A systematic review of clinical trials on Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) effectiveness on sexual function and its safety

Document Type : Review Article


1 Student Research Committee, Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran

2 Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran. Health Sciences Research Center, Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran

3 Clinical Instructor Mpilo School of Midwifery Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe Confederation of Midwives, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


Objective: During recent years, evidence-based practice as a way to support higher standards of care was emphasized by health care policymakers. Sexual dysfunction (SD) is a common problem that affects the quality of life in individuals. Today, the use of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) for treating SD has been considered, so this study was performed to evaluate the current evidence for the efficacy and safety of ginkgo in treating SD.
Materials and Methods: In this review study, electronic databases of PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, Google Scholar, Web of science and Persian databases such as SID and Magiran were searched up to March 2020, to identify all the studies reporting the effect of GBE for effectiveness on sexual function and its safety. The search was performed using the keywords of Ginkgo, Ginkgo biloba, Complementary and alternative medicine, women sexual dysfunction, and male sexual dysfunction. The quality of included studies was assessed using the Oxford Center for Evidence Based Medicine checklist.
Results: Among 156 articles found in the initial search, 5 randomized controlled trials (475 participants) were selected for this study. After a meticulous review, we found that G. biloba can have positive effects on the sexual function of postmenopausal women, while evidence shows that it has no effect on the sexual function of antidepressants users. Headaches and gastrointestinal disturbance were among the adverse events mentioned in several trials.
Conclusion: We concluded that G. biloba has limited positive effects on sexual function and more studies are needed to confirm these findings.


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