Ginkgo headaches.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Re: Ques. about Ginkgo
From: Paul Bergner <>
Date: Sat, 14 May 94 22:29:48 -0500

> I have been taking liquid ginkgo extract, I have heard that it is good for improving memory. I would like to know if there is any scientific evidence supporting this. Also -- I have been getting terrible headaches every day since taking the ginkgo, though I am not certain that the ginkgo is the cause, for I have only been taking it for about four days. I would appreciate any information on ginkgo.

Ginkgo is very well proven in dozens of dobule blind clinical trials in Europe. In practice, headache is a common side effect. The most common side effects are headache and gi upset, according to metaanalysis of the European trials. The European product, which is proprietary, removes some substances from the leaf extract in order to minimize the side effects. it doesn't eliminate them however. In the US there are many "copy-cat" ginkgo preparations that do not remove the substances. A splitting headache is common in US practice.
(PB--Editor Medical Herbalism)

From: Paul Bergner <>

> Like skullcap, Ginko can trigger migraines in people who suffer with them. If you notice you have had the headaches on the days you take it, why are you still taking it?

Ginkgo can cause headaches even in those who do not normally suffer from them. The fancy pharmaceutical extracts from Europe (i.e. 24% ginkgolides) have less frequency, but the side effect of headaches is not rare by any means. Me-too copycat ginkgo preparations have a much higher indcidence, and headaches are almost guaranteed if you take a high enough dose. The European brands remove some substances to minimize side effects, but they aren't telling the details I.e. proprietary information.