Ginkgo Biloba for ADHD
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental condition commonly found in children, which is characterized by difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. The use of ginkgo biloba for ADHD has been found beneficial to ease symptoms, making it a safer alternative option for those who often struggle to cope with the side effects of stimulant medications. But does it really work? Let’s explore together.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of using ginkgo biloba for ADHD symptoms according to scientific studies. But before we get into how ginkgo biloba can help with managing ADHD symptoms, it’s important to learn the basics of ADHD a little bit more. So, let’s dig a little deeper.
Table of contents
- What is ADHD?
- Symptoms of ADHD
- ADHD coexisting problems
- Causes of ADHD
- What is ginkgo biloba?
- Benefits of ginkgo biloba for ADHD symptoms
- How to use ginkgo biloba
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is ADHD?
ADHD is the abbreviated form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which is a chronic mental condition that involves a combination of various persistent symptoms such as difficulty paying attention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity. ADHD symptoms commonly show up in childhood, majorly before the age of 12, but may continue into adulthood.
People with ADHD may perform poorly in personal, social, and professional life including school, work, and relationships, and develop low self-esteem over time. Though there’s no complete cure for ADHD yet, there are ways that can ease symptoms and help build coping strategies to live a better life.
Symptoms of ADHD
ADHD sufferers are inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive in nature, which is why the signs and symptoms are categorized into three main groups accordingly - inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common symptoms of these groups one by one:
- Lack of focus
- Unable to complete tasks
- Frequent movement from one activity to another mostly leaving uncomplete
- Having difficulty remaining on the topic while talking or listening to others
- Having a hard time staying attentive to details
- Having a hard time staying quiet
- Being always “on the go”
- Excessive talking
- Frequent getting up to run around or walk
- Squirming and fidgeting always when seated
- Inappropriate running or climbing
- Starting conversations at the wrong times
- Having a hard time waiting for the right time
- Frequent interruptions to others
- Providing answers before the question is finished
ADHD coexisting problems
Though always not the case, alongside ADHD symptoms, people may also develop symptoms of other health conditions or problems as well, such as:
- Learning difficulties
- Anxiety disorders
- Mood disorders
- ODD or Oppositional defiant disorder
- ASD or autism spectrum disorder
- Substance abuse disorder
- Tourette’s syndrome
- OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Personality disorder
Causes of ADHD
Though the exact cause of ADHD is yet to come and research efforts are going on, researchers assume some factors may play in the development of ADHD, such as:
- Central nervous system issues during key moments of developments
- Environmental factors such as lead exposure or poisoning in childhood
- Heredity or genes may carry ADHD in families
What is ginkgo biloba?
Ginkgo biloba is one of the most ancient trees that has been surviving for around more than 200 million years. The leaves of the tree are rich in phytochemical compounds, especially terpenoids and flavonoids, all of which have been shown to have various medicinal properties and have been used in medicine for thousands of years.
Ginkgo biloba is most commonly used as a vasodilator and to treat cerebral vascular insufficiency, peripheral vascular disease (PVD), dementia, cognitive disorders, macular degeneration(glaucoma), erectile dysfunction, memory loss, premenstrual syndrome, and dizziness or vertigo.
(you can also read our article: Ginkgo Biloba for Vertigo)
Benefits of ginkgo biloba for ADHD symptoms
Ginkgo biloba and the phytochemical components it contains, particularly terpene trilactones and flavonoid glycosides, have been shown to have potent antioxidant and neuroprotective properties that can help protect nerve cells in the brain from becoming damaged and also enhance the availability of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain.
A 2014 clinical trial published in Hogrefe Psyjournals found that intake of ginkgo biloba extract with a maximum dose of 240 mg per day for up to 3 to 5 weeks improved ADHD symptoms of all aspects including attention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity.
How to use ginkgo biloba
The exact dose of ginkgo biloba for ADHD symptoms is individual and may vary from one person to another depending on the specific symptoms, age, and severity of the conditions.
However, in general, the dosage may range from 120 mg to 240 per day which can be taken in two to three divided doses daily. It’s essential to consult with a certified naturopathic doctor to determine the exact dose and safety.
Precautions and side effects
Though ginkgo biloba seems possibly safe and well-tolerable when taken as prescribed, side effects may occur in some patients such as dizziness, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, stomach upset, and allergic reactions. But these are not common for all and are reversible.
Besides, ginkgo biloba may interfere with the ways certain medications work in the body such as medications used to treat blood clotting disorders or bowel diseases. Furthermore, there is not enough information regarding the use of this herbal remedy during pregnancy and lactation.
Therefore, it’s highly recommended to discuss with a certified natural medicine practitioner prior to starting ginkgo biloba supplements, especially if you’re on medications, or are a pregnant or breastfeeding mom.
Ginkgo biloba is an ancient medicinal tree that has been used in traditional medicine, especially traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. Multiple studies suggest that this herb can improve various ADHD symptoms. The benefits of ginkgo biloba for ADHD seem to come from its flavonoids and terpenes content which has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, vasodilation, and neuroprotective effects on the brain. Ginkgo biloba might be a clinically useful alternative or complementary treatment for ADHD symptoms.
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