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Vitamins and natural products
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;
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;
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.
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