Efficacy and Safety of Ginkgo biloba in Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Am J Chin Med. 2020;48(3):513-534. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X20500263. Epub 2020 Apr 30.


Ginkgo biloba and its extract have been suggested to have a neuroprotective role in patients with acute ischemic stroke. We aimed to examine the efficacy and safety of Ginkgo biloba use in patients with acute ischemic stroke. We searched seven databases for randomized controlled studies examining the use of Ginkgo biloba in patients with acute ischemic stroke. Relevant studies were retrieved, screened, and data were extracted independently by two reviewers. Random effects meta-analyses were performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety outcomes of Ginkgo biloba. We subsequently assessed the certainty of evidence using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development and Evaluation) methodology. We found 12 randomized controlled studies enrolling 1466 patients. Pooled results suggest that Ginkgo biloba use was associated with an improvement in neurological function among individuals with AIS with a reduction of 2.87 points on the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale score (95% CI: -4.01--1.74, p<0.001). Ginkgo biloba use was also associated with an improvement in activities of daily living and functional outcome (Mean Difference: 9.52; 4.66-14.33, p<0.001). Subgroup analysis suggest that the impact was larger when using an injectable formulation of Ginkgo biloba compared to the oral formulation. There was no apparent impact of Ginkgo biloba use on all-cause mortality (Risk ratio (RR): 1.21; 0.29-5.09, p=0.80) or cerebrovascular bleeding (RR: 0.82; 0.43-1.57, p=0.55). There was limited evidence on to support the use of gingko biloba in terms of improving quality of life and other stroke events. As such, more studies are needed before it can be recommended for routine use in improving neurological and cognitive function in patients with acute ischemic stroke.

Keywords: Acute Ischemic Stroke; Ginkgo biloba; Meta-Analysis; Randomized Controlled Trial; Systematic Review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Cognition
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Humans
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Quality of Life
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Stroke / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Plant Extracts
  • Ginkgo biloba extract