Side Effects of Ginseng

November 12, 2012

Side Effects of Ginseng

Ginseng has been used for hundreds of years as an overall energy tonic and a wide range of health issues. Ginseng has been touted to lessen anxiety, mental stress and increase alertness, lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, aid in digestion, increase endurance, inhibit cancer cell growth and enhance the immune system. Recent studies indicate that ginseng helps to boost the production of endorphins in the brain that provide for a sense of well being. However, there can be a number of ginseng side effects that you should know about. One of the problems with natural supplements is the herbal content they contain, purity and bioavailability. All of these things will affect how well ginseng works as well as ginseng side effects. It has been reported that vitamin C alters absorption of ginseng. In some cases it increases absorption and in others it decreases absorption. Although ginseng has been studies scientifically, there is little information available that isn’t contradictory. In using ginseng as a natural supplement, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether it is working for the application you had in mind. There have been reports that ginseng can cause headaches, sleeplessness, anxiety and breast soreness. Ginseng side effects reported by consumers also include skin rashes, asthma attacks, hypertension (high blood pressure), diarrhea, euphoria, edginess, post-menopausal uterine bleeding. If you experience any of the above ginseng side effects, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist as soon as possible.

As ginseng makes you feel alert and energized, it is considered a stimulant. Because of this, you want to be careful taking other stimulates at the same time. Some stimulants that work in a synergistic way with ginseng include caffeine and pseudoephedrine. These can increase heart rate and generate nervousness and anxiety. Ginseng has components that act as blood thinners effectively increasing blood circulation to the brain and body. If you have clotting problems and are on prescription medications such Warfarin, Coumadin or aspirin, consult with your healthcare provider before you take it. It could cause serious internal bleeding in some individuals. If you are planning to have surgery soon, you should stop taking ginseng in advance so that it can clear your system so that excessive bleeding doesn’t occur during your surgery. This is also true of gingko biloba. Be careful of ginseng side effects.

Ginseng side effects also include mania when taken with other drugs such as phenelzine. Ginseng may make seizures worse although there is little scientific information available, mostly anecdotal. Studies indicate that ginseng should not be taken with estrogens or corticosteroids because of its additive effects. Ginseng should not be taken with digoxin because it interferes with its action. Ginseng also inhibits the analgesic effect of opioids and should therefore not be given with these pain killers.

Although ginseng side effects may be serious for some, this natural herb has been supporting a number of health issues for centuries. Nevertheless, if you experiencing any ginseng side effects, make sure to report them to you healthcare provider to make sure you are alright.


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