Ginkgo for Raynaud's
Dr Mark Porter flagged up the use of Ginkgo biloba for Raynaud’s Disease in the Times this week. For those looking for remedies for this common and painful condition, which is notoriously difficult to treat, there is some encouraging research available. 
Raynaud’s can be found alongside other cardiovascular conditions but is often experienced without any other associated ailment or obvious cause. The aim of this research was to investigate the clinical efficacy of a standardised Ginkgo biloba extract in patients with Raynaud’s Disease and no associated condition.
During episodes of this condition, fingers and/or toes can become cold to the point of turning completely white, with extreme pain when circulation returns. In this research a 2-week assessment period was used initially, during which patients were asked to record in diaries the frequency, severity and duration of attacks. Subjects were then randomised to receive either active or placebo treatment for 10 weeks. Patients were seen after 2 weeks and 4 weeks of treatment and at the end of the 10-week treatment phase.
The number of attacks per week was reduced by 56% in the group receiving Ginkgo biloba, but only 27% in the placebo group. This gives some hope to those who have not found success with other means of treating this problem.
 Muir AH et al. The use of Ginkgo biloba in Raynaud’s disease: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Vasc Med 2002; 7: 265-7.