\nGinkgo 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.\nThe 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.\nGiven 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.\nGinkgo biloba: fast facts:\n\nThe Ginkgo biloba tree is native to China and has existed on earth for millennia.\nExtracts of the leaves have been a stalwart of Traditional Chinese Medicine for generations.\nGinkgo biloba can help to improve cognitive function and sleep quality.\nIt can be taken in the morning or at night, the best way to take this supplement will depend on your reason for taking it.\nThere are some instances when these herbal supplements are not recommended.\n\nWhat are the benefits of Ginkgo biloba?\n\nThere 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.\n\nThere 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. \nFurther 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. \nGinkgo 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.\nShould I take Ginkgo biloba in the morning or at night? \nFor 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.\nHowever, 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.\n\n\n\n\nGinkgo biloba benefit \n\n\nShould I take it in the morning or evening?\n\n\nWhy?\n\n\n\n\nUse as an antioxidant or anti-inflammatory\n\n\nMorning\n\n\nTo allow it to impart its benefits throughout the day\n\n\n\n\nCognitive function\n\n\nMorning\n\n\nTo benefit memory, learning, focus and attention span during the day when they’re needed the most\n\n\n\n\nAnxiety and depression\n\n\nMorning\n\n\nTo allow it to impart its benefits throughout the day\n\n\n\n\nSleep quality\n\n\nEvening\n\n\nTake half an hour before bed to help promote better sleep\n\n\n\n\nErectile dysfunction\n\n\nEither\n\n\nAny time of day, but the evening will be better if you plan to be intimate at bedtime\n\n\n\n\nAre there any side effects to taking Ginkgo biloba?\nLike 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.\nIs it safe to take it every day?\n\nIt’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. \nAvoid 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.\nYou should also avoid taking this herb if you’re pregnant, or taking antidepressants, diabetes medications, statins or Xanax. \nWhen is the best time of day to take Ginkgo biloba? \nThere 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.\nFor example, some preparations suggest taking 1-3 capsules a day such as these Ginkgo biloba capsules from G\u0026amp;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.\n\nJoin us to get updates and special deals monthly:\n\n \n
Hannah de Gruchy
Health and wellness author and biologist specialised in sustainability, nutrition and eco-living.