Ginkgo Biloba Supplement Review for Memory, Mood and Health

Ginkgo Biloba is highly regarded as one of the best natural Nootropic supplements on the market and one of the top sellers in the USA and Europe to date. Traditionally used as a Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years as a general tonic, it is now popularly used to boost cognition, enhance memory and for its anti-oxidant and neuroprotective properties.

Type: Natural Nootropic
Used For: Memory, Concentration, Cognitive Function, Increasing Circulation in the Brain, Anti-Aging, Mental Clarity, ADHD, Brain Support, Depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Half-Life: 4hrs-5hrs
Typical Dosage: 120 mg-360 mg per day
Supplement Interactions: No Known Interactions

What is Ginkgo Biloba?


Ginkgo Biloba, a Chinese term for Yin-Kuo or silver apricot, is one of the most widely used herbal Nootropic supplements on the market to date and popularly used to enhance memory, cognition, mood, increase blood circulation and as an anti-oxidant.

Ginkgo Biloba A Powerful Supplement For Cognition & Clarity It is made from the leaves of the Ginkgo Tree, also known as the maidenhair tree and has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine.

The leaves were used for thousands of years to enhance overall energy and as a herbal remedy for a broad range of conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, headaches, muscle and joint pain, PMS and many other ailments.

The Ginkgo tree is considered “a living fossil”. It has been in existence for over 200 million years in China and the only living species in the Ginkgophyta family that is not extinct.

These trees can live up to 3000 years and grow up to 130 feet tall but it is their large fan-shaped leaves that contain all the active ingredients such as bilobalides, ginkgolides (terpene trilactones) and 20 kinds of flavonoids that are thought to provide all the power of Ginkgo Biloba and its possible health benefits.

Today, research focuses on the benefits of the extract of the leaves which been found to have many positive effects on enhancing circulation both in the body and to the brain, protecting crucial neural structures and inhibiting monoamine oxidase (MAO) naturally, which may be responsible for all of Ginkgo Biloba’s therapeutic, mood and Nootropic capabilities.

This article will review how Gingko Biloba delivers benefits on mental performance, brain power, mood and physical wellness and the associated potential side effects and dosage guidelines.

Ginkgo Biloba Effects on Memory and Cognition


Ginkgo Biloba is often referred to as the “brain herb” and the majority of this supplements most significant benefits are associated with improving brain function by boosting cerebral circulation, protecting against damage to neurons and regulating the release of important natural chemicals in the brain, promoting enhanced memory, concentration, mental clarity and mood.

One of the primary ways Ginkgo Biloba has shown to work is by improving circulation and blood flow, both in the body and to the brain. Ginkgo contains terpenoids such as ginkgolides which reduce the stickiness of platelets in the blood and widens blood vessels so they can carry more blood and oxygen.

Common symptoms of insufficient blood flow to the brain are frequent headaches, dizziness, brain fog, confusion, memory loss and a decrease in concentration and problem-solving capabilities.

Improved blood flow results in better absorption of oxygen, increases glucose uptake into brain cells and supports healthy neural tissue. This may result in boosting energy metabolism in neurons and enhancing communication within the brain, promoting increased mental alertnessprocessing speed, mental energymemory recall and reaction time. 

In a number of clinical trials and studies done over decades, Ginkgo Biloba supplements are suggested to support memory formation and recall and have exhibited benefits on information processing speed and general cognition in healthy adults.

Many users report that taking this herbal supplement sharpens their memory, helps them think clearer and respond faster.

These effects may be especially noticeable in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, vascular, or mixed dementia where a proprietary ginkgo extract used in studies over a 3-12 month period has shown to have moderate value on improving symptoms such as memory and cognition in these patients.

Along with terpenoids, Ginkgo contains plant-based flavonoids which are noted to act as powerful natural antioxidants, neutralizing free radicals (atoms with unpaired electrons or waste in the cells) associated with aging and minimizing damage to brain cells.

The hope of improving brain health by decreasing oxidative stress that may help slow down age-related cognitive decline and reduce the risk of potential brain disorders may be one of the biggest reasons why Ginkgo Biloba is the most widely used natural supplement.

Ginkgo Biloba extract is also used clinically for several neurological conditions associated with poor circulation including cerebrovascular insufficiency related to memory deficits, headaches and migraines, tinnitus, dizziness and reduced ability to concentrate.

Although the effects of Ginkgo Biloba are promising, it is currently only sold as a dietary supplement in the U.S and not approved by the FDA to treat or prevent any conditions.



Ginkgo Biloba Benefits for Mood Enhancement


The use and benefits of the Ginkgo Biloba leaf to enhance mood dates back centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and today there is some scientific evidence and reasoning that may support that theory.

If you are experiencing mood swings, anxiousness, feelings of stress or depression, Ginkgo Biloba may help to alleviate some of the effects related to these conditions and may be especially useful for people suffering from GAD or low mood associated with depression.

A double blind, placebo controlled study published in 2007, indicates that Ginkgo Biloba extract EGb 761 taken over a 4 week period (240 mg-480 mg) significantly decreased feelings of anxiety in patients with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) compared to the placebo group.

Ginkgo Biloba is known to improve blood flow and circulation in the brain, promoting enhanced energy levels and mental clarity. This may be responsible for one of the ways in which this supplement may reduce social anxiousness, low mood and encourage feelings of well-being.

Additionally, Ginkgo contains flavonoids such as quercetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol, phytochemicals that may all play a role in the possible mood boosting effects of this supplement.

In particular, kaempferol is considered to be a natural MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor). MAO is an enzyme that breaks down important “feel good” neurotransmitters including Dopamine, Serotonin and Norepinephrine once they are released. These brain chemicals are all thought to be involved in regulating sleep, mood, social behavior, sexual desire and energy levels.

MAO inhibitors restrict these chemicals that transmit signals in the brain from being broken down, which in turn increases their levels and is the same mechanism of action of most anti-depressant medications.

Increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters encourages feelings of motivation, happiness and enthusiasm. This action may additionally help to reduce fatigue, a common symptom in people suffering from depression.

Although these effects are considered mild and there have been mixed results in animal studies, anecdotal reports have suggested improvements in mood when taking Ginkgo Biloba, however these effects may be stronger when in combination with other supplements such as 5 HTP, Tyrosine or Ashwagandha.

In most clinical trials, the effects of Ginkgo on anxiety and depression showed positive results when taken closer to a 12 week period. If you are considering taking this supplement on its own for mood effects, it may take at least 8-12 weeks before experiencing noticeable effects.

Ginkgo Biloba is only sold as a dietary supplement in the USA and is not approved by the FDA as a drug to treat or prevent any conditions.

Ginkgo Biloba Health Benefits


The two active ingredients in Ginkgo Biloba, flavonoids and terpenoids may not just benefit the brain and cognition but are also thought to contribute to invaluable conditions in major organs and tissues.

Flavonoids are found in several different plants and act as anti-oxidants throughout the body. They are known to scavenge free radicals that accumulate with age (cellular waste), helping to protect the heart, nerve cells, blood vessels and eye retinas from oxidative damage. The excessive build-up of cellular waste has been associated with heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other conditions.

In addition, terpenoids are believed to improve circulation, increasing blood flow even into the smallest of blood vessels by reducing the stickiness of platelets in the blood and expanding blood vessels. This may help reduce the risk of clotting and other serious health issues.

In studies, the effects of Ginkgo Biloba have shown to improve vision in patients suffering from glaucoma, AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and color vision in diabetics.

Increased blood flow throughout the body helps power up muscles and there is some evidence suggesting that taking Ginkgo may help increase walking endurance, reducing pain and cramping in the legs associated with poor circulation.

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database has rated Ginkgo Biloba Possibly Effective For vertigo, PMS (premenstrual syndrome), tardive dyskinesia, PVD (peripheral vascular disease), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, dementia, symptoms of anxiety and cognitive function.

More research is needed to understand the full effects of Ginkgo extract. This supplement is not approved by the FDA in the USA as a drug to treat or prevent any conditions and is only sold as a dietary supplement.

Ginkgo Biloba Safety and Contraindications


Ginkgo Biloba leaf extract is rated by the Natural Medicine database as likely safe when used orally within the appropriate recommended dosages by adults, even for long-term use.

Minor side effects are considered rare and typically temporary but have been reported including nausea, headaches and rapid heartbeat. If you experience these side effects, lowering the dosage is recommended.

Almost all Ginkgo supplements on the market are made from the leaves of the tree, however, there can be some that are made from the extract of the seeds that contain ginkgotoxin (4-0-methoxypyridoxine). Consuming the seeds or taking Ginkgo supplements that are not derived from the leaf are considered unsafe and can cause seizures and potentially serious or fatal side effects.

Additionally, Ginkgo Biloba is thought to act similarly to blood thinners and can slow down blood clotting. Do not take this supplement in combinations with anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs, ibuprofen, Warfarin or any medications that slow down the formation of blood clots. If you have recently had surgery, do not take this supplement in order to prevent potential excessive bleeding.

If you are taking medications for diabetes, you should avoid this supplement since it may increase hepatic metabolism of insulin.

In addition, Ginkgo can potentially interact with anti-depressants, anticonvulsants and medications for the liver. In addition, you should avoid taking Ginkgo Biloba if you are pregnant or nursing due to lack of research.

It is always recommended to speak to your doctor first before using any supplements to ensure they are appropriate for you, especially if you are currently taking medications.

Ginkgo Biloba Dosage


The right dosage of Ginkgo Biloba can depend on many factors and there has not been an established recommended dosage by the FDA since it is not approved to treat or prevent any medical conditions. The following dosage recommendations are just general guidelines.

Typically, the recommended Ginkgo dosages range between 120 mg-240 mg in total per day, which can be taken once or divided up into two or three administrations throughout the day. Although dosages of up to 600 mg per day are also used and have been found to be safe, starting at the lower dosage range is recommended when first taking any supplements to note how it personally affects you before raising the dosage.

Standardized Ginkgo supplements should contain 24-32% flavone glycosides and 6-12% triterpene lactones. Studies suggest that it may take up to 4 weeks before noticing the positive benefits of this supplement.

It is always recommended to consult with your doctor first when trying a new supplement to determine whether it is right for you.

Ginkgo Biloba Review


Gingko Biloba is one of the best selling natural Nootropic supplements in the USA and Europe to date. The Ginkgo leaf has a long history of use, dating back over 1500 years in traditional Chinese medicine where it was prescribed as a general tonic and treatment for a broad range of conditions.

In the last few decades, research and clinical trials have shown that it may have many positive properties for brain health, mood, circulatory and memory disorders and much more.

Ginkgo has also gained enormous popularly around the world as a safe and affordable cognitive enhancer, largely cited to enhance memory and boost concentration and energy levels.

If you are interested in nature’s way of making the most out of your brain and body, Ginkgo Biloba may be the supplement to consider.

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