test-Everything You Need to Know About Ginkgo Biloba
Herbal Supplements
Everything You Need to Know About Ginkgo Biloba
Lindsey Toth, MS, RD • June 11, 2020

What is Ginkgo Biloba?

The ginkgo tree gave the dinosaurs a run for their money and is now considered a “living fossil,” dating all the way back to the Jurassic period.

Also known as the ginkgo biloba tree or maidenhair tree, it has no botanical relatives and was even thought to be extinct up until the 1600s when it was found in Japan in monasteries and temple gardens of Buddhist monks. Ginkgo is incredibly resilient, can live to be 3,000 years old and has even survived atomic bomb explosions.1 You read that right.

This resilience has made ginkgo biloba a wellness staple by using the ginkgo leaf to form an extract that can be found in capsules, liquid extracts and teas.

Leaf it to Ginkgo Biloba for Health and Wellness Benefits

With its prehistoric track record and complete disregard for extinction, it’s not surprising that ginkgo biloba extract has some hearty health benefits. From brain boosts to mood support, heart benefits and more—you better beleaf ginkgo can lend a limb to your wellness routine.

Memory and Cognition

One of the better-known uses for gingko biloba is its brain-boosting capabilities. This extract may support memory when paired with panax ginseng (Korean ginseng) and may also promote healthy cognitive function.2,3 Ginkgo’s ability to promote brain function may be due to promoting blood flow to the brain, but it doesn’t hurt to add neuro-friendly nutrients to your diet as well.

Immune Health

One of the lesser-known benefits of ginkgo biloba is its immune-supporting properties. Ginkgo is packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, which helps the body get rid of toxins.4 This boosted antioxidant activity can lend a hand to promoting healthy immune function.5

Heart Health

Studies have shown that ginkgo biloba can support heart health.6 Ginkgo contains terpenoids, organic compounds that promote blood circulation by dilating blood vessels.7 This improved circulation makes it easier for your heart to pump blood and function properly. While ginkgo biloba is better known for improving brain function, it’s hard to ignore these circulatory benefits for heart health.

Emotional Wellbeing

If your mind is running rampant, ginkgo’s fan-shaped leaves could provide the cool down it needs. Ginkgo biloba may promote relaxation and provide support to cope with everyday stress and tension.8 This extract may also benefit a healthy mood and support positive thinking.9 Branch out by pairing ginkgo biloba with your favorite wind-down rituals to get some quality R&R.

What are the Potential Side Effects of Ginkgo Biloba?

While the ginkgo seed is not safe to ingest, the ginkgo leaf is safe to consume for healthy adults when taken in appropriate doses.10

Please check with a doctor before adding ginkgo biloba to your wellness routine. Ginkgo may interact with medications that slow clotting. Allergic reactions may occur if you are allergic to poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, mango rind or cashew shell oil.11

What is the Ginkgo Biloba Dosage for Adults?

Research shows that ginkgo biloba may benefit different wellness needs based on dosage.

For Emotional Wellbeing

Studies have tested ginkgo biloba for emotional wellbeing at 80 mg to 160 mg of a ginkgo leaf extract three times a day for 4 weeks.11

For Memory and Cognition

Research has suggested 60 to 480 mg per day of ginkgo leaf extract in 2 or 3 doses for up to 1 year for dosage, or 120 mg to 240 mg a day.11

For General Use

60 mg twice a day with water during morning and evening meals is the recommended dosage for general uses like supporting mental sharpness and alertness.

Where to Find Ginkgo Biloba

The only way to receive the benefits of ginkgo is to get them from the leaves’ extract. Unfortunately, there are no foods or salads you can buy to sneak this nutrient into your diet. You can however find it in certain teas, capsules and liquid extracts to include in your wellness routine.

If ginkgo left you wanting more memory material, you’ll also like Nourish Your Noggin, The Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom, and 6 Easy Ways to Energize Your Mind

Lindsey Toth, MS, RD | Swanson Health Products

About Lindsey Toth, MS, RD

Lindsey is a nationally-recognized registered dietitian and nutritionist with a soft spot for pie. She empowers people to take charge of their health by finding the balance between the pleasure and nourishment in food. Her philosophy is that you should take care of your body because it’s the only permanent home you have. It’s what inspired her to pursue a career in nutrition.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


1. Ginkgo biloba. Friends of Trees. Read source

2.  Effects of Ginkgo biloba. Psychopharmacology. Read source

3. Effects of Korean Red Ginseng. National Library of Medicine.  Read source

4. Research on Effect of Ginkgo Aglucone Flavone. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Read source

5. Effect of Ginkgo Biloba Extract. International Immunopharmacology. Read source

6. Ginkgo. Mayo Clinic. Read source

7. Effects of Natural Antioxidant Ginkgo Biloba Extract. National Library of Medicine. Read source

8. Ginkgo Biloba. Journal of Psychiatric Research, Read source

9. Modulation of Cognition and Mood. Physiology & Behavior. Read source

10. Ginkgo. National Center for Integrative and Complementary Health. Read source

11. Ginkgo. Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. Read source