Ginkgo Biloba

By SheCares Editorial Team | Updated: Jun 18, 2020

What Is Ginkgo Biloba?

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is one of the oldest living tree species with a history of 200 million years, and its leaves are among the most extensively-studied botanicals in use today.

herbs for menopause

This plant can reach heights up to 120 feet (37 m) and live as long as 1,000 years. Ginkgo biloba's leaves and the inner seed of the fruit have been reported as having medicinal qualities; however, its fruit pulp is considered toxic and should be handled with care. 

What Is Ginkgo Biloba Used for?

The ancient Chinese used ginkgo biloba as herbal medicine to treat asthma, increase blood circulation, enhance memory, and improve mental performance.

Ginkgo biloba is used for:

  • Managing vascular diseases
  • Managing Alzheimer's disease

How Ginkgo Biloba Works

Ginkgo biloba works in the female body by raising the amount of estrogen, a hormone that plays an important role in the reproductive system and throughout the body.

ginkgo biloba function

Ginkgo biloba can accomplish this because it contains phytoestrogens, or plant compounds that have a chemical structure very similar to estrogen. In other words, ginkgo replaces the natural human hormones with plant hormones, which can raise estrogen levels.

In addition to the health problems above, professional herbalists may also recommend ginkgo for a variety of other ailments, including altitude sickness, asthma, depression, disorientation, headaches, high blood pressure, and vertigo, though not all of these uses are scientifically supported.

Concerns about ginkgo biloba

The use of ginkgo biloba for relieving menopause symptoms has been recently questioned by medical specialists because ginkgo biloba may increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

It is important to be aware of the benefits and side effects of this phytoestrogenic herb before using it in order to make the best decision.

Benefits and Side Effects of Ginkgo Biloba

Before using ginkgo biloba, women should be aware of the beneficial and the adverse effects this phytoestrogenic herb may have.

Ginkgo biloba benefits

ginkgo biloba benefits side effects

Ginkgo biloba enhances memory. Ancient Chinese medicine has traditionally used this herb is a memory enhancer. Many modern studies have shown that ginkgo biloba can help improve memory.

Ginkgo biloba stimulates blood circulation. Ginkgo biloba has been reported to improve blood flow to the brain and throughout the body. 

Ginkgo biloba relieves tinnitus. Given that nerve damage and certain blood vessel disorders can lead to tinnitus, ginkgo extract can help treat tinnitus.

Ginkgo biloba side effects

Ginkgo biloba can be harmful. Uncooked ginkgo biloba seeds contain a compound that can cause seizures. Also, consuming large quantities of seeds can cause intoxication.

Ginkgo biloba has adverse effects, especially for individuals with blood circulation disorders and those taking anticoagulants or blood thinners, such as aspirin and warfarin. Ginkgo biloba should also not be used by people who are taking antidepressants or by pregnant women.

Conclusions about Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is effective in treating some menopause symptoms - especially memory lapses - and it's reasonably priced compared to pharmaceuticals for raising estrogen levels. However, ginkgo biloba has been recently questioned because it adds artificial hormones to the body. By doing this, the herb can increase the risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

On the other hand, you can find other alternative treatments that are just as effective as ginkgo, but have no side effects. For example, hormone-regulating herbs are a great alternative for treating hormonal imbalance.

Hormone-regulating Herbs for Hormonal Balance

Hormone-regulating herbs have nutrients that nourish the endocrine system to balance hormone levels naturally, avoiding side effects. This means that hormone-regulating herbs make the body produce the needed hormones itself. Click on the following link to read more about hormone-regulating herbs for balancing hormone levels.