Depression and Ginkgo Biloba
Effect of Ginkgo Biloba on Depression
Though often used in the treatment of memory conditions, Ginkgo Biloba has inadvertently been found to also elevate the mood and decrease depression symptoms of participants of certain Ginkgo studies.
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Research Evidence on Ginkgo Biloba
One study from 1990 tested the effect of ginkgo biloba on people who suffered from both dementia and depression found significant evidence that participants given the ginko biloba extract were more likely to improve on both accounts.1
Another study found that among 40 people who did not respond to antidepressants who were then given ginkgo biloba showed a 50% drop in their Hamilton Depression scale scores.2
Yet another piece of research found that when older rats were given ginko biloba, their levels of serotonin-binding sites increased. The researchers theorized that ginkgo may help block an age-related loss of serotonin receptors (which affects both memory as well as mood). 3
Side Effects and Warnings
Individuals who fall under one or more of the following categories should consult with their practitioner before taking ginko biloba. Those with:
- blood circulation disorders
- taking antidepressants
- anticoagulants (ibuprofen or aspirin)
- women who are pregnant
Possible side effects include:1,2
- increased risk of bleeding
- gastrointestinal discomfort
- heart palpitations
- Eckmann F. Cerebral insufficiency—treatment with Ginkgo-biloba extract. Time of onset of effect in a double-blind study with 60 inpatients [translated from German]. Fortschr Med. 1990;108:557-560.
- Schubert H, Halama P. Depressive episode primarily unresponsive to therapy in elderly patients: efficacy of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in combination with antidepressants [translated from German]. Geriatr Forsch. 1993;3:45-53.
- Huguet F, Drieu K, Piriou A. Decreased cerebral 5-HT 1A receptors during ageing: reversal by Ginkgo biloba extract (EGv 761). J Pharm Pharmacol. 1994;46:316-318.