Ginkgo Biloba Can Help Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a disease caused by certain blood
vessel disorders and nerve damages which leads to the
perception of ringing, hissing, or other sound in the ears
or head when no external sound is present.
There is conflicting research regarding the use of ginkgo for tinnitus.
Traditional use and multiple small, poorly designed studies
from the 1980s and 1990s report benefits. However, a well-designed
recent study found no benefit. Additional well-designed
research is needed in order to resolve this controversy.
profile of Ginkgo Biloba is complex. Its main constituents
are ginkgolides and bilobalides, both terpenoids and a range
of flavonoids. Ginkgo biloba has been shown to have
anti-ischemic, anti-edema, anti-hypoxic, radical-scavenging
and metabolic actions.
In addition, it increases disturbed microcirculatory
blood flow through increasing the fluidity of blood. The
virtual significance of these actions in the clinical effects
of Ginkgo Biloba in tinnitus is uncertain at present. A
common cause of the symptoms of tinnitus could be a deficiency
of blood supply to the inner ear. It is imaginable that
most of the above-mentioned pharmacological actions of Ginkgo
Biloba contribute to its clinical effectiveness for this
A team of 10 French ENT specialists conducted
a trial with two parallel groups with103 tinnitus patients
included. Patients were excluded if they had had infections
or surgery or had suffered from acute diseases of the ears.
Patients were treated with 4 ml of a Ginkgo Biloba extract
per day for 1-3 months or with a placebo.
Therapeutic success was evaluated by
a severity score of tinnitus symptoms. The results
suggest that the Ginkgo Biloba treated group experienced
greater and faster improvement of symptoms.
Morgenstern and Bierman published a trial
including 99 patients with chronic tinnitus. All patients
were initially treated with 3 x 1 placebo tablets per day
for 2 weeks. Subsequently they were randomized to receive
either active medication (3 x 40 mg Ginkgo Biloba extract)
or placebo for 12 weeks.
The eudiometry determined loudness of
the tinnitus in the worse affected ear was the primary endpoint.
The results show that the loudness of sounds was on average
reduced significantly more in the actively treated group
compared to placebo.
The studies were also heterogeneous in
other respects apart from methods and dosages. Endpoints
included a rating from the patient of severity of tinnitus
or preferred treatment, an evaluation from a specialist
and the loudness of tinnitus measured by an audiometer.
Four different Ginkgo Biloba products were used, taken as
either tablets, drops or by injection and daily doses were
different in each trial.
Patients in all trials were described
as having chronic or persistent tinnitus but few studies
defined criteria for inclusion. The cause or source of tinnitus
may have differed within studies as well as between them.
The duration of treatment also varied between trials.
No matter what the dosages have been
or the duration of the treatment; the results were more
or less the same. Tinnitus has been greatly reduced if not
even cured completely with Ginkgo Biloba extracts.