Does Ginkgo Biloba Help With Altitude Sickness?

Does Ginkgo Biloba Help With Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness can have a devastating effect on travelers. We've done research on dozens of altitude remedies, and here we'll reveal our key discoveries on does Ginkgo Biloba help with altitude sickness.

Ginkgo Biloba Altitude Sickness

Ginkgo biloba, a popular herbal supplement for memory and circulation, has also been touted as an herb for altitude sickness.

Ginkgo biloba is a plant native to China that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. The dried leaves and seeds of ginkgo trees have many health benefits including improving memory and cognitive function, lowering cholesterol levels, preventing heart disease and improving circulation to the brain and extremities. It has also been studied for its potential use in treating Alzheimer's disease.

Today, ginkgo is one of the most popular herbal supplements in the United States. We'll reveal below l if ginkgo biloba for altitude actually works.

Does Ginkgo Biloba Help With Altitude Sickness?

In our review of research on Ginkgo Biloba for altitude sickness, while evidence it can help, we also found some conflicting information in three studies.

1. In a study out of Grand Junction Colorado, results of Ginkgo Biloba's impact on altitude sickness had opposite results. They performed two randomized, double-blind, placebo studies. Ginkgo biloba lowered both the severity and occurrence of altitude sickness in the first study, however it had no effect in the second study.²

The study concluded that the effectiveness of Ginkgo Biloba was determined by the source and composition of the plant.² Which points out that it's important to find the best quality and reliable supplement source if you choose to use Ginkgo Biloba for altitude sickness.

2. We found one other study to back up Ginkgo biloba for altitude sickness decreasing in people climbing 12125 feet in Chile (Ollagüe). Ginkgo biloba was found to increase saturation in arterial oxygen. In 24 hour pretreatment and maintenance during exposure, it was found to lower incidence of acute mountain sickness.¹

3. The last study from 2005 compared the drug Acetazolamide (Diamox) to Ginkgo biloba for altitude sickness. They found: "no evidence of similar efficacy for Ginkgo biloba", meaning it was shown not effective for altitude sickness.³

In conclusion, does Ginkgo Biloba help with altitude sickness? We conclude yes, although little evidence suggests that it may be helpful, it may have a positive effect on altitude sickness in some instances.
While it's not definitive to get results as shown in the studies, it's also very important to be using a supplement with the best source and composition as Ginkgo Biloba can be harvested, extracted and sold in various forms.

What Is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness is a temporary condition caused by the low oxygen levels that occur with increased elevation.

The decrease in oxygen levels increases pressure in your lungs and forces you to work harder when you breathe. Also known as hypoxia or hypoxemia, this condition makes it difficult for your body to deliver enough oxygen from your lungs to your muscles and brain tissue.

The main symptoms of altitude sickness are:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • difficulty sleeping
  • trouble breathing

Ginkgo Biloba Dosage For Altitude 

The standard dose of Ginkgo Biloba extract (GBE) ranges from 40 mg per day to 240 mg per day, depending on age and other factors such your health condition.

We detailed the studies to find the best Ginkgo Biloba dosage for altitude. In the two studies where some effectiveness was observed, dosages of Ginkgo Biloba were 80mg every 12 hours or 240mg once a day. So the ideal Ginkgo Biloba dosage for altitude is between 160mg and 240mg per day.

Ginkgo Biloba can be taken with food or without food throughout the day. Study participants started taking Ginkgo Biloba at least 24 hours prior to ascending for altitude sickness prevention, then each day while exposed to high altitude.

Other Effective Herbs For Altitude Adjustment

As a company that specializes in supplements for high altitude, we've narrowed down some of the top researched herbs for altitude adjustment that are shown to be most effective. The top three ingredients have scientific research to back up various statistically significant results for high altitude.

  • Glutathione
  • DHM (from Hovenia Dulcis)
  • Glutamine

To read more about these ingredients, we discuss them in our 3 herbs for altitude adjustment article.

Top Rated Altitude Supplement

Altitude Supplement Ginkgo Biloba
Zaca chewables are a top rated altitude supplement for athletes, travelers, mountain-goers, and climbers alike. Our proprietary herbal blend was made to help your body rehydrate, replenish and recover fast. Designed to protect your body and improve your performance, Zaca includes key ingredients such as DHM, Glutathione and Glutamine. And because they’re chewable tablets, they’re easy to take when you need them most. Try Zaca's altitude supplement today and thrive on your next mountain expedition.


1. Ginkgo biloba decreases acute mountain sickness in people ascending to high altitude at Ollagüe (3696 m) in northern Chile
2. Ginkgo biloba does--and does not--prevent acute mountain sickness
3. Ginkgo biloba and Acetazolamide Prophylaxis for Acute Mountain Sickness