Ginkgo Biloba in the Prevention of Migraines!!!

The migraine headache is considered a vascular headache, although the precise mechanism and etiology remain unknown. There are several known triggers some of which include food allergies, blood sugar disturbances, stress load, mechanical injury, and hormonal fluctuations. The vascular hypothesis of migraine, first proposed by Wolff, theorizes that the aura of migraine is caused by intracerebral constriction followed by extracranial vasodilation resulting in headache pain.

Ginkgo is among the oldest living species on earth and has been used extensively as a medicinal agent worldwide for centuries. The chemical constituents that have helped ginkgo resist potentially damaging pests during the millennia most certainly contribute to its positive effects on health. It is the most frequently prescribed medicinal herb in Europe, with hundreds of studies reporting positive effects from taking ginkgo for both the prevention and treatment of various health complaints. The most dramatic benefits are reported in improving circulation in the elderly. This can lead to enhanced memory, possibly delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, reducing senile dementia, tinnitus, and vertigo. Ginkgo’s memory-enhancing effects are reported in younger populations as well.

Researchers in Italy carried out a study to determine whether an herbal constituent extract from ginkgo biloba leaves was effective in treating migraine headaches in children and adolescents. The trial included 24 young adults suffering from migraine without aura. The patients were diagnosed with migraine without aura using the International Headache Society criteria. The results revealed that treatment with the ginkgo biloba constituent was well tolerated by the study participants. It was also found to be effective in reducing migraine attack frequency and therefore reducing the need for other medications to control migraine symptoms.1

1 Usai S, Grazzi L, Andrasik F, et al. An innovative approach for migraine prevention in young age: a preliminary study. Neurol Sci. Jun2010;31(1):181-3.