba is an herb that comes from the Chinese ginkgo tree. It appears to be another of many possible antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. A known side effect of ginkgo biloba is an antiplatelet effect (it inhibits the ability of platelets to clump together and cause blood clotting), which does not appear to be significant for most patients.
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    Ginkgo biloba is available as a nutritional supplement and has long been known for its therapeutic actions. It contains two powerful antioxidants that, among other things, prevent free-radical damage in the brain. Ginkgo regulates neurotransmitters and increases blood flow to the brain, boosting oxygen levels. It’s been found to increase mental clarity and improve short-term and age-related memory loss, slow thinking and depression. The recommended dose is 120-240 milligrams (mg) daily, taken as two or three divided doses. 
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Gingko biloba comes in the form of teas, liquids, colas, capsules, extracts, sprays, bars and tablets. Follow all instructions and warnings on the package of your gingko biloba. Taking gingko biloba with food and a full glass of water will help your body absorb this supplement. Do not take gingko biloba with any medications that may interact with it, especially blood thinners and seizure drugs.

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    Ginkgo biloba is available in a variety of product types. The recommended daily dose of Ginkgo biloba is a total of 120 to 240 milligrams divided into two to three doses.

    The time limitations for using Ginkgo biloba correspond to the condition:
    • Gingko should be used for at least eight weeks if treating impaired memory. Gingko may be used for more than three months if there is evidence of continued effectiveness.
    • For disorders of blood vessels in the general circulatory system, the recommended use of ginkgo is at least six weeks.
    • For vertigo or tinnitus, use should be limited to six to eight weeks, unless there is evidence of continued effectiveness.