Ginkgo biloba: indications, mechanisms, and safety

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2013 Mar;36(1):73-83. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2012.12.006.


Ginkgo biloba special extract (EGb761) is used in most randomized control trials. Indications include cognition and memory in Alzheimer disease, age-associated dementia, cerebral insufficiency, intermittent claudication, schizophrenia, and multi-infarct dementia. Dosages range from 80 to 720 mg/d for durations of 2 weeks to 2 years. Mechanisms of action include increasing cerebral blood flow, antioxidant and antiinflammatory effects, with antiplatelet effects attributed to flavone and terpene lactones. Possible interactions with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, alprazolam, haloperidol, warfarin, and nifedipine have been reported. Optimal dosage/duration, dose-response characteristics, drug interactions, bioavailability, long-term effects, and optimal intervention timing should be the focus of future work.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Dementia / drug therapy*
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Herb-Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Claudication / drug therapy*
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Ginkgo biloba extract