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Bad Effects of Ginko Biloba

author image Joshua Duvauchelle
Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.
Bad Effects of Ginko Biloba
Ginkgo biloba plant. Photo Credit macroart/iStock/Getty Images


Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) has been used for thousands of hears as an herbal supplement and medication and comprises one of the most studied herbs in modern use, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Though ginkgo is exceedingly safe, you may occasionally encounter negative side effects, says Dr. Hyla Cass, M.D., author of "User's Guide to Ginkgo Biloba." Before self-treating yourself with ginkgo or any other type of herb, consult your doctor for guidance.


Bad Effects of Ginko Biloba
It is recommended to stop taking ginkgo biloba before any dental procedures as it can cause bleeding. Photo Credit Igor Mojzes/iStock/Getty Images

Conflicting research suggests that ginkgo may sometimes cause internal bleeding, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, especially when combined with other drugs. To reduce the risk of complications, the center recommends you stop taking the herbal supplement a minimum of 36 hours before you go to the dentist or undergo surgery.

Decreased Insulin

Bad Effects of Ginko Biloba
Ginkgo biloba may lower insulin levels which counter acts the use of insulin for those with diabetes. Photo Credit Aiden Franklin/iStock/Getty Images

Ginkgo may lower your blood's insulin levels if you're diabetic and taking drugs that increase your insulin, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This may force you to increase your insulin treatment.


Bad Effects of Ginko Biloba
Ginkgo seeds can cause seizures. Photo Credit horillaz/iStock/Getty Images

Raw ginkgo seeds hold ginkgotoxin, which is also present in limited amounts in ginkgo extracts and dried leaves. A report from Winchester Hospital explains that the seizures are more common from ginkgo products that are made from ginkgo leaves, or contaminated by ginkgo seeds. Ginkgo may also interfere with the effectiveness of anti-seizure medications.

Allergic Reactions

Bad Effects of Ginko Biloba
Some people are allergic to ginkgo. Photo Credit -aniaostudio-/iStock/Getty Images

Some people are allergic to ginkgo. You may be allergic if you're already allergic to cashews, poison ivy and mango rinds, according to the National Institutes of Health. Allergic reaction symptoms may include skin blisters.

Gastrointestinal Distress

Bad Effects of Ginko Biloba
Taking to much ginkgo can cause gastrointestinal distress. Photo Credit Udo Kroener/Hemera/Getty Images

If you take too much ginkgo--specific overdose amounts vary according to the individual--you may experience gastrointestinal distress like an upset stomach or nausea. Dr. Cass also lists agitation and restlessness as potential overdose effects.

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