Last update: Feb. 20, 2018

Ginkgo leaf

Low Risk for breastfeeding

Moderately safe. Probably compatible.
Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended.
Read the Comment.

The leaves of the tree are used. It contains flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol...), tannins, terpene lactones (ginkgolides), steroids…
Properties attributed to it in traditional medicine without solid scientific evidence: venotonic agent, capillary protector, cerebral vasodilator (neuroprotective) and platelet antiaggregant (McKenna 2001, WHO 1999).
Indications from Commission E of the German Ministry of Health: cerebral insufficiency, intermittent claudication and vertigo.

The Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) accepts its use in cognitive impairment associated with age and in adult patients with mild dementia and in mild peripheral circulatory problems: leg heaviness, coldness of hands or feet (EMA 2015).

Due to the lack of published data on this plant in relation to breastfeeding (Sachs 2013) and as it may cause side effects (Roland 2012, Etheridge 2009, Tesch 2003), most medical associations and experts discourage it during breastfeeding (the Royal Women's Hospital 2013, Amir 2011, Dugoua 2006, Wong 1998).

Precautions when taking plant preparations:
1. Make sure they are from a reliable source: poisoning has occurred due to confusion of one plant with another with toxic properties, poisonings due to heavy metals that are extracted from the soil and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi.
2. Do not take in excess; follow recommendations from experts in phytotherapy. “Natural” products are not always good in any quantity: the plants contain active substances from which a large part of our traditional pharmacopoeia has been obtained and can cause poisoning or act as endocrine disruptors (they contain phytoestrogens: Powers 2015) if they are consumed in large quantities or over very extended time periods.

Do not take solutions or tinctures with alcohol content.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Ginkgo leaf is also known as Ginkgo. Here it is a list of alternative known names::

Ginkgo leaf in other languages or writings:


Ginkgo leaf belongs to these groups or families:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Ginkgo leaf in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Bioavailability 80 - 88 %
T1/2 2 - 6 hours


  1. Anderson PO. Herbal Use During Breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Abstract
  2. Powers CN, Setzer WN. A molecular docking study of phytochemical estrogen mimics from dietary herbal supplements. In Silico Pharmacol. 2015 Mar 22;3:4. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. EMA. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). European Union herbal monograph on Ginkgo biloba L., folium. 2015 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Sachs HC; Committee On Drugs. The transfer of drugs and therapeutics into human breast milk: an update on selected topics. Pediatrics. 2013 Sep;132(3):e796-809. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. The Royal Women’s Hospital Victoria Australia. Herbal and Traditional Medicines in Breasfeeding. Fact Sheet. 2013 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Roland PD, Nergård CS. [Ginkgo biloba--effect, adverse events and drug interaction]. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2012 Abstract
  7. Etheridge AS, Kroll DJ, Mathews JM. Inhibition of paclitaxel metabolism in vitro in human hepatocytes by Ginkgo biloba preparations. J Diet Suppl. 2009 Abstract
  8. Dugoua JJ, Mills E, Perri D, Koren G. Safety and efficacy of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) during pregnancy and lactation. Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2006 Abstract
  9. Tesch BJ. Herbs commonly used by women: an evidence-based review. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Abstract
  10. Drago F, Floriddia ML, Cro M, Giuffrida S. Pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of a Ginkgo biloba extract. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Abstract
  11. McKenna DJ, Jones K, Hughes K. Efficacy, safety, and use of ginkgo biloba in clinical and preclinical applications. Altern Ther Health Med. 2001 Abstract
  12. WHO. World Health Organization. Geneva. WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants. Volume I. WHO monographs 1999 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. Wong AH, Smith M, Boon HS. Herbal remedies in psychiatric practice. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998 Abstract

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