Ginkgo May Up Seizure Risk in Epileptics

BONN, Germany, April 15 (UPI) — Researchers in Germany suggest the popular herbal remedy Ginkgo biloba be restricted because patients with epilepsy may face an increased risk of seizures.

Eckhard Leistner and Christel Drewke of the Institut fur Pharmazeutische Biologie in Bonn, Germany, said that many people use Ginkgo biloba to treat Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, depression, headache, irritable bladder, alcohol abuse, blood vessel blockages, lack of focus and dizziness.

The researchers reviewed Ginkgo studies and found 10 reports that indicated Ginkgo may increase the risk of seizures in those who have epilepsy or that the effectiveness of anti-seizure medications may be reduced. In addition, the researchers suggested Ginkgo may have harmful effects in those who don’t have epilepsy, who ate raw or roasted Ginkgo seed or drinking Gingko tea.

“Contrary to our own previous assumption, we are now convinced, however, that G. biloba medications and other products can have a detrimental effect on a person’s health condition,” the researchers said in a statement.

“It is therefore important that the large number of G. biloba product users and their healthcare providers be made aware of these risks, in order to enable them to make informed decisions about the use of these preparations.”

The findings are published in the Journal of Natural Products.

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