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Ginkgo for ADHD - Does It Help?

Does using ginkgo for ADHD help to reduce some symptoms?

There is growing awareness among parents that there may be natural ways of controlling or at least reducing ADHD symptoms in both children and adults.

In France and Germany, the herb ginkgo biloba is commonly prescribed by herbalists to treat a variety of memory related disorder. It is also commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

It is known to improve blood flow to all parts of the body including the brain. This is one theory for its ability to help improve memory and boost concentration.

Read on to find out what we know about using the herb ginkgo for treating children and adults with ADHD...

Research study on the health benefits of ginkgo for ADHD

There is not a lot of clinical research done specifically on using ginkgo for ADHD treatment. Of the many studies, the two discussed below show that ginkgo may have a significant role to play in reducing ADHD and hyperactivity symptoms in some children.

Study #1

Ginkgo biloba treating patients with attention-deficit disorder.
Niederhofer H.
Phytother Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):26-7.

Dr. Niederhofer demonstrated that volunteers given ginkgo showed significant improvements in hyperactivity and inattention when given ginkgo biloba. No significant side effects were reported.

Granted, this is a very small study involving only six subjects but the benefits seen for the ADHD patients were substantial indeed.

Study #2

Ginkgo biloba for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: a double blind, randomized controlled trial.
Salehi B, Imani R, Mohammadi MR, Fallah J, Mohammadi M, Ghanizadeh A, Tasviechi AA, Vossoughi A, Rezazadeh SA, Akhondzadeh S.
Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Feb 1;34(1):76-80.

This 6 week study involving 50 boys and girls showed that ginkgo supplement is less effective than the prescription drug Ritalin for treating ADHD.

The amount of benefit depends on which rating scale the researchers used. Ginkgo was more helpful when rated using the Parent ADHD Rating Scale but only modestly helpful when rated using the Teacher ADHD Rating Scale.

The dose used in this study was between 80 to 120 mg daily.

It was noted by the researchers that the group using Ritalin experienced more side effects like insomnia, headaches and decreased appetite.

Dose to use

Herbalists suggest starting with 40 mg dose taken two or three times daily. The benefits of this herb may take up to 4 weeks to appear. So increase the dose after 4 weeks if needed.

Dose up to 200 mg taken three times daily have been used successfully in other research studies on the benefits of ginkgo for treating other health conditions such as poor memory and dementia.

Bottom line?

In these small studies, ginkgo appeared to offer some benefit in boosting attention and improve focus and concentration. Larger and better controlled studies will be needed done to confirm these initial findings.

It may be worth it to give it a try to see if there is any benefit in your situation.

As always, if you are taking any prescription medications, it is recommended that you check with your health care provider to see if ginkgo can be used together.

Other Natural Remedies for ADHD

Our article Natural Remedies for ADHD lists all the proven effective supplements and minerals that can help reduce ADHD symptoms in both children and adults.

It also includes recommended doses to use to ensure maximum benefit.

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Related Articles and Resources for Ginkgo for ADHD

The List of Natural Remedies for ADHD

Go to ADHD Natural Cures Home Page

References for Ginkgo for ADHD
Revised: 23.04.2015

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