Should I take Ginkgo biloba in the morning or at night?

by Hannah de Gruchy February 15, 2023

Should I take Ginkgo biloba in the morning or at night?

Ginkgo biloba is a herbal remedy extracted from the dried, green leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree native to China. Herbal preparations containing this extract have been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in the modern world, Ginkgo biloba extracts are now available as capsules, tablets, and liquids.

Ginkgo biloba - botanical Asian drawingThe Ginkgo biloba tree is one of the oldest tree species on earth. As such, it’s often referred to as a living fossil as the species as a whole has survived so many extinction events. It’s quite common for these trees to live for 1,000 years and it’s said that some exist in China that are 2,500 years old.

Given this longevity, it’s little wonder that Ginkgo biloba herbal supplements are so popular worldwide. They have various benefits, including a positive effect on cognitive function and sleep. Therefore, what time of day you take this supplement could affect how beneficial you find it.

Ginkgo biloba: fast facts:

  • The Ginkgo biloba tree is native to China and has existed on earth for millennia.
  • Extracts of the leaves have been a stalwart of Traditional Chinese Medicine for generations.
  • Ginkgo biloba can help to improve cognitive function and sleep quality.
  • It can be taken in the morning or at night, the best way to take this supplement will depend on your reason for taking it.
  • There are some instances when these herbal supplements are not recommended.

What are the benefits of Ginkgo biloba?

There are various benefits to taking Ginkgo herbal supplements. This beneficial herb is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids and terpenoids that can help to protect the body from illness and disease. It’s also rich in compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties that can protect against chronic inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis.

Brain cognitive function

There is evidence that Ginkgo biloba supplements can improve cognitive function, such as memory, focus and attention span. It’s thought that this could be most beneficial in older people, but more studies are needed to fully assess this benefit. 

Further studies have found a link between taking this herbal supplement and a reduction in anxiety and depression. Again, studies continue into this link. Depression can also affect our ability to sleep, or we may struggle with insomnia. Studies have found that Ginkgo biloba could help promote better sleep quality and allow us to stay asleep longer. 

Ginkgo biloba has also demonstrated the ability to increase levels of nitric oxide in the blood. This could be beneficial for men who struggle with erectile dysfunction, the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. Nitric oxide helps to improve blood flow around the body, including to the penis, and could therefore be helpful in managing erectile dysfunction.

Should I take Ginkgo biloba in the morning or at night? 

For the best results, Ginkgo biloba should be taken in the morning. This is because we carry out most tasks and duties related to cognition during the day and the herb can then impart its benefits all day long.

However, the best time for you will depend on what you’re taking it for. For example, if you’re taking Ginkgo biloba to help you sleep, it’s best taken in the evening.

Ginkgo biloba benefit

Should I take it in the morning or evening?


Use as an antioxidant or anti-inflammatory


To allow it to impart its benefits throughout the day

Cognitive function


To benefit memory, learning, focus and attention span during the day when they’re needed the most

Anxiety and depression


To allow it to impart its benefits throughout the day

Sleep quality


Take half an hour before bed to help promote better sleep

Erectile dysfunction


Any time of day, but the evening will be better if you plan to be intimate at bedtime

Are there any side effects to taking Ginkgo biloba?

Like most herbal supplements, Ginkgo biloba is generally considered safe and causes no known serious side effects. However, some people may experience mild side effects including headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach discomfort, muscle weakness, skin rash and restlessness. If you experience any of these unpleasant side effects, try reducing the amount you take each day or stop taking Ginkgo biloba altogether.

Is it safe to take it every day?

Ginkgo biloba trees

It’s entirely safe to take Ginkgo herbal supplements each day if you’re healthy and you’re experiencing no side effects that concern you. However, these supplements may interfere with certain medications and aren’t recommended if you have certain health conditions. 

Avoid taking Ginkgo preparations if you have a blood clotting disorder or you’re taking blood thinning medications such as Warfarin, aspirin, or any type of anticoagulant. If you’re advised to take ibuprofen for more than a few days, stop taking Ginkgo biloba for the duration as you may develop an increased risk of bleeding.

You should also avoid taking this herb if you’re pregnant, or taking antidepressants, diabetes medications, statins or Xanax. 

When is the best time of day to take Ginkgo biloba? 

There is no recommended daily intake of Ginkgo biloba. If you’re new to herbal supplements, begin with a small serving and work up to a higher one to increase your tolerance and reduce the risk of side effects.

For example, some preparations suggest taking 1-3 capsules a day such as these Ginkgo biloba capsules from G&G Vitamins, so take one per day for a few weeks before increasing. Always take high-quality supplements rather than consuming Ginkgo’s raw seeds, which are toxic. It may take 4-6 weeks before you notice any positive changes, but if you do, continue to take them to reap maximum benefits.

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Hannah de Gruchy
Hannah de Gruchy


Health and wellness author and biologist specialised in sustainability, nutrition and eco-living.

2 Responses

Muqaddas Shakoor
Muqaddas Shakoor

October 08, 2023

These information is really very helpful for the use…Thanks

Girlie Peart
Girlie Peart

May 15, 2023

Thanks for the info

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