GinkgoRaynaud's Disease

Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 to treat Raynaud’s

Cold temperatures or strong emotions in people with Raynaud’s phenomenon (disease) result in blood vessel spasms (attacks), which block blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears, and nose.

Researchers at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, in the Netherlands explored the possible beneficial effects and tolerability of Ginkgo biloba special extract EGb 761.

First, the details.

  • 41 patients with Raynaud disease were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 10 weeks.
    • EGb 761, 120 mg twice daily
    • Placebo
  • Patients reported any change in the frequency, duration, and severity of vasospastic attacks.
  • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

And, the results.

  • The frequency of daily attacks went from 3.6 to 2.4 (-33%) in the EGb 761 group vs 2.9 to 2.0 (-31%) in the placebo group — no significant difference between groups.
  • No significant differences were found in the duration and severity of vasospastic attacks between the EGb 761 and placebo.
  • 17 side effects were reported
    • 6 from 5 patients in the EGb 761 group
    • 11 from 8 patients in the placebo group
  • Serious adverse events did not occur.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “EGb 761 treatment… could not demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in clinically relevant symptoms compared to placebo.

The data on CAM to treat Raynaud’s phenomenon is sparse.

1/16/12 20:28 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.