Liquid ginkgo is a concentrated extract made from the leaves of the ginkgo bilboa tree. Commercially available liquid ginkgo is now generally made from ginkgo bilboa leaves. Ginkgo leaf extract is used as a remedy for a number of health conditions including dementia, sexual dysfunction, and tinnitus.
The ginkgo biloba tree, sometimes simply known as the "gingko tree," is considered to be the oldest tree species that still grows today. Both the leaves and the seed of the tree have a long history of use in traditional medicine, though there is some question about consuming the seed.
In addition to liquid ginkgo extract, ginkgo is available in other forms, including capsules, tablets, and tea made from dried leaves infused with water. Since it's is also known for its ability to improve brain function and increase mental alertness, it is sometimes used in energy drinks. It is a popular addition to many wellness teas and nutritional supplements that are marketed to improve cognitive ability.
Ginkgo bilboa has been the subject of several scientific studies on its effectiveness at treating medical conditions. Some research has shown that ginkgo may well have a positive effect in treating Alzheimer's disease and claudication, a type of leg pain caused by blood clots. Research on ginkgo bilboa's effectiveness in treating other conditions is either limited or lacking in proof of its efficacy.
Adults that use ginkgo usually take about 120 milligrams of a standardized liquid gingko extract in divided doses throughout the day. However, in certain conditions, such as dementia and claudication, the recommended dosage can be as high as 240 milligrams. Ginkgo is usually not given to children.
While liquid ginkgo is generally well-tolerated by most adults, there can be some side effects from consuming ginkgo bilboa. These include dizziness, stomach upset, and headaches. Some individuals are allergic to ginkgo bilboa, and exposure may cause a skin rash or an even more serious reaction.
There has been some concern that ginkgo may increase the risk of seizures. Another potential ginkgo side effect is increased bleeding: Those with bleeding disorders or who use blood thinners should speak to their doctor before using ginkgo, and should discontinue its use entirely for 36 hours prior to surgery of any type, including dental work. In addition to these concerns, individuals who are taking medications should let their doctor know if they are using ginkgo bilboa, as ginkgo can interfere with the effectiveness of some drugs.