Use of Ginko Biloba in Vitiligo

Ginko biloba has been in the lime light of medical research for over a decade now. It is a strong, tall and enduring tree which grows only in a small area in china and has almost no botanical relatives. Most of the research on its medicinal usage has been in the field of Neuro-psychiatric disorders like loss of memory and Alzheimer’s disease, but the studies have been inconclusive to date. The latest study published in 2008 has declared it to be of no use in preventing dementia/ Alzheimer’s disease. The improvement in memory has also been found to be short lived. Ginko has also been advocated for improvement in blood flow and as a protecting agent against oxidative damage to the body tissues.

A team of dermatologists from Chandi Gadh India (Clin Exp Dermatol, 2003) has conducted a double blind study to explore its potential for the management of vitiligo. They gave Ginko Extract 40mg thrice daily to 52 patients in a double blind placebo-controlled trial and have found that the progression of vitiligo was halted in 80% subjects from the Ginko arm compared with 36% in the placebo arm, which is roughly double. Extensive to complete re-pigmentation was documented in 40 against 9% from Ginko vs. placebo groups.

The study is being viewed with interest and hope.