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Ginkgo Biloba

Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Ginkgo Biloba. These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 - Anticoagulants: Ginkgo Biloba is a blood thinner and increases the risk of bleeding. Use caution when combining with ginkgo, ibuprofen, aspirin, and other NSAIDs.

Warning 2 - Antiplatelet agents: Ginkgo Biloba increases the risk of bleeding.

Warning 3 - Anticonvulsants: Ginkgo Biloba may decrease the effect of anticonvulsant medications.

Warning 4 - MAOIs: Ginkgo Biloba may increase the action of MAOIs.

Warning 5 - Prilosec: This herb significantly reduces plasma concentrations and effectiveness of Prilosec (omeprazole).

Warning 6 - Phentermine: Using Ginkgo Biloba with the diet drug Phentermine may produce adverse reactions.

Used as a natural health remedy: Ginkgo Biloba is used internally for the following benefits and conditions:
  • Age-related organic brain syndrome
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Menopause (See other herbs for menopause)
  • Peripheral arterial occlusive disease
  • SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction
  • Tinnitus
  • vertigo
Studies have confirmed that ginkgo increases blood flow to the retina and can slow retinal deterioration, which results in an increase of visual acuity. Retinal damage has a number of potential causes, including diabetes and macular degeneration. Studies suggest that gingko may help preserve vision in those with macular degeneration.

This herb has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years as an aphrodisiac to increase sexual vitality. One 60 mg capsule or 10 drops of the liquid form taken under the tongue prior to love making is said to promote blood flow to the sexual organs.

Side Effects of Ginkgo Biloba

The known side effects of using Ginkgo Biloba include the following:
  1. gastrointestinal (GI) upset
  2. diarrhea
  3. dizziness
  4. headache
  5. muscle cramps
  6. skin reactions
Other side effects may also occur when using Ginkgo Biloba. (See form below)

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Return to the Herb List.

For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2011 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Ginkgo Biloba and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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