Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba
There appear to be a variety of conditions that may be treated by ginkgo biloba. For example, this supplement may be used to treat depression, memory loss in the elderly, and sexual problems. The supplement is also often claimed to be beneficial for treating heart disease, strokes, and allergies. It is important to note that some of these reported benefits of ginkgo biloba are more valid than others.
Ginkgo biloba (ginkgo) is an herbal supplement derived from the leaves of the ginkgo tree. People claim that ginkgo biloba is beneficial for a wide variety of conditions, such as:
- Various types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease
- Memory loss in the elderly
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Vertigo (a spinning sensation)
- Intermittent claudication (a blood vessel disorder that causes pain in the legs when walking)
- Lyme disease
- Sexual problems
- Eye problems, including age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Blood clots
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- High blood pressure.
Although elderly people frequently use ginkgo biloba to help with memory problems, this supplement is also used to enhance general mental functioning in younger people as well.
Some of these benefits of ginkgo biloba are more valid than others (see Does Ginkgo Biloba Work? for more information). As with many supplements, claims for the benefits of ginkgo biloba are often exaggerated, and these claims must be evaluated critically. Most importantly, it is essential to remember that natural products should not be used carelessly, as many natural products can be quite toxic (for instance, many poisons are natural products). Ginkgo biloba can cause serious side effects, especially if taken inappropriately (see Ginkgo Biloba Side Effects for more information).