What Are the Side Effects of Ginkgo Biloba and Ginseng Extract?


Quick Answer

Gingko biloba may cause an upset stomach or constipation, headaches and dizziness, a fast pulse or a pounding heart, mouth irritation, or a skin rash, notes Drugs.com. Ginseng may cause drowsiness, changes in heart rhythm, sadness, anxiety or muscle spasms, although side effects are rare, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

Stop using gingko immediately and consult a doctor if there is bruising or if unusual bleeding occurs, warns Drugs.com. The same applies for seizures, a weak pulse or shallow breathing, or bleeding that doesn't stop. People with bleeding disorders or diabetes should be cautious and consult their doctors before taking ginseng, as the supplement may worsen these conditions.

Since ginseng may cause a pounding heart, anyone with a heart condition should take ginseng only under supervision of a doctor, reports WebMD. Ginseng may mimic estrogen in the body; therefore, women with hormone-sensitive conditions, including breast cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and ovarian abnormalities, should not use ginseng. Ginseng may worsen mental conditions such as mania or schizophrenia, according to WebMD.

Gingko biloba may interact with medications, such as blood thinners, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, aspirin, anticonvulsants, antidepressants and drugs that affect the liver, and supplements, such as St John's Wort, saw palmetto, garlic supplements and yohimbe, reports WebMD. Due to the risks, children and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take gingko.

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