Abstract The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the effects of an extract of Ginkgo biloba (EGB) on blood glucose levels, on local cerebral blood flow as well as on cerebral glucose concentration and consumption. The local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) was measured in conscious rats by means of the 14C-iodoantipyrine technique and local cerebral glucose utilization (LCGU) by 14C-2-deoxy-glucose autoradiography. EGB increased the LCBF in 39 analyzed, anatomically defined brain structures by 50 to 100 per cent. No influence of EGB on LCGU was demonstrable. However, EGB enhanced the blood glucose level dose-dependently. Substrates and metabolites of energy metabolism were measured in the cortex of the isolated rat brain perfused at constant rate and with 7 mmol/1 glucose added to the perfusion medium. In these experiments EGB decreased the cortical glucose concentration without other substrate levels being changed. These results suggest that glucose uptake may be inhibited by EGB. It is argued that the effects of EGB on brain glucose concentration and blood flow may contribute to its protection of brain tissue against ischemic or hypoxic damage.