Public Release: 

Popular herbal remedy fails effectiveness test for tinnitus

BMJ

Effectiveness of Ginkgo biloba in treating tinnitus: double blind, placebo controlled trial

A popular herbal remedy, Ginkgo biloba is no better than a placebo in treating tinnitus (ringing in the ears) according to results of the largest trial of Ginkgo biloba for treatment of tinnitus in this week's BMJ.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham identified 1,121 healthy people with tinnitus. 559 received 12 weeks treatment with Ginkgo biloba extract and 562 received a placebo. Tinnitus was assessed using several questionnaires - before treatment began, after 4 and 12 weeks of treatment, and 2 weeks after treatment ended. They found that Ginkgo biloba extract was no more effective than placebo in treating tinnitus alone.

Ginkgo biloba extract has in the past been shown to have therapeutic effects on symptoms of cerebral insufficiency including memory disturbances and cognitive deficits such as tinnitus, but previous studies on tinnitus alone (without accompanying other symptoms of cerebral insufficiency) were small, often poorly controlled and had inconsistent results, say the authors.

###

Contact:

Shelley Drew, Research Associate, Division of Neuroscience, University of Birmingham, UK Email: s.j.drew@bham.ac.uk

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.