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Side Effects of Using Ginkgo Biloba

by
author image Carole Anne Tomlinson
Carole Anne Tomlinson is a registered nurse with experience in rehabilitation, nutrition, chemical dependency, diabetes and health problems related to the elderly. Tomlinson holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and is presently working on her master's degree in nursing. Her screenplays have been viewed by Merchant Ivory, Angela Lansbury and Steven King's associates.
Side Effects of Using Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba leaves. Photo Credit DAJ/amana images/Getty Images

Overview

Although the U.S. Food & Drug Administration hasn't yet approved ginkgo biloba as a medication, MayoClinic.com says some evidence exists that the herb may help people with Alzheimer’s disease. The organization reports that ginkgo biloba may help improve people’s memories and decrease such symptoms of disease as depression, confusion, concentration difficulties, headaches and fatigue, among others. MayoClinic.com notes that researchers study the herb to determine its usefulness in such treatments. Drugs.com says ginkgo biloba may help increase blood circulation in people who suffered strokes. The supplement may produce some side effects.

Nausea

When you ingest the ginkgo biloba supplement, especially at first, you may discover your gastric system reacts to it. Commonly when you introduce new substances such as herbal supplements or prescribed medications, your body may have initial trouble adjusting to them. Your stomach, where you begin to digest ginkgo biloba, may suffer some irritation from the new herbal substance. This may induce a feeling of queasiness that may occur in a mild form or as full nausea, Drugs.com says. Because this form of side effect associated with ginkgo biloba classifies as non-serious, your stomach upset should subside as you continue your dosing with the herb. You may quell the sensation with over-the-counter medications designed to reduce nausea. If your nausea persists, seek medical help.

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Dizziness

One of the intended effects of ginkgo biloba, thinning of your blood, may cause the side effect of dizziness. This may occur as part of a condition called postural hypotension. This means you experience a swift, momentary drop in your blood pressure when you change positions, usually when you get up from a prone or sitting position. This can cause a swirling sensation of movement that may momentarily disorient you. Drugs.com indicates dizziness usually occurs only during the initial use of ginkgo biloba and should not cause a major problem.

Diarrhea and Gas

Ginkgo biloba use may produce an initial side effect of diarrhea as well as gas in your stomach or intestines, Drugs.com says. The diarrhea may produce abdominal cramps. The gas may produce belching or flatulence. Although these side effects may make you feel uncomfortable, they classify only as non-serious problems that should dissipate as your body adjusts to ginkgo biloba.

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References

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