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What are the benefits of ginkgo biloba?

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Quick Answer

Ginkgo biloba is believed to improve memory and sharpen thinking, states WebMD. It may be used to treat Alzheimer's disease, and it also acts as an antioxidant. Evidence suggests that ginkgo biloba relieves pain in the leg caused by clogged arteries, and it may help with other circulatory problems.

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Full Answer

Ginkgo biloba may help to relieve symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome, including mood shifts and breast tenderness. Some people take ginkgo biloba for ADHD, depression and other psychological conditions. It may be used to treat vascular tinnitus and multiple sclerosis. People who suffer from high altitude sickness may take ginkgo biloba for relief, according to WebMD.

Possible side effects of taking ginkgo biloba include upset stomach, dizziness, nausea, headache and gas. Although rare, allergic reactions can occur. Signs of an allergic reaction to ginkgo biloba include rash, hives, tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing. There may also be swelling in the mouth, tongue, lips or face, states Drugs.com.

Pregnant and nursing women should avoid ginkgo biloba unless otherwise specified by a health care professional, warns Drugs.com. Children should not take ginkgo biloba.

Research on ginkgo biloba is still ongoing, as of 2015. Studies suggest that there are other health benefits, but they are not yet confirmed, notes WebMD. Because the long-term effects are undetermined, caution should be exercised when taking ginkgo biloba.

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