Possible Harmful Interaction
The herb ginkgo
has been used to treat Alzheimer's disease and ordinary age-related memory loss, among many other conditions.
This interaction involves potential contaminants in ginkgo, not ginkgo itself.
A recent study found that a natural nerve toxin present in the seeds of
made its way into standardized ginkgo extracts prepared from the leaves.
This toxin has been associated with convulsions and death in laboratory animals.
Fortunately, the detected amounts of this toxic substance are considered harmless.
However, given the lack of satisfactory standardization of herbal formulations in the United States, it is possible that some batches of product might contain higher contents of the toxin depending on the season of harvest.
In light of these findings, taking a ginkgo product that happened to contain significant levels of the nerve toxin might theoretically prevent an anticonvulsant from working as well as expected.