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Side Effects of Ginseng

Find out all the possible side effects of ginseng before taking this popular Asian herb. In general, the reported side effects are mild and increases with higher dosage used.

Start with a lower dose and increase gradually to allow your body to get used to it.

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Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings

In many research studies, human subjects reported very few side effects of ginseng use.

The most commonly reported side effect is insomnia. Other less common but possible side effects include high blood pressure, diarrhea, restlessness, mastalgia and one case of vaginal bleeding.

When used as a cream application on the penis, there may be a burning or stinging sensation. It may also desensitize the penis and thus delay ejaculation.

Safe - In appropriate doses, research studies show that ginseng is shown to be safe to use.

Pregnancy and Lactation - There is limited studies. Avoid taking during pregnancy and breastfeeding when possible.

Children - Exercise caution if using in children as it might act as a stimulant.

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Common Drug & Health Condition Interactions

Warfarin / Blood Thinning Medications - caution

Research studies in human does not show this herb to affect blood clotting. However, studies done in laboratory settings shows it to reduce blood clotting.

Let your doctor monitor your PT or INR levels when starting or stopping this supplement. These would include Aspirin (ASA), Plavix (clopidogrel) and several others.

Diabetic Medications / Insulin - caution

Ginseng may lower blood sugar levels. Monitor your blood sugar levels more frequently when you are starting or stopping this supplement.

These would include Diabeta (glyburide), Glucophage (metformin), Actos (pioglitazone), Avandia (rosiglitazone), Amaryl (glimepiride), Diamicron (glicazlide), Humulin and Novolin insulins, and others.

Cyclosporine / Immune Suppressing Medications - theoretical

Ginseng is suspected to stimulate the immune system. Thus, in theory, it might counteract the effects of immune suppressing medications.

These would include Neoral or Sandimmune (cyclosporine), CellCept (mycophenolate), Prograf (tacrolimus), Deltasone (prednisone) and many others.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) - caution

Ginseng has been reported to increase blood pressure at a low dose but can decrease blood pressure at higher doses. Consult a healthcare professional and monitor your blood pressure when starting or stopping this supplement.

Autoimmune Disease - caution

Ginseng seems to stimulate the immune system. In people with an immune disorder such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), psoriasis or ezcema (ectopic dermatitis), it may worsen the condition.

Use with caution under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Ginseng and General Information

Our main guide provides information about this popular Asian supplement.

Ginseng Facts

Discover interesting facts about ginseng in this short article.

Dosage & How to Take It

What is the recommended ginseng dosage to use for various health problem?
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