Ginkgo Biloba and Tinnitus
Ginkgo biloba is a naturally occurring herb that has gained worldwide popularity for its antioxidant and therapeutic properties, including those properties which can help alleviate the sounds of tinnitus. Tinnitus is sometimes the result of poor circulation, high blood pressure and metabolic imbalances which might be helped through a dietary supplement such as ginkgo biloba and make it a working tinnitus cure.
Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement that literally grows on trees. The ginkgo biloba tree is one of the oldest species of trees known to man and can be found adorning the sides of U.S. city streets where climates allow it. The leaves of the tree, which can grow to be 120 feet in height over a period of one-thousand years, produce the herb that humans can use for medicinal purposes thanks to its antioxidant and circulation enhancement properties.
Studies about Ginkgo Biloba and Tinnitus
In the scientific community in the United States, there is still much debate about the effectiveness of ginkgo biloba as it relates to tinnitus. Scores of U.S. studies have shown that the herb does nothing more to alleviate tinnitus symptoms than a placebo containing no medicine at all. Other studies, many performed by German scientists have shown that the right type and dosage of ginkgo biloba can significantly reduce the severity of tinnitus, when it doesn’t relieve it entirely.
Regardless of the conflicting studies, which usually conflict because of the research methods employed, ginkgo biloba is among the most common prescription medicine in Germany where they prescribe thousands of the prescriptions each year. In the United States and United Kingdom, ginkgo biloba is still not approved for the treatment of tinnitus by the FDA; this doesn’t stop millions of people from buying it each year. In fact, in all of Europe and the United States, ginkgo biloba is one of the top selling herbal medications.
This high consumption of the herb is not directly related to tinnitus, though many people purchase it for this reason. . The German Commission, a well-respected science-based organization that regulates German medication, is very confident in the use of ginkgo biloba for tinnitus. Ginkgo biloba has been scientifically proven to help with a large number of medical conditions.
The flavonoids and terpenoids found in the herb are known to help control free radicals in the body that lead to Alzheimer’s disease and cancers. Ginkgo biloba is also used to treat conditions such as dementia, glaucoma, leg circulation, and macular degeneration, as well as enhance memory.
Why Ginkgo Biloba Might Help with Tinnitus
Tinnitus is often a symptom of high blood pressure and other circulatory issues or nerve damage and diseases that affect the body’s neurological system such as Ménière’s Disease. Although any person should consult a doctor before use, research has shown that 120 mg of ginkgo biloba each day is an effective method for improving circulation and protecting the body’s nerves. When tinnitus is involved with these diseases, the herb can help to relieve tinnitus because it does what we hope for with any tinnitus therapy: it treats the root source of the symptom.
Ginkgo biloba works because of its antioxidant properties and because it contains two important elements that we derive from plants: flavonoids and terpenoids. Flavonoids are plant-based antioxidants that protect the nerves, vascular structures and muscles in the body (such as heart and blood vessels), and protects the eye’s retina. Terpenoids work to dilate blood vessels in the body and reduce platelet friction, allowing lowered blood pressure and allows for easier blood circulation.
Warnings about Ginkgo Biloba and Tinnitus
Ginkgo biloba is a relatively safe herb for people who aren’t taking any medications for another condition. However, as it is with all medicines (herbal and otherwise), it is advisable to practice caution and gain professional clearance before beginning the regimen to avoid any potential interactions.
Ginkgo biloba shouldn’t be taken with blood thinners because it promotes circulation. For the same reason, it should be taken before surgery, if a person has a bleeding ulcer, or before dental visits because of the risk for bleeding complications. People who have epilepsy should use caution because ginkgo biloba has been known to cause seizures. Pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding should be aware that it can be transferred into breast milk or a fetus and that the herb is not safe for infants.
For those who suffer with tinnitus, the potential for drug interactions can be serious. The ginkgo biloba can interact with medications used to regulate high blood pressure that they might have been prescribed to help with tinnitus and vascular trauma. Also, SSRIs (certain antidepressants) that are prescribed to reduce anxiety in those that have tinnitus may interact with the herb. Medications to correct metabolic imbalances that cause tinnitus, such as high blood sugar medications and NSAID pain relievers can also interact with the herb.
Barring an allergic reaction or drug interaction, the side effects of ginkgo biloba are usually mild, if present at all. However, upset stomach, headache, skin reactions, and dizziness are known side effects. Side effects are often linked to brand or manufacturer, indicating that all brands are not equal.
In Germany and France where it is available by prescription, ginkgo biloba is manufactured to a specific guideline. In the United States and other countries where there is no FDA approval, ginkgo biloba manufacturing is not regulated. Choose a well-respected and documented manufacturer to make sure you are choosing a high-quality supplement.