How we pick our products
Ginkgo Biloba is the world’s best-selling herbal dietary supplement and has been used in Asian medicine for over a thousand years. (1) Ginkgo is used for a wide range of conditions and is said to bring relief from illness naturally.
In our Ginkgo Biloba Test 2022 we introduce you to various Ginkgo Biloba products. We explain the effects and side effects of Ginkgo Biloba and help you find the best preparation for you.
- 1 Summary
- 2 The best Ginkgo Biloba: Our Picks
- 3 Buying and evaluation criteria for Ginkgo Biloba products
- 4 Guide: Frequently asked questions about ginkgo biloba products answered in detail
- 4.1 What is Ginkgo Biloba and how does it work?
- 4.2 What side effects can Ginkgo Biloba have?
- 4.3 When and for whom does it make sense to take Ginkgo Biloba?
- 4.4 What types of Ginkgo Biloba products are there?
- 4.5 How much do Ginkgo Biloba products cost?
- 4.6 Which parts of the Ginkgo Biloba plant are used?
- 4.7 What are the ingredients of Ginkgo Biloba?
- 4.8 What alternatives are there to Ginkgo Biloba products?
- 4.9 How should Ginkgo Biloba be dosed?
- Ginkgo medicines consist of the extract of Ginkgo Biloba leaves. The leaves of Ginkgo Biloba are said to have many positive effects on body and mind due to their ingredients.
- There are almost no side effects with Ginkgo Biloba. Ginkgolic acid can cause mild side effects, but it is rarely found in medicines.
- Ginkgo biloba is available in many forms, from tablets to shampoo.
The best Ginkgo Biloba: Our Picks
There are many ginkgo products on the market. We have informed ourselves for you and put together the 4 most popular Ginkgo Biloba supplements.
Buying and evaluation criteria for Ginkgo Biloba products
To help you find the best product for you, we will now present some buying and evaluation criteria. When buying ginkgo products, you can use the following criteria as a guide:
When buying food supplements, you should always make sure that the products come from a trustworthy manufacturer and are of good quality.
Which form of Ginkgo Biloba is right for you depends on what you want to treat. For the treatment of your skin, a cream, a tincture or a shampoo is recommended.
For the treatment of internal diseases, you should choose a preparation that you can take orally. Tablets, capsules, extracts or tea can be used for this.
The type of Ginkgo Biloba preparation you choose affects, among other things, the dosage of Ginkgo Biloba. While tablets, capsules and extracts are very highly concentrated, tea has only a low concentration of active ingredient.
The concentrations of ginkgo preparations vary greatly. Whether you need low-dose or high-dose Ginkgo Biloba depends on what you want to treat with it and how severe your symptoms are.
We often make the mistake of thinking that a lot helps a lot. However, this is not true. Especially if you are taking other medications, the dosage should not be too high, otherwise there may be interactions with your other medications.
It is best to discuss the dosage and concentration with your doctor or pharmacist. He or she can tell you how much the preparation should be concentrated for your purposes.
Note whether the packet states the concentration of the dry extract or the amount of leaf. The concentration of the dry extract has a 50:1 ratio to the concentration of the leaf amount.
Therefore, a product with 300 mg dry extract is a high-dose preparation. A preparation with 300 mg leaf quantity, on the other hand, is a low-dose preparation.
Depending on how long you want to take Ginkgo Biloba, different pack sizes are recommended.
Ginkgo Biloba needs a certain amount of time to show its effect. Therefore, we advise you to take a pack size that lasts at least 6 weeks.
If you want to take Ginkgo Biloba on a long-term basis, you should discuss this with your doctor. When he or she determines the treatment period, he or she will also recommend the appropriate package size.
Ginkgo Biloba is a plant-based medicine and therefore basically vegan.
Ginkgo capsules are an exception. The shell is often made of gelatine, so the capsules are not always vegan. It is best to pay attention to the manufacturer’s information.
For preparations with added ingredients, you should always check whether they are also vegan.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about ginkgo biloba products answered in detail
In order to inform you comprehensively about the effect of Ginkgo Biloba and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.
What is Ginkgo Biloba and how does it work?
Ginkgo leaves, seeds and roots are a remedy of traditional Chinese medicine. The seeds of the Ginkgo Biloba also play a role in Asian cuisine. They are boiled and then the core of the seed is served with rice dishes.
In Europe, ginkgo biloba is mainly known from its medicinal use as a medicine and food supplement.
There are many studies on the effects of Ginkgo Biloba. They show many positive effects of Ginkgo Biloba, but are mostly too small to make reliable statements about the effect of Ginkgo Biloba. (2, 3, 4, 5)
Effects on Alzheimer’s and dementia
Ginkgo Biloba is often used for the treatment of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. (6) Ginkgo Biloba can have a positive effect on mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. (7) Several studies showed that Ginkgo Biloba can alleviate dementia symptoms. (6, 8)
Taking Ginkgo Biloba can improve the cognitive flexibility of those affected. However, an improvement in brain activity was not measurable. This means that the processing efficiency of the treated persons increased. (9)
According to one study, treatment with Ginkgo Biloba stabilised or slowed down the progression of dementia over a period of 22 to 26 weeks. (10) A long-term study contradicts the study. According to this study, Ginkgo Biloba does not slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. (11)
Effect on tinnitus
Ginkgo biloba is a common remedy in the treatment of tinnitus. (12) Tinnitus or ringing in the ears is a heavy burden for those affected, which often cannot be treated with medication.
The studies on the effectiveness of Ginkgo Biloba on tinnitus contradict each other (13)
Since tinnitus is a disease with many facets, it is recommended to coordinate a treatment with Ginkgo Biloba individually with the corresponding doctor. With the correct dosage of Ginkgo Biloba, ear noises can be reduced. (13)
Effect on macular degeneration
Oxidative processes lead to damage of the retina in the eye. Among other things, this can lead to age-related macular degeneration.
In order to reduce oxidative stress, antioxidants such as Ginkgo Biloba can be used. The antioxidant effect of Ginkgo Biloba is said to improve retinal diseases such as macular degeneration. (14)
However, a 6-month study showed no improvement in the vision of patients with macular degeneration. (2)
Effect on high blood pressure
Ginkgo biloba is a promising therapeutic agent for cardiovascular and ischaemic diseases. Ginkgo biloba has a vascular protective function. Therefore, it is a promising remedy for high blood pressure and other ischaemic diseases. (15)
With a complementary treatment with Ginkgo Biloba, positive effects on blood pressure can be observed. (3)
We have focused on the most researched effects of ginkgo in this article. Many other effects are attributed to ginkgo biloba, which we will not go into in more detail due to a lack of evidence.
Other effects of Ginkgo Biloba include a calming effect on ADHD patients (16) and alleviation of symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). (17)
The treatment of dogs and horses with Ginkgo Biloba is becoming increasingly popular. However, there are still no studies on the effectiveness of this.
What side effects can Ginkgo Biloba have?
The European Pharmacopoeia regulates the ingredients of medicinal products. Therefore, there are no health concerns with EGb 761.
Basically, ginkgo biloba is considered a safe food supplement. No severe or life-threatening side effects are known. (5)
Minor side effects such as stomach upset, headache, dizziness, constipation or allergic skin reactions may occur. (5) This is due to the ginkcolic acid in the leaves of the ginkgo. To avoid side effects, many medicines containing ginkgo are reduced in ginkcolic acid.
In combination with warfarin, platelet aggregation inhibitors and certain other medicines, it is suspected that ginkgo biloba promotes bleeding and haematomas. (5, 6)
Ginkgo biloba is also suspected of being a possible human carcinogen. (1)
When and for whom does it make sense to take Ginkgo Biloba?
Taking ginkgo biloba can be useful for people at different stages of life. Ginkgo Biloba has a wide range of effects and can therefore be used against many different diseases.
Diseases for which you can use Ginkgo Biloba are, for example:
- ADHD in children and adolescents
- PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
- High blood pressure
- Macular degeneration
- Dementia and early stages of Alzheimer’s disease
These are the most common uses of Ginkgo Biloba in humans. Ginkgo can also be used for dogs or horses.
What types of Ginkgo Biloba products are there?
|Ginkgo Biloba type||Description|
|Powder||Ginkgo Biloba powder is very highly concentrated, but the amount of active ingredient is difficult to dose.|
|Tablets and capsules||Ginkgo tablets and capsules are available in different concentrations. They are particularly easy to dose.|
|Cream||Ginkgo Biloba cream is suitable for use on skin ulcers.|
|Tea||Ginkgo tea has a lower concentration of active ingredient and is more suitable for consumption.|
|Drops / tincture||Liquid Ginkgo Biloba extract is suitable for oral intake as well as for application on the skin.|
In the following we will go further into the different types:
How much do Ginkgo Biloba products cost?
To give you an overview, we have selected the prices of the most popular Ginkgo Biloba products.
|Capsules and tablets||4 to 90 euros|
|Tea||4 to 48 euros|
|Oil||9 to 30 euros|
|Cream||5 to 30 euros|
The prices for ginkgo products depend mainly on the type of product and the package size.
Which parts of the Ginkgo Biloba plant are used?
Medicines contain the extract of the ginkgo biloba leaves. Other substances may also be added to creams.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the seeds and root of the ginkgo biloba are used in addition to the leaves.
What are the ingredients of Ginkgo Biloba?
In the European Pharmacopoeia there are precise specifications on how the extract of Ginkgo Biloba is to be prepared. The Pharmacopoeia specifies the proportions of the active ingredients and includes an upper limit for ginkgolic acid.
There are no specifications for the composition of foodstuffs and food supplements.
Products of this kind can have very different ingredients. Since food and dietary supplements do not require approval, you have to rely on the manufacturer’s information about the ingredients.
What alternatives are there to Ginkgo Biloba products?
|Medicines||Conventional medicines can be used to treat many diseases and symptoms.|
|Healthy diet||A healthy diet helps prevent many diseases. It helps you to grow old healthy and fit.|
|Sport||Regular exercise not only improves your physical health, it also increases your mental fitness.|
|Brain jogging||To keep your brain on its toes, you can regularly solve tricky tasks.|
If you take Ginkgo Biloba as a precaution, you can also replace it with a healthy lifestyle. For serious illnesses, Ginkgo Biloba should be seen as an additional therapy and not as a substitute for medical treatment.
How should Ginkgo Biloba be dosed?
To find the ideal dosage for you, it is best to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your symptoms and the right dosage of Ginkgo Biloba as a treatment.
Basically, you should take a maximum of 240 mg a day. Up to this amount, there are no interactions with other medicines. (12)
Image source: saphira / 123rf
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