Gingko Biloba

  • Gingko research in the U.S. has been limited to stroke recovery and Alzheimer’s disease, but Dr. James A. Duke, author of The Green Pharmacy, suggests that it might be helpful in PD because it improves blood circulation through the brain, possibly delivering more levodopa. 
  • While Dr. Duke suggests that significantly higher doses might be useful in people with PD, doses higher than 240 mg per day may cause diarrhea.
  • Ginkgo also has some “alerting” properties and therefore may be helpful in combating daytime sleepiness—a common side effect of levodopa/carbidopa.

Caution:

  • Gingko may raise blood pressure when taken with a thiazide diuretic such as hydrochlorothiazide.
  • Caution should be used when taking Gingko with PD medications as some may have harmful interactions.
  • In addition, it tends to have an anti-clotting effect. Therefore, if you are taking any other anti-clotting medication such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin), you should not take Ginkgo without consulting your health care provider.
  • Do not confuse gingko biloba with ginseng, as ginseng may be overstimulating in older adults.

 

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