Effectiveness of Ginkgo biloba in treating tinnitus: double blind, placebo controlled trial

BMJ. 2001 Jan 13;322(7278):73. doi: 10.1136/bmj.322.7278.73.


Objective: To determine whether Ginkgo biloba is effective in treating tinnitus.

Design: Double blind, placebo controlled trial using postal questionnaires.

Participants: 1121 healthy people aged between 18 and 70 years with tinnitus that was comparatively stable; 978 participants were matched (489 pairs).

Intervention: 12 weeks' treatment with either 50 mg Ginkgo biloba extract LI 1370 three times daily or placebo.

Main outcome measures: Participants' assessment of tinnitus before, during, and after treatment. Questionnaires included items assessing perception of how loud and how troublesome tinnitus was. Changes in loudness were rated on a six point scale. Changes in how troublesome were rated on a five point scale.

Results: There were no significant differences in primary or secondary outcome measures between the groups. 34 of 360 participants receiving active treatment reported that their tinnitus was less troublesome after 12 weeks of treatment compared with 35 of 360 participants who took placebo.

Conclusions: 50 mg Ginkgo biloba extract LI 1370 given 3 times daily for 12 weeks is no more effective than placebo in treating tinnitus.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Ginkgo biloba*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Tinnitus / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Plant Extracts