Ginkgo biloba is a type of tree also known as the maidenhair tree. Its leaves are used to make a herbal supplement.
Ginkgo biloba is thought to improve the supply of blood to the brain.
There is very little scientific evidence on ginkgo biloba for the treatment of depression. More studies of better quality are needed.
One study treated individuals with seasonal affective disorder (a type of depression that occurs during the winter months) with either ginkgo biloba tablets or a placebo (dummy pill). Both treatments had no effect on depression symptoms.
Ginkgo biloba supplements can have side effects, although they are not associated with any more side effects than a placebo (dummy pill). Dietary supplements may have negative interactions with prescribed medications or other supplements. As with any herbal supplements, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist if ginkgo biloba might interfere with other medications or supplements you are taking.
Ginkgo biloba tablets are available from health food shops and some supermarkets.
Ginkgo is unlikely to help depression.
Last reviewed and updated: 1 December 2016