Ginseng - Get the Facts on Herbal Supplements

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  • Based on human research, ginseng may lower blood sugar levels.<a href="#hdng0">(More...)</a>

  • When taken by mouth, ginseng is usually well tolerated.<a href="#hdng1">(More...)</a>



<a name="hdng0"></a>Based on human research, ginseng may lower blood sugar levels. This effect may be greater in patients with diabetes than in non-diabetics. Use cautiously in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. <a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Several human studies report that ginseng may lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Several studies suggest ginseng may lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes before and after meals. These results are promising, especially because ginseng does not seem to lower blood sugar to dangerous levels.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Weak studies suggest that ginseng in combination with other herbs may improve cell activity, immune function, and red and white blood cell counts in patients with aplastic anemia. Other studies have found decreases in blood cell counts.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Several studies report that ginseng may modestly improve thinking or learning. Benefits have been seen both in healthy young people and in older ill patients.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Several studies report that ginseng may boost the immune system, improve the effectiveness of antibiotics in people with acute bronchitis, and enhance the body's response to flu vaccines.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early small studies report that Fuyuan mixture, an herbal combination that contains ginseng, may improve symptoms of multi-infarct dementia.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early results are promising, but many studies have used combination products, making it difficult to evaluate the effect of ginseng. More research using ginseng alone is needed in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> A combination of herbs that included ginseng was not better than treatment with a conventional medicine plus traditional Chinese medicine. More research is needed in this area because the effects of ginseng alone are unknown.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Limited research suggests that ginseng has positive effects on breathing. Further studies are needed in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early studies suggest that ginseng may have beneficial effects on neurological disorders. High-quality studies are needed in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early studies suggest that ginseng may have protective effects on the liver. Additional human study is warranted in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early studies suggest that ginseng may have a positive effect on complications of cardiac bypass surgery, including decreasing damage to the lining of the digestive tract.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> More studies are needed to understand the effects of ginseng on cholesterol levels.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early studies show that ginseng may improve some aspects of liver function but not others. More research is needed in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Athletes commonly use ginseng as a potential way to improve stamina. It remains unclear if ginseng taken by mouth significantly affects exercise performance. Many studies have been published in this area, with mixed results.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare provider, and medication adjustments may be necessary. There are reports of nosebleeds and vaginal bleeding with ginseng use, although scientific study is limited in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Based on limited animal research, and individual reports of nosebleeds and vaginal bleeding in humans, ginseng may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with other drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol, and may cause nausea or vomiting when taken with metronidazole (Flagyl®) or disulfiram (Antabuse®). In early research, ginseng has been reported to increase removal of alcohol from the blood, although this has not been well substantiated.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Ginseng was reported to improve lung function and exercise capacity in patients with COPD. Further research is needed to confirm these results.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Some mixed results have also been reported. Therefore, even though most available evidence supports this use of ginseng, better research is needed before a strong recommendation can be made.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early evidence in infants with peri-anal abscesses or anal fistulas suggests that GTTC (Ginseng and Tang-kuei Ten Combination) may speed up recovery. Further research is needed to confirm these results.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Early evidence suggests that a form of ginseng not commonly available in the United States may improve kidney damage in patients with diabetes.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Some evidence suggests that ginseng may improve blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early evidence suggests that ginseng may improve male fertility by increasing the number and movement of sperm.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Ginseng may improve body weight, quality of life, and the immune response. Although this evidence is promising, the effect of ginseng alone is not clear.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Without further evidence on the effects of ginseng specifically, a firm conclusion cannot be reached.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> A Chinese study reports that the effects of the cardiac glycoside drug digoxin (Lanoxin®) may be increased when used with ginseng in patients with heart failure.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Ginseng may have estrogen-like effects and has been associated with reports of breast tenderness, loss of menstrual periods, vaginal bleeding after menopause, breast enlargement (reported in men), difficulty developing or maintaining an erection, or increased "sexual responsiveness." Avoid use of ginseng in patients with hormone sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, or endometriosis.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, some cases with garlic, and fewer cases with saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases. In theory, ginseng may decrease the effects of diuretic herbs, such as horsetail or licorice.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Animal studies and early human research suggests that ginseng may be safe, although safety has not been clearly established in humans. Therefore, ginseng use cannot be recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Neonatal death and the development of male characteristics in a developing baby girl after her mother was exposed to ginseng during pregnancy has been reported.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> There is currently not enough evidence to support the use of ginseng for this condition. High-quality studies are needed to understand this relationship.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early research suggests that ginseng may lower blood pressure (systolic and diastolic). It is not clear what doses may be safe or effective. Well-conducted studies are needed to confirm these early results.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> A few studies using ginseng extract G115® (with or without multivitamins) report improvements in patients with fatigue of various causes. These results are early, and studies have not been high quality.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Most studies are not high quality, and results are mixed. It remains unclear if ginseng is beneficial for well-being in any patient.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Several studies have examined the effects of ginseng (with or without multivitamins) on overall well-being in healthy and ill patients, for up to 12 weeks.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Several studies have looked at the effects of ginseng in a variety of lung conditions.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Medication adjustments may be needed. Headache, tremors, mania, or insomnia may occur if ginseng is combined with prescription anti-depressant drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as isocarboxazid (Marplan®), phenelzine (Nardil®), and tranylcypromine (Parnate®). Ginseng may alter the effects of blood pressure or heart medications, including calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine (Procardia®).<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Ginseng appears to have antioxidant effects that may benefit patients with heart disorders.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Poorly described research in patients treated with Shenmai and Shengmai injection (a ginseng preparation) report that there may be some improvement in heart function.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Based on limited research, it is unclear if ginseng improves congestive heart failure.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Based on limited research, it is unclear if ginseng may help treat menopausal symptoms.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Future research should focus on the long-term effects of ginseng in managing blood sugar levels.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> There is a reported case of decreased effects of the diuretic drug furosemide (Lasix®) when used with ginseng.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Consumption of ginseng may increase or and decrease blood pressure. Caution should be used in those with high or low blood pressure or in those taking drugs for either of these conditions.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Ginseng has been well tolerated by most people in scientific studies when used at recommended doses, and serious side effects appear to be rare.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> A few studies report that ginseng taken by mouth may lower the risk of developing some cancers, especially if ginseng powder or extract is used.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Capsules containing 100-200 milligrams of a standardized ginseng extract (4% ginsenosides) have been taken by mouth once or twice daily for up to 12 weeks. 0.5-2 grams of dry ginseng root, taken daily by mouth in divided doses, has also been used.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> There is a case of the effectiveness of the "blood thinner" warfarin (Coumadin®) being reduced when taken at the same time as ginseng.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> There is also evidence in humans of ginseng reducing the effectiveness of the "blood thinning" medication warfarin (Coumadin®).<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> There is limited laboratory evidence that ginseng may contain estrogen-like chemicals and may affect medications with estrogen-like or estrogen-blocking properties. This has not been well demonstrated in humans.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Effects of ginseng in type 1 diabetes ("insulin dependent") are not well studied.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Kim JH, Park CY, Lee SJ. Effects of sun ginseng on subjective quality of life in cancer patients: a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early studies suggest that ginseng injections may help patients undergoing chemotherapy for various types of cancer.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Some studies suggest that ginseng also reduces oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol and brain tissue.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Several studies from China report that ginseng in combination with various other herbs may reduce symptoms of coronary artery disease.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> A review of several studies suggested that ginseng may improve mood and anxiety in postmenopausal women.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment. Headache, tremors, mania, and insomnia may occur if ginseng is combined with supplements that have monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) activity or that interact with MAOI drugs.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> In theory, ginseng may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. The levels of these drugs may be increased in the blood and may cause increased effects or potentially serious side effects.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

High doses of ginseng have been associated with rare cases of temporary swelling of blood vessels in the brain (cerebral arteritis), abnormal dilation of the pupils of the eye or confusion.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Current evidence does not support the use of ginseng to reduce the risk of heart disease.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> There is early evidence that ginseng may increase the QTc interval (thus increasing the risk of abnormal heart rhythms) and decrease diastolic blood pressure two hours after ingestion in healthy adults. Therefore, caution is advised with other agents that may cause abnormal heart rhythms.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Do not combine ginseng with heart or blood pressure medications without first talking to a qualified healthcare provider.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Use cautiously if combining ginseng with other products that affect blood pressure.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> People with diabetes should seek the care of a qualified healthcare practitioner and should not use ginseng instead of more proven therapies.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> People with known allergies to Panax species and/or plants in the Araliaceae family should avoid ginseng.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Practitioners sometimes recommended that after using ginseng continuously for 2-3 weeks, people should take a break for 1-2 weeks.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Buettner C, Yeh GY, Phillips RS, et al. Systematic review of the effects of ginseng on cardiovascular risk factors.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> The effects of ginseng alone are not clear, and no firm conclusion can be drawn.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Jiang X, Williams KM, Liauw WS, et al. Effect of St John's wort and ginseng on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of warfarin in healthy subjects.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Hong B, Ji YH, Hong JH, et al. A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> A severe life-threatening rash known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome occurred in one patient and may have been due to contaminants in a ginseng product.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> In patients treated with Hochu-ekki-to, which contains ginseng and several other herbs, urinary MRSA has been reported to decrease after 10 weeks.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> In theory, ginseng may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Ginseng may also interact with cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antiviral, antipsychotic, steroid, glucocorticoid, immunomodulator, and erectile dysfunction herbs and supplements as well as DHEA, caffeine, mate, and guarana.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Ginseng (CVT-E002) may be safe, well tolerated, and potentially effective for preventing acute respiratory illnesses caused by the flu or the respiratory syncytial virus. More study is needed in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Ginseng may also interact with cholesterol-lowering, anti-cancer, antiviral, antipsychotic, erectile dysfunction, immunomodulator, and glucocorticoid drugs, as well as caffeine.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

There is report of seizures after high consumption of energy drinks containing caffeine, guarana, and herbal supplements, including ginseng.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Ginseng may interact with sedatives or other supplements that affect the central nervous system.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Cardinal BJ, Engels HJ. Ginseng does not enhance psychological well-being in healthy, young adults: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Some sources suggest consuming ginseng tea via the above method 3-4 times daily for 3-4 weeks.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> There is not enough scientific information available to recommend the safe use of ginseng in children.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Examples include Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng), Pseudostellaria heterophylla (prince ginseng), Angelica sinensis (female ginseng, or dong quai), Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng or ashwagandha), Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng), Lepidium meyenii (Peruvian ginseng or maca), Gynostemma pentaphyllum (southern ginseng or jiaogulan).<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Inhalation of ginseng root dust has been associated with immediate and late-onset asthma.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> A ginseng root extract has been studied in athletes for 28 days at a dose of 400 milligrams daily.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

The term ginseng refers to several species of the genus Panax. For more than 2,000 years, the roots of this slow-growing plant have been valued in Chinese medicine. The two most commonly used species are Asian ginseng ( Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer), which is almost extinct in its natural habitat but is still cultivated, and American ginseng ( P. quinquefolius L.), which is both harvested from the wild and cultivated.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Hartley DE, Elsabagh S, File SE. Gincosan (a combination of Ginkgo biloba and Panax ginseng): the effects on mood and cognition of 6 and 12 weeks' treatment in post-menopausal women.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early studies suggest that applying an herbal combination containing Panax ginseng on the penis may help treat premature ejaculation. Because ginseng was tested with other herbs, its individual effects are unclear.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early studies suggest that a product containing Panax ginseng, L-arginine, Ginkgo biloba, damiana, and multivitamin/minerals may improve sexual function in menopausal women and women with decreased sex drives.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early studies suggest that ginseng may improve fatigue and measures of well-being among patients receiving radiation therapy. There is not enough evidence to recommend the use of Panax ginseng or American ginseng for this use.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> There is early evidence that Panax ginseng or American ginseng may help improve quality of life in both healthy and ill patients, although effects may not be long-lasting unless ginseng is taken continually. More research is needed in this area before a firm conclusion can be reached.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Research in humans suggests that American ginseng may reduce the anticoagulant (blood thinning) effects of warfarin (Coumadin®).<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early small studies suggest that American ginseng may help treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. There is currently not enough evidence to support this use of ginseng.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early studies have tested the effect of a combination product containing ginseng on recovery after surgery among breast cancer patients.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Dosing adjustments may be necessary. Several cases of severe drops in white blood cell counts were reported in people using a combination product containing ginseng in the 1970s; this may have been due to contamination.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Combination herbal products containing ginseng may help treat refractory idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a blood disorder that does not respond well to treatment.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> A case report describes liver damage (cholestatic hepatitis) after taking a combination product containing ginseng.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

When applied on the skin, 0.20 grams of SS-cream containing ginseng has been used to treat premature ejaculation.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Several low-quality studies have examined the effects of Panax ginseng on cholesterol levels.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Early studies have found that components of Panax ginseng might be useful in treating intrauterine growth retardation. Larger, well-designed studies are needed in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Studies with Panax ginseng alone are needed before strong recommendations can be made.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Coleman CI, Hebert JH, Reddy P. The effects of Panax ginseng on quality of life.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Avoid confusing Panax ginseng species with Eleutherococcus senticosus, which is also known as Siberian ginseng. Other species may be referred to as ginseng as well, but they are either from a different family or genus.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Siberian ginseng synonyms: Acanthopanax senticosus, ci wu jia, ciwujia, devil's bush, devil's shrub, eleuthera, eleuthero, eleuthero ginseng, eleutherococ, eleutherococci radix, Eleutherococcus, Eleutherococcus senticosus, phytoestrogen, shigoka, touch-me-not, wild pepper, wu-jia, wu-jia-pi, ussuri, ussurian thorny pepperbrush. Note: Siberian ginseng is not covered in this review.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Cicero AF, Derosa G, Brillante R, et al. Effects of Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus maxim.) on elderly quality of life: a randomized clinical trial.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Siberian ginseng does not contain the ginsenosides found in the Panax species, which are believed to be active ingredients and have been studied.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Anderson GD, Rosito G, Mohustsy MA, et al. Drug interaction potential of soy extract and Panax ginseng.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Panax ginseng tea may be made by soaking about 3,000 milligrams (3 grams) of chopped fresh root or 1,500 milligrams (1.5 grams) of dried root powder in about 5 ounces of boiling water for 5-15 minutes and then straining the tea.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

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<a name="hdng1"></a>When taken by mouth, ginseng is usually well tolerated. Some sources suggest that its use be limited to 3 months because of concerns about the development of side effects. <a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Some studies have shown that Asian ginseng may lower blood glucose. Other studies indicate possible beneficial effects on immune function.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

To date, research results on Asian ginseng are not conclusive enough to prove health claims associated with the herb.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Treatment claims for Asian ginseng are numerous and include the use of the herb to support overall health and boost the immune system.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

Asian ginseng is one of several types of true ginseng (another is American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius ).<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The root of Asian ginseng contains active chemical components called ginsenosides (or panaxosides) that are thought to be responsible for the herb's medicinal properties.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Asian ginseng is native to China and Korea and has been used in various systems of medicine for many centuries.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

An herb called Siberian ginseng or eleuthero ( Eleutherococcus senticosus ) is not a true ginseng.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Areas of recent NCCAM-funded research include Asian ginseng's interactions with other herbs and drugs and the herb's potential to treat chronic lung infection, impaired glucose tolerance, and Alzheimer's disease.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

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IN-DEPTH<image src="apx4.jpg" alt="Detailed Info, highly relevant to your research."></a>

Section Contents:
  • To purchase a Ginseng Harvester License online, visit our Online Licensing Center Online Licensing Center.<a href="#hdng2">(More...)</a>

  • The Good Stewardship Harvesting of Wild American Ginseng brochures were developed in conjunction with the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), State ginseng coordinators, the board of United Plant Savers (UpS), and the board of the Roots of Appalachia Growers Association (RAGA) for the Ohio brochure.<a href="#hdng3">(More...)</a>

  • Though ginseng grows wild throughout the Mountain State, more than half of the wild harvest came from eight contiguous counties in the state's southwestern corner (Kanawha, Boone, Fayette, Raleigh, McDowell, Wyoming, Mingo, and Logan).<a href="#hdng4">(More...)</a>



<a name="hdng2"></a>To purchase a Ginseng Harvester License online, visit our Online Licensing Center Online Licensing Center. <a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> Dealers may purchase Wisconsin wild ginseng only from licensed harvesters or licensed dealers and should record the seller's name, address and license numbers on purchase receipts issued by the Department of Natural Resources. Records must be kept of each transaction (purchase and sales) by the dealers who report them annually on forms provided by the Department.<a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> Any person who buys at least eight ounces of wild ginseng in Wisconsin for the purpose of resale is considered a dealer and is required to have a Wisconsin Dealer's License.<a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> Harvester's wild ginseng regulations and licenses are available at all of our License Sales Agents License Sales Agents.<a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a>

Wild ginseng ( Panax quinquefolium ) is defined as ginseng that is not grown or nurtured by a person. This includes all wild simulated ginseng, from wild or cultivated seeds, planted in a wild forest habitat and not tended in any way prior to harvest.<a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> Shipments with underage or cultivated roots will be refused at the port of export and returned to the dealer for removal of roots that cannot be legally exported. The information on this page is from the Wild Ginseng Regulations Wild Ginseng Regulations pamphlet which also contains guidelines for harvesting and replanting ginseng to maintain populations.<a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> Dealers are also responsible for ensuring that all roots sold for export as wild ginseng are indeed wild, are five years or older and were legally harvested.<a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a>

State certification by the DNR is required for all of the wild ginseng leaving the state.<a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> Recognizing that commercial demands may cause over harvesting of ginseng, Wisconsin law regulates the harvest, sale and purchase of wild ginseng in the state. In order to promote the most sustainable harvesting practices, international trade agreements permit U.S. export of wild ginseng only from those states that can annually show that harvest and export are not harming the wild ginseng resource.<a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a>

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<a name="hdng3"></a>The Good Stewardship Harvesting of Wild American Ginseng brochures were developed in conjunction with the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), State ginseng coordinators, the board of United Plant Savers (UpS), and the board of the Roots of Appalachia Growers Association (RAGA) for the Ohio brochure. <a href="http://www.fws.gov/international/animals/ginindx.html" TARGET="_blank" [4]</a> The brochures also provide information on current State and Federal regulations that apply to harvesters and buyers of wild American ginseng, and contact information for each State regulatory office.<a href="http://www.fws.gov/international/animals/ginindx.html" TARGET="_blank" [4]</a> There are 19 State-specific brochures, one for each State approved by the FWS for the export of wild American ginseng.<a href="http://www.fws.gov/international/animals/ginindx.html" TARGET="_blank" [4]</a>

All 19 brochures are available for download at AHPA Website. A second brochure, which describes the requirements to export wild American ginseng is available for download download.<a href="http://www.fws.gov/international/animals/ginindx.html" TARGET="_blank" [4]</a> By following the guidelines presented in the brochures, collectors will contribute to the sustainable future of wild American ginseng.<a href="http://www.fws.gov/international/animals/ginindx.html" TARGET="_blank" [4]</a>

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<a name="hdng4"></a>Though ginseng grows wild throughout the Mountain State, more than half of the wild harvest came from eight contiguous counties in the state's southwestern corner (Kanawha, Boone, Fayette, Raleigh, McDowell, Wyoming, Mingo, and Logan). "It's always been like that," said Bob Whipkey, who monitors the export of ginseng for the state's Division of Forestry. <a href="http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/tending/essay1a.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a> Because of wild ginseng's limited range and extraordinary value (diggers are averaging $450 per pound for the dried wild root), the federal government has been monitoring the export of ginseng (both wild and cultivated) since 1978.<a href="http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/tending/essay1a.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a>

Tucked into the display on the wall behind the bar is a set of framed and laminated leaves. Most people would be hard put to identify this specimen, but for many of the tavern's regular patrons it represents an extraordinary trophy and object of desire: the stalk from a rare six-prong ginseng plant, Panax quinquefolia.<a href="http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/tending/essay1a.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a> Of nineteen states authorized to export wild ginseng, West Virginia came in second, behind Kentucky, which certified 52,993 pounds.<a href="http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/tending/essay1a.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a>

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<a name="sources"><a href="#" onclick="toggle_visibility('srcs'); return false;" title="Most Informative Documents, used in preparation of this report.">
SELECTED SOURCES<image src="apx4.jpg" alt="Most Informative Documents, used in preparation of this report."></a>



1. <a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank">MedlinePlus Herbs and Supplements: Ginseng (American ginseng, Asian ginseng, Chinese ginseng, Korean red ginseng, Panax ginseng: Panax spp. including P. ginseng C.C. Meyer and P. quinquefolius L., excluding Eleutherococcus senticosus)</a>
<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginseng.html</a>

2. <a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/" TARGET="_blank">Asian Ginseng [NCCAM Herbs at a Glance]</a>
<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/" TARGET="_blank">http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/</a>

3. <a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm" TARGET="_blank">Ginseng Regulations - WDNR</a>
<a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm" TARGET="_blank">http://dnr.wi.gov/ORG/LAND/ER/laws/ginseng.htm</a>

4. <a href="http://www.fws.gov/international/animals/ginindx.html" TARGET="_blank">Wild American Ginseng</a>
<a href="http://www.fws.gov/international/animals/ginindx.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.fws.gov/international/animals/ginindx.html</a>

5. <a href="http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/tending/essay1a.html" TARGET="_blank">Tending the Commons: Folklife and Landscape in Southern West Virginia - American Ginseng and the Idea of the Commons - (American Memory from the Library of Congress)</a>
<a href="http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/tending/essay1a.html" TARGET="_blank">http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/tending/essay1a.html</a>

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