A photo of the echinacea plant
Echinacea is one of our top 10 herbal remedies because of its valuable immune boosting properties

Herbal remedies – 10 of the best

12 September, 2011

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Gingko Biloba – for better circulation

The therapeutic actions of this ancient herb are supported by more than 280 scientific studies. Gingko has been shown to contain flavonoids that act as potent free radical scavengers limiting damage caused by these throughout the body.

Its most promising use, however, has been in the treatment of dementia and symptoms of cerebral dysfunction such as memory impairment and poor concentration. A review in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology  looked at more than 40 clinical studies of gingko in the treatment of many forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s and concluded that the research standard was high and that Gingko was effective in the treatment of dementia.

Smaller studies have shown that Gingko can be used to prevent and/or benefit conditions such as vertigo, tinnitus, inner ear disturbances, cold extremities, anxiety, depression, circulatory disorders, deteriorating eyesight and oedema. The vital link between many of these disorders is circulation and gingko has been shown to help improve circulation in all parts of the body.


The usual dose of ginkgo biloba extract, standardised to contain 24% ginkgoflavonglycosydes (the herb’s active component), is 40 mg three times daily.

Take care

Gingko is probably best taken when there is a genuine indication and not as a general tonic, and not as an herbal detox.  It can alter bleeding time and should not be used with blood thinning drugs such as heparin, warfarin and coumarin derivatives. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that it should not be used with over the counter blood thinners such as aspirin. Like garlic, it should not be taken before surgery.


  • Adapted from What Works, What Doesn’t: The guide to alternative healthcare by Pat Thomas. See here for details.