The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Ginkgo biloba eye drops treat allergic conjunctivitis

    Researchers from Italy studied the effect of a ginkgo biloba extract + hyaluronic acid ophthalmic solution (Trium, SOOFT, Italy) on seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye).

    First, the details.

    • 60 patients with allergic conjunctivitis were randomly assigned a treatment for 1 month.
      • Ginkgo biloba extract + hyaluronic acid ophthalmic solution
      • Hyaluronic acid ophthalmic solution alone
    • Hyaluronic acid drops are used to treat “dry eyes.”

    And, the results.

    • Patients treated with ginkgo biloba extract + hyaluronic acid ophthalmic solution showed a significant decrease in conjunctival hyperemia (redness), conjunctival discharge (tearing), and chemosis (swelling) vs hyaluronic acid drops alone.
    • All patients treated with ginkgo biloba extract + hyaluronic acid ophthalmic solution showed significant improvement in subjective symptoms vs hyaluronic acid drops alone.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “The results suggest that ginkgo biloba extract may exert therapeutic activity in the treatment of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. Hyaluronic acid [alone] did not exert any valuable effect.”

    The mechanism by which this occurs isn’t clear, although a 2007 study reported that “ginkgo biloba does not influence ocular blood flow” in healthy people. So, it’s not a decongestant.

    This is all very interesting when you consider that a 2007 review listed ginkgo biloba as one of several herbals associated with ocular adverse effects when taken by mouth.

    3/25/09 22:18 JR

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