One of the most frequent questions asked by my patients, is whether a “natural” product found on the internet or a dietary supplement, could be used to treat or perhaps even cure their vitiligo. Despite my explanations about the lack of science, the ever-present danger of charlatans and a warning that “if it sounds too good to be true it usually is” patients and their families all too easily part with their hard-earned money. Gluten free diets, vitamin B12 supplements, antioxidant and vitamin C infusions have all been recommended and tried in the hope that it just might work? Unfortunately, disappointment invariably follows.
That said, Dermatologists and scientists are continuing to investigate the potential for herbal supplements to benefit vitiligo sufferers.
Gingko Biloba, from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree, is one such herb which is showing some interesting results in small studies.
Gingko biloba has been shown to possess quite potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant therapies and in medical studies has been tested using an extract of ginkgo, standardised to 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones (60mg dosage form)
In one such trial, therapy with Ginkgo Biloba without any other treatment at 120mg daily for 2 months, arrested disease activity in all patients and led to an average re-pigmentation of 15%. Other studies have shown greater benefit when Ginkgo Biloba is combined with traditional vitiligo therapies particularly medically delivered phototherapy. This combination is best discussed and undertaken under the supervision of a vitiligo patient’s dermatologist