Ginseng, American

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How does Ginseng, American work?

American ginseng contains chemicals called ginsenosides that seem to affect insulin levels in the body and lower blood sugar. Other chemicals, called polysaccharides might affect the immune system.

Are there safety concerns?

American ginseng seems to be safe when used short-term. It can cause some side effects including diarrhea, itching, insomnia, headache, and nervousness. In some people, American ginseng might also cause rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, breast tenderness, vaginal bleeding in women, and other side effects. Uncommon side effects that have been reported include severe rash called Stevens-Johnson syndrome, liver damage, and severe allergic reaction.

American ginseng may not be safe in pregnancy. One of the chemicals in Panax ginseng, a plant related to American ginseng, has been linked to possible birth defects.

Do not take American ginseng if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You have insomnia.
  • You have a psychiatric condition called schizophrenia.
  • You have breast cancer.
  • You have uterine cancer.
  • You have ovarian cancer.
  • You have endometriosis.
  • You have uterine fibroids.
  • You are scheduled for surgery in the next two weeks.

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