Ginkgo biloba is an herb that's been used to treat a variety of conditions over thousands of years, including certain types of dementia. And currently, it's being studied for its ability to reduce symptoms of PMS, altitude sickness, chemotherapy-induced end-organ vascular damage and symptoms of depression.
Ginkgo biloba may be effective in relieving minor depression in elderly individuals. It contains antioxidants that counter free radicals in the body and the effects of aging. Free radicals may adversely affect the serotonin receptors in our brains as we age, making the elderly a higher-risk for depression. Ginkgo biloba may help increase our serotonin levels and protein synthesis -- a combination that may alleviate depressive symptoms in some people.