April 25, 2022 3 min read

Ginkgo Biloba is an herbal remedy with centuries of anecdotal reports to support its potential circulatory and brain-related benefits. More recently, research has even found that it may help remedy symptoms related to Alzheimer's Disease, ease anxiety, and boost cognition.

If you've already familiarized yourself with Ginkgo's many potential benefits, you've probably got one important question–what are the side effects of Ginkgo Biloba and what should you do when they arise? 

No worries, here's everything you need to know about Ginkgo side effects to help you decide if it's right for you:

Table of Contents
Is Ginkgo Safe?
What are the Side Effects of Ginkgo?
Ginkgo Drug Interactions
Is Ginkgo Additive?
Who Shouldn’t Take Ginkgo?
Ginkgo Side Effects FAQs

Key Takeaways

  • Ginkgo side effects are rare and almost always mild.
  • Side effects of Ginkgo are often related to poor product quality, so choosing a high-quality manufacturer is paramount.
  • You should talk to your doctor before taking Ginkgo if you have a bleeding disorder or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ginkgo leaves and encapsulated ginkgo powder, a safe dosing form without side effects when used responsibly.

Is Ginkgo Biloba Safe?

Ginkgo Leaf Extract appears to be safe for most people when taken in moderate doses by mouth. The roasted seeds of the ginkgo seeds are eaten by some cultures as a traditional remedy, but are known to cause stomach upset and toxicity in many people.

When looking for a safe Ginkgo Leaf Extract, its important to choose a trustworthy manufacturer that uses third-party testing measures to ensure the safety and quality of the product. Using a high quality product is the best way to reduce the chance of adverse reactions.

What are the Side Effects of Ginkgo Biloba?

In most cases, Ginkgo has shown to have little to no risk of adverse effects. In large amounts or when using a poor-quality formulation, Ginkgo may cause some mild side effects, including:

Headache

Headaches are a common side effect of medicines and remedies known to impact brain function, so it's not surprising that Ginkgo may cause headaches in some people. Taking Ginkgo with plenty of water may help mediate these effects.

Dizziness

Some people have reported feeling dizzy after taking Ginkgo Biloba, especially when using large doses. This may have to do with Ginkgo's potential impact on circulation. If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, discontinue use and talk to your doctor about your Ginkgo dosage.

Heart palpitations

Heart palpitations have been reported on a rare basis and could be linked to Ginkgo's impact on blood flow. If you experience heart palpitations after taking Ginkgo, immediately discontinue use and consult your doctor.

Upset stomach

Ginkgo could irritate your stomach, although it isn't common. This may indicate that you need to decrease your dosage or that you have a sensitivity to Ginkgo.

Constipation

Some people have experienced constipation when using Ginkgo. Increasing your fiber intake may help mediate this effect.

Allergic Reaction

Although it is rare, some people experience a mushroom allergy. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to Ginkgo may include:

  • Swelling of the lips, mouth, and airways
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin rashes or hives
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach cramping
  • Bloating
  • Loose stools

Interactions With Other Supplements or Medications

In some cases, herbal remedies can interact with certain medications, including other supplements and OTC and prescription drugs. We'll discuss this more below.

A bottle of prescription medications, one of a handful that may interact with Ginkgo to cause side effects.

Ginkgo Biloba Drug Interactions

There is very little research to evaluate Ginkgo's possible drug interactions, but experts believe it has the potential to interact with the following medications:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs, herbs and supplements
  • Anticonvulsants and seizure threshold lowering drugs, herbs and supplements
  • Antidepressants
  • Diabetes drugs
  • Ibuprofen

Is Ginkgo Biloba Addictive?

Nope! Ginkgo Biloba does not possess any properties that may make it addictive. There is little to no potential for substance abuse for Ginkgo.

Who Shouldn’t Take Ginkgo?

In general, Ginkgo is thought to be safe when used in moderate amounts.

You should avoid Ginkgo if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a heart condition, are prone to seizures, or have a bleeding disorder. Do not use Ginkgo within two weeks of a scheduled surgery as it may increase bleeding.

Ginkgo Biloba Side Effects FAQ

Can you take Ginkgo everyday?

Yes, Ginkgo can be taken daily, and should be taken consistently for optimal benefits.

Does Ginkgo raise your blood pressure?

Evidence suggests that Ginkgo may lower blood pressure, which means it may not be safe to take with medications intended to lower blood pressure.

Is Ginkgo biloba safe for elderly?

Ginkgo has been tested on elderly subjects and was found to have little to no potential for adverse effects in most trials.

Does Ginkgo biloba cause liver damage?

Herbal supplements are often thought to have the potential to cause liver injury when taken in high doses. Fortunately, Ginkgo has not has not been implicated in causing liver injury when used responsibly.


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