Major therapeutic interest
- Improving cognitive functions and mental capacities;
- Stimulating the system during periods of intense physical activity, stress, or excessive fatigue;
- Stimulating overall physical and mental well-being;
- Stimulating the immune system;
- Improving quality of life during menopause.
Other therapeutic interest / Traditional Use
- Increasing physical resistance;
- Using as a restorative agent during convalescence;
- Improving sexual performance in men (erectile dysfunction when taken orally, premature ejaculation when used topically);
- Increasing libido in both sexes;
- Stabilizing blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes;
- Decreasing susceptibility to illness;
- Improving overall health and longevity (in traditional Chinese medicine).
- Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, or if close relatives have been diagnosed with hormone-dependent cancers as the estrogenic compounds in ginseng may promote growth of estrogen-dependent tumors;
- Schizophrenia: Possible nervousness and insomnia;
- Bleeding disorders;
- Pre-menopausal women with irregular hormone cycles;
- Breastfeeding: Safety has not yet been established;
- When used with other stimulants like caffeine, tea, cocaine, amphetamine, or ephedrine its derivatives;
- High blood pressure;
- Heart problems;
- Diabetes: May trigger hypoglycemia (use carefully, with closely monitored blood glucose levels);
- Compromised immune system, autoimmune disease and degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis;
- Following an organ or tissue transplant (risk of rejection).
- It is recommended that you stop taking ginseng 1 week before surgery.
Known human interactions
- Antidiuretic effect observed with Lasix (Furosemide);
- High blood pressure when taken with caffeine;
- Decreased effect of Coumadin (one reported case).
Known animal interactions
- Stabilization of blood sugar levels resulting in possible potentiation of the effects of insulin and oral antidiabetic drugs like Actos, Diabeta, Diamicron, Avandia, and Glucophage;
- May increase the effects of anticoagulants/antithrombotic agents (Coumadin, Lovenox, heparin, etc.), anti-platelet drugs (Plavix, Ticlid), and of salicylic acid derivatives (acetylsalicylic acid or ASA, aspirin, Entrophen, etc.) and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (Voltaren, Ibuprofen [Advil, Motrin], Naprosyn, etc.);
- May reduce the effects of corticosteroids like Prednisone and immunosuppressive drugs like Imuran, Neoral, Sandimmune, and Prograf, etc.;
- May alter metabolism of codeine, Clozaril, Norpramin, Aricept, Duragesic, Tambocor, Prozac, Demerol, and many others;
- May reduce the sedative effects of drugs acting on the central nervous system like Ativan, Lectopam, Oxazepam, Valium, Xanax (Alprazolam), and barbiturates, etc.;
- May increase the effect of some antidepressants, and possibly increase the effects of Nardil, Parnate, etc. (monoamine oxidase inhibitors [MAOIs]), ; possible headaches, insomnia, hypomania;
- May increase effects of stimulants like theophylline, caffeine, and ephedrine and its derivatives (like synephrine and phenylephrine): Benylin, Dimetapp, DM Decongestant, Dristan, Neo Citran, Sudafed, etc.;
- May alter the effects of hormone replacement therapy (Premarin, Evista, etc.), tamoxifen (Tamofen), and oral contraceptives (Alesse, Diane-35, Marvelon, Min-Ovral, Ortho 0.5/35, Triphasil, etc.)
Panax, Chinese ginseng, Korean ginseng, Asian ginseng
Fresh or dried root
- Ginsenosides, amino acids and peptides, essential oil, vitamins (B1, B2, B12, and C), folic acid, sterols, fatty acid, mineral substances, and trace elements.