Herb Side Effects of Ginkgo Biloba
If you’re thinking of using ginkgo biloba, take special note of this herb’s side effects.
An HSI member named Susan writes: “All of the research about ginkgo sounds terrific, but why do you fail to mention this side effect – heart palpitations? I know of several people who experience this side effect from ginkgo, including myself.”
According to several reliable sources, heart palpitation is a rare side effect, usually caused by higher doses of ginkgo. Ginkgolic acid may also play a role.
As I noted in the e-Alert “In Defense of Passion” (4/20/06), ginkgo may prompt side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, headaches and skin irritations. In most cases, these side effects are caused by ginkgolic acid, a toxic compound. Five ppm (parts per million) is a safe maximum level for this acid, but some supplement manufacturers don’t list ginkgolic acid on product labels.
Always read content labels carefully and consult a doctor or medical professional before using ginkgo or other herbal supplements. If heart palpitations occur, discuss this with your doctor immediately.
“Ginkgo (Ginkgo Biloba)” InteliHealth, intelihealth.com