Sticky Blood-Hughes Syndrome Support
8,089 members8,327 posts

Does anyone take Ginkgo Biloba with Warfarin?

I have read that it can cause problems if taken with anti coagulants but thought there may be some good first hand advice available on this forum

15 Replies

Hi, I think you will find it is a no no, it will interfere with your INR and does not sit well with Warfarin. Also Aspirin is also implicated, please have a read:



I know. But looking at the list of things it is supposedly beneficial for I was rather thinking it could maybe replace quite a few of my meds.

What I want most is a natural steroid replacement as a bit fed up sleeping for weeks at a time every time I try to lower my dose of that. So tired I get myself into dangerous situations


I was told by my hematologist to never ever take any herbs Warfarin or not. I looked it up and some herbs mess with your blood by themselves. I would ask your doctor before adding anything like that.


I am feeling a bit downbeat at the moment.

But maybe a bit more so when I come across stuff like "The Rick Simpson Story"

Google it.

It does challenge thinking about the whole doctor patient relationship a little.


I had been taking Ginkgo for several years PRIOR to being diagnosed with APS, and being prescribed warfarin, in 2010. Prof. d'Cruz was happy for me to continue with the Ginkgo alongside the warfarin BUT stressed that if I stopped it for any reason then it should not be resumed later. I continue to take one Bio-Biloba each morning and warfarin 3mg at night. I think it's important to keep to the same product because it seems the quality can vary between different companies. My INR is mostly very stable within the 2-3 range. I always get medical advice before considering any over the counter medicines.


So consistency here as added in on top of what you were already doing I am pleased you have full medical advice and the overview with this. MaryF


The wisdom of herbal, alternative medicine treatments is very, very dicey. It is undoubtedly true that medicine is a hyper-conservative discipline. This is due to the physician's primary pact: "First. Do no harm." This means that a physician is honor bound not to prescribe or professionally suggest any treatment that does not meet a scientific consensus of efficacy. So, careful docs do not often prescribe many herbal supplements.

Which does not mean that some supplements are not wonder dugs. Some are. We all evolved on this planet. Evolution is usually a very conservative process; if a creature has evolved a hormone or a process which works, that process will continue, or be modified via small tweaks, into the next stage/s of evolution. Thus, many plant products do work on us humans -- often better then patented, manufactured pharmaceuticals -- because our bodies are more likely to recognize and respond to a natural product. We're all related.

I found this out on a personal level when, back in the mid 80s, a local book store became the first store in my area to offer espresso based coffee. I loved the stuff. Brewed coffee made my heart race, but I quickly became devoted to my daily cup of espresso which made me feel alert but did not make my heart race.

Then, some months later I made my annual visit to my GP. "Do you need a refill on your rescue inhaler for your asthma?" "No," I said with a degree of wonderment in my voice, "You know, I haven't used my inhaler in more then a year, but oddly enough, I haven't even thought about using it so until you asked just now so it didn't occur to me how long its been. " Then the doctor totally blew me away when he asked, "Have you begun to drink espresso based coffee from Taylor Books in Charleston?" "Yes," I answered with an even greater degree of wonderment. "I love the stuff."

And here the doctor pulled out his pad of paper and drew a chemistry diagram of the active ingredient of my inhaler beside a diagram of one of the chemicals found in the coffee bean. "See how similar they are? But this one," and here he tapped his pen on the coffee diagram," Is a natural substance so this is the one your body is going to respond to most readily." He continued, "But this ingredient is most efficiently extracted from the coffee bean at the high temperatures of espresso. You don't get as much from brewed coffee. So, keep drinking that espresso!"

I have not used my rescue inhaler in @ 30 years now.

Why isn't this chemical from coffee beans available in a double blind, controlled tested and approved medicine? Because pharmaceutical companies -- at least here in the US -- can't patent a "natural" ingredient. So, they have no business incentive to pay for the trial. And, here in the US, ever since Reagan's "reform" of the Food and Drug Agency, the FDA doesn't have the money to run many -- if any -- of its own trials either. This is the result (sorry to inject poltics) of the myth that capitalism's profit incentives always leads to good outcomes for society.

But doctors on the front lines know all too well about snake oil salesmen. They're still alive and marketing their products. And they are using the "natural products" exemption in the US to market stuff thats down right harmful, even if it makes them rich. For every legitimate natural supplement out there there are probably 100 versions of snake oil which may not help, or even may cause harm.

And remember the doctor's first rule? "First. Do no harm."

Which puts us patients in a difficult position. Personally, I'm not willing to take the ginko balboa risk. I do try to reduce inflammation by avoiding sugar, a lot of processed carbs, and eating a wide variety of vegetables. I also spend the money on organics whenever possible to avoid the antibiotics and hormones which are so common in American meat and dairy products.

But I still drink an espresso based drink every day. (I finally bought my own machine.) And I take fish oil capsules: there is some substantiated literature that this really helps autoimmune patients -- but it does thin the blood so I must take the same amount every day. And I sprinkle a few shakes of tumeric into my nightly going-to-bed cup of hot milk.

But don't be too condemning of doctors who don't want to discuss herbals. They can't and won't prescribe or suggest anything what hasn't passed the "do no harm" test.

-- and I did watch the video you suggested. We're all different. We are far, far from understanding all the biochemical pathways -- particularly the individuated pathways. My best friend from college passed at age 30 due to cancer. He smoked around 4 -5 marijuana joints a day for years. Everybody thinks it was the weed that killed him, and since he continued to ingest weed by smoking or eating after diagnosis then the THC obviously didn't help him very much. Which isn't to say that it doesn't help some people. We're all different.

But how's is a doctor supposed to know without a scientific basis to lead from. "First: "Do no harm."


I don't disagree with much of what you say. But as you know with any medical treatment there are various methods of application in order for the treatment to work. Inhalation may work for certain things but a different method of application may be required for others.

I am not point scoring. I have NEVER had any personal involvement with this substance at all.

But I do have some knowledge behind the use of essential oils, and they used to be something easily bought, before a change in the law largely removed them from sale. I used to use various oils myself in the past.

There are many videos of this guy who was not selling but providing the knowledge. And he was sent to prison for doing so. The treatments he was preparing depended on ways of utilising the essential oil.


Was actually thinking, with a bit of an ironic smile, that it would be the ultimate slap in the face for a newly privatised UK health service if the patients suddenly drifted away due to being able to self cure???


Hi. I've been taking taking ginko bialoba for at least six years with the knowledge of the haematologish I am under, I also take St John's wort wich can enteract with warfarin. While my haematoligist thinks herbal & homeopathic drugs are 'throwing money down the drain' I was told that if i really wanted to use them go ahead but be very consistant taking them which I do. It works fine,

all the best,



I am interested to know why you take ginko bialoba and also St John´s wort? I know you selftest like me. Do you feel good on them or what?

Best wishes from a Swedish woman who has never used homeopathic drugs.



I take Ginko bialoba because I learned several years ago the it might help repair neurologial damage. I take St John's Wort as a mild form of anti-depressant, both situations I have been subject to. The St J wort definately worked for me , the ginko, not sure but worth the effort - but I've had very good experience with several homepathic treatments. In my experience, homeopathic, herbal, ortodox, medicins - if it seems to be working I'm for it - but I have to always check it against the effect it has on my warfarin dose and INR levels.


Thank you for your answer,

I know you are selftesting like me so then you can control your INR-values better.

Best wishes from Kerstin in Stockholm


I have never tried any homoeopathic stuff. But I know there are things that cant be explained away easily. So my attitude is if it works, great.

I have felt auras and had unexplainable things happen in the past. Maybe they are just unexplainable with our current knowledge???


Since I've given up on APS specialists in the US trying a heperin trial on me (even though it worked well when I had an accidental trial after having a seizure and other MS like symptoms), I'll just have to do the best I can with what I can use over the counter. Two doctors did mention aspirin to me--one rheumatologist who I believe did have APS in mind as a cause for my severe migraines, and an neurologist who I think was just giving me the brush off. So now I'm searching for other blood thinning herbs that are not salycilates. At the moment I'm using aspirin, DHA and gingko. I'm also on plaquenil, which I'm hoping will help with my neuro/brain fog issues, as well. (It seemed to have helped years ago.) Unfortunately, I'm a I think I'm a little worse. I'm having trouble concentrating enough to do much writing or reading. I keep hoping the specialists in England will get through to the specialists in the US regarding seronegative APS. At least they could do research here!

I haven't found any homeopathic remedies to try for whatever is going on with me these days, but foggy brain makes it hard to do the research. I have found a lot of helpful homeopathic remedies along the way.


You may also like...