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Panax, American, Korean, Siberian Ginseng
Benefits and Side Effects Compared

Hoodia as a diet suppressant

Siberian Ginseng

Scientific Name:
Eleuthero
Other Names: Gaia Root, Acanthopanax senticosus, Ci Wu Jia, Devil's Bush, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Russian Root, Shigoka, Taiga, Thorny Pepperbush, Touch-Me-Not, Wild Pepper

Siberian Ginseng uses and benefits?

NOTE: Eleuthero is different from both American Ginseng and Panax ginseng. They are not interchangeable.

Products formerly labeled as "Siberian Ginseng" must now use the common name Eleuthero or the scientific name “Eleutherococcus senticosus”.

Like members of the Panax (true ginseng) family of plants, eleuthero is considered to be an “adaptogen”, a substance that may help individuals cope with physical and emotional stress. Ginseng is also used widely in eastern Asia to increase the capability to do physical work However, results from several studies on physical performance are inconclusive with work capacity increased in some instances but actually decreased in others.

Other findings that are more positive have resulted from animal and human studies of eleuthero’s other potential effects. Chemicals in eleuthero appear to produce moderate reductions in blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels and modest improvements in memory and concentration. Eleuthero may also have mild estrogenic effects, and it appears to boost immune system function slightly. In laboratory studies, various chemicals found in eleuthero have also shown antiviral and anticancer properties, but these effects have not been well studied in humans. All of these possible uses need to be studied further before eleuthero can be recommended.

When should I be careful taking Siberian Ginseng?

In clinical studies of both humans and animals, Siberian Eleuthero Ginseng has increased the heart rate or increased blood pressure. Both of these effects may worsen many types of heart conditions. Individuals who have heart disease, including high blood pressure and previous heart attacks, should not take eleuthero without supervision from a healthcare professional.

Even though Eleuthero Ginseng appears to be safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding, some of the other plants commonly mistaken for eleuthero are known to be harmful to developing babies or small children. Eleuthero is the safest Ginseng extract.

American, Korean, Asian and Panax Ginseng should not be taken by children, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Precautions with Siberian Ginseng and Eleuthero

Individuals with diabetes should avoid using large amounts of eleuthero because it can lower blood sugar levels, potentially resulting in hypoglycemia (blood sugar that is too low). Indications of low blood sugar include shakiness, sweating, confusion, distorted speech, and loss of muscle control. If not corrected, low blood sugar can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

What side effects should I watch for with Siberian Ginseng?

Major Side Effects

Individuals with heart disease who take Eleuthero Ginseng may experience a rapid heartbeat or high blood pressure. Long-term use (more than 2 months) of eleuthero has been associated with muscle spasms due to nerve inflammation. Therefore, taking eleuthero continuously for more than 2 months is not recommended.

Less Severe Side Effects

In studies involving humans, the most commonly reported side effects from eleuthero were:

• Anxiety
• Breast pain
• Drowsiness
• Headache

What interactions should I watch for?

Prescription Drugs

Digoxin is a drug used to increase the force and to decrease the rate of heartbeats. In one reported case, an individual taking eleuthero Ginseng at the same time as digoxin, developed increased blood levels of digoxin. No serious consequences resulted, but high digoxin blood levels could cause potentially dangerous changes in heart rhythm.

In laboratory studies, eleuthero has been shown to increase the time blood needs to clot. When it is taken with antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs, the effect of the drug may be increased, resulting in uncontrolled bleeding.

• Antiplatelet agents include Plavix and Ticlid
• Anticoagulants include heparin and warfarin

Eleuthero may interfere with insulin and oral drugs for diabetes, such as:

• Actos
• Amaryl
• Avandia
• glipizide (Glucotrol XL)
• glyburide (Glynase)
• Glyset
• metformin (Glucophage)
• Prandin
• Precose

When Eleuthero Ginseng is taken with prescription drugs that promote sleepiness, the effects of the drug may be exaggerated, resulting in sedation or mental impairment. Prescription drugs that can cause sleepiness include:

• Anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine, phenytoin and valproic acid
• Barbiturates such as Phenobarbital
• Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam and diazepam
• Drugs for insomnia such as Ambien and Sonata
• Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, doxepin and nortriptyline

Because it is broken down by certain enzymes in the liver, eleuthero may possibly interfere with the use of prescription drugs that are processed by the same enzymes. Some of these drugs are:

• Allergy drugs such as Allegra
• Antifungal drugs such as ketoconazole (Nizoral) and Sporanox
• Cancer drugs such as etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, or vincristine
• cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
• Drugs for high cholesterol such as lovastatin
• fluvoxamine
• haloperidol (Haldol)
• Oral contraceptives
• theophylline (Slo-bid, Theo-Dur)

Non-prescription Drugs

Eleuthero Ginseng can affect the ability of blood to clot after an injury. Aspirin can also delay clotting, so eleuthero should not be taken at the same time as aspirin.

The sleep-producing effects of over-the-counter products containing diphenhydramine can be enhanced by taking eleuthero at the same time. Diphenhydramine is contained in many non-prescription sleeping pills as well as in some cough and cold products, therefore caution should be used when taking these medications with eleuthero because excessive drowsiness may result.

Herbal Products

Theoretically, if Eleuthero is used with other herbs that affect blood clotting, bleeding may occur. Some of the most common herbal products that might inhibit blood clotting include:

• Danshen
• Devil's Claw
• Garlic
• Ginger • Ginkgo
• Horse Chestnut
• Panax Ginseng
• Papain
• Red Clover
• Saw Palmetto

Because Eleuthero may decrease blood sugar levels, taking it with other blood sugar-lowering herbal products may result in hypoglycemia -- blood sugar that is too low. Herbals that may reduce blood sugar include:

• Fenugreek
• Ginger (in high amounts)
• Kudzu
• Panax Ginseng

Eleuthero may cause excessive sedation if taken with other sedating herbs such as:

• Catnip
• Hops
• Kava
• St. John's Wort
• Valerian

Foods and Ginseng

Drinking alcohol at the same time as taking Eleuthero Ginseng may result in increased drowsiness.

A few individuals have reported indigestion or altered taste perception after eating spicy or bitter-tasting foods while taking eleuthero.

Some interactions between herbal products and medications can be more severe than others. The best way for you to avoid harmful interactions is to tell your doctor and/or pharmacist what medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter products, vitamins, and herbals.

Panax Ginseng

Other Names: Asian Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng, Ginseng, Guigai, Japanese Ginseng, Korean Ginseng, Ninjin, Oriental Ginseng, Panax schinseng, Red Ginseng, Seng

Who is Panax Ginbseng for?

Uses and Benefits

NOTE: Panax ginseng is different from American ginseng and Eleuthero (formerly Siberian ginseng). They are not interchangeable.

Panax Ginseng is related to, but not identical with American ginseng. Panax ginseng is native to Asia, while American ginseng originated on the North American continent. The two plants have somewhat different chemical compositions, the most notable differences are that Panax ginseng has higher levels of a ginsenoside known as Rg1 and lower levels of ginsenoside Rb1.

Panax ginseng is best known as an “adaptogen” -- a substance that may help individuals cope with physical and emotional stress. As a part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, Panax ginseng has been used to treat almost every ailment from anxiety to cancer. Currently, it is used extensively in Oriental countries to treat several illnesses, including heart conditions, and for an overall health enhancer.

In western herbal medicine, Panax ginseng’s regulating effects on the immune system have been studied for potential effectiveness in preventing colds, flu, and some forms of cancer. In clinical studies, Panax ginseng has been shown to lower blood levels of both sugar and cholesterol, therefore it may help treat type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. Its other potential uses are not as well defined, however. In separate studies of laboratory animals and humans, Panax ginseng had a relaxing effect on muscles in the lungs. The resulting airway expansion may help relieve asthma symptoms and other lung conditions that result from constricted airways. In other studies, a combination of Panax ginseng and gingko is believed to boost memory and thinking processes. Early results from laboratory study may show that chemicals in Panax ginseng promote the growth of blood vessels, which could be valuable in treating extensive injuries. All of these possible effects are under more extensive study.

Panax ginseng may be taken by mouth or applied topically, directly to the penis to treat erectile dysfunction in men. One large study revealed that taking Panax ginseng orally improved male fertility by increasing sperm count, quality, and movement. Although the exact reasons that Panax ginseng may enhance male fertility are not completely known, it is believed that chemicals in Panax ginseng may activate the body system that increases production of certain hormones. Whether Panax Ginseng increases testosterone levels in the blood is uncertain, however. Nevertheless, due to proposed hormonal activation, Panax ginseng is frequently added to sports drinks or supplements as a way to enhance athletic performance, even though no evidence supports this use.

Through the same activation of hormone production, chemicals in Panax ginseng are thought to exert an effect similar to the female hormone, estrogen. In some laboratory studies, Panax ginseng accelerated the growth of breast cancer cells, perhaps by activating estrogen receptors. Other laboratory and animal studies suggest that Panax ginseng may increase blood levels of substances that the body converts into estrogen. Results of a recent chemical analysis show that some of Panax ginseng’s possible estrogenic effects may be due to a fungus that frequently contaminates Panax ginseng roots. Much more research is needed to understand more clearly Panax ginseng’s possible hormonal effects.

When should I be careful taking Panax Giseng?

An intoxication-like syndrome has been seen in a few newborn babies who were given Panax ginseng or whose mothers took it while pregnant or breast-feeding. One documented case of an infant's death which was attributed to Panax Ginseng intoxication has been reported. Small children and babies should not be given Panax ginseng; pregnant and breast-feeding women should also avoid taking it.

Women with hormone-dependent conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, ovaries, or uterus should not take Panax ginseng due to its possible estrogenic effects. Men with prostate cancer should also avoid taking Panax ginseng.

In clinical studies of both humans and animals, Panax ginseng has slowed the rate and decreased the force of heartbeats. It has also reduced blood pressure in some cases. All of these effects may worsen some heart conditions. Individuals with any kind of heart disease should not take Panax ginseng without supervision from a healthcare professional.

Precautions

Individuals with diabetes should avoid taking large amounts of Panax ginseng because it can lower blood sugar levels, potentially resulting in hypoglycemia (blood sugar that is too low). Indications that blood sugar may be too low include shakiness, sweating, confusion, distorted speech, and loss of muscle control. If not corrected, low blood sugar can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

Taking Panax Ginseng by mouth may cause or worsen insomnia.

Panax Ginseng side effects

Note:Most side effects from Panax ginseng have been reported in individuals who took high doses or who took Panax ginseng continually for long periods of time.

Major Side Effects

Infants given Panax ginseng may develop a condition, resembling alcohol intoxication that has lead to at least one reported death of a newborn.

Rarely, taking Panax ginseng by mouth has been associated with non-infectious hepatitis.

In other rare reports, Panax ginseng may have caused inflammation of blood vessels in the brain – a condition that could result in headaches or strokes.

One case has been reported of an individual who developed anaphylaxis-like symptoms shortly after ingesting a small amount of Panax ginseng syrup. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that may involve the development of a rash or hives, a sudden fall in blood pressure, swelling of the mouth and throat, or unconsciousness.

Less Severe Side Effects

Other side effects associated with taking Panax ginseng are generally mild and temporary. They usually diminish after a few days and they may include:

• Blood pressure changes
• Breast pain
• Diarrhea
• Dizziness
• Headache
• Heart rate changes
• Insomnia
• Itching
• Loss of appetite
• Mood changes
• Nervousness

A few individuals have experienced itchy rashes after taking or applying Panax ginseng preparations or touching Panax ginseng plants. In very rare cases, Panax ginseng may have caused a very serious skin reaction called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. A doctor should be contacted right away if a high fever, swollen eyelids, blisters in the mouth, or red marks on the skin develop while Panax ginseng is taken.

What interactions should I watch for?

Prescription Drugs In studies, Panax ginseng has been shown to increase the time blood needs to clot. When it is taken with antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs, the effect of the drug may be increased, possibly resulting in uncontrolled bleeding.

• Antiplatelet agents include Plavix and Ticlid
• Anticoagulants include heparin and warfarin
Some drugs used for asthma, heart problems, or other reasons can affect heart rhythm. Because Panax ginseng can change the force and rate of heart beats, it can increase the risk of side effects from drugs such as:

• theophylline and related drugs for asthma
• albuterol
• clonidine
• Viagra

Panax ginseng may interfere with insulin and oral drugs for diabetes, such as:

• Actos
• Amaryl
• Avandia
• glipizide (Glucotrol XL)
• glyburide (Glynase)
• Glyset
• metformin (Glucophage)
• Prandin
• Precose

Panax ginseng is believed to affect levels of neurotransmitters, chemicals that carry messages from nerve cells to other cells. Antipsychotic drugs used to treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia also alter the levels of neurotransmitters. If Panax ginseng and antipsychotic drugs are taken at the same time, the effectiveness of the drug may be changed, so it is best to avoid using Panax ginseng while taking drugs such as:

• chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
• fluphenazine (Prolixin)
• olanzapine (Zyprexa)
• prochlorperazine (Compazine)
• quetiapine (Seroquel)
• risperidone (Risperdal)

Because it is broken down by certain enzymes in the liver, Panax ginseng may possibly interfere with the use of prescription drugs that are processed by the same enzymes. Some of these drugs are:

• Allergy drugs such as Allegra
• Antifungal drugs such as ketoconazole (Nizoral) and Sporanox
• Cancer drugs such as etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, or vincristine
• Drugs for high cholesterol such as lovastatin
• Oral contraceptives

In reported cases, the risk of side effects such as headache, insomnia, and shakiness increased when Panax ginseng was taken with antidepressants known as MAO inhibitors. Drugs in this class include:
• isocarboxazid (Marplan) • phenelzine (Nardil)
• selegiline (Eldepryl)
• tranylcypromine (Parnate)

Because it is a non-specific central nervous system stimulant, Panax Ginseng may increase the effects and the side effects of prescription drugs that also stimulate the central nervous system. Used mainly to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy, and obesity; stimulant drugs can raise heart rate and blood pressure. They include:

• amphetamine salts (Adderall)
• dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
• methylphenidate (Concerta, Methlyn, Ritalin)
• phentermine (Adipex-P, Ionamin)
Non-prescription Drugs

Panax ginseng can affect the ability of blood to clot after an injury. Aspirin can also delay clotting, so Panax ginseng should not be taken orally at the same time as aspirin.
Stimulants may be included in non-prescription drugs that are used for increasing energy, losing weight, raising mental alertness, or treating colds or asthma. If Panax ginseng is taken by mouth at the same time as one of these products is being used, the central nervous system may be overstimulated, possibly resulting in insomnia, irritability, and increased blood pressure. If you are not sure whether the non-prescription drugs you take contain stimulants, ask your doctor or pharmacist before you take Panax ginseng.
Herbal Products

Theoretically, if Panax ginseng is used with other herbs that affect blood clotting, bleeding may occur. Some of the most common herbal products that might inhibit blood clotting are:

• Danshen
• Devil's Claw
• Eleuthero
• Garlic
• Ginger (in high amounts)
• Ginkgo
• Horse Chestnut
• Papain
• Red Clover
• Saw Palmetto

If Panax ginseng is taken at the same time as other herbs that also affect the heart, potentially dangerous changes in heart function may result. Some herbal products with heart effects are:

• European Mistletoe
• Ginger (in large doses)
• Hawthorn
• Motherwort
• Pleurisy Root
• Squill

Because Panax ginseng may decrease blood sugar levels, taking it with other blood sugar-lowering herbal products may result in hypoglycemia - blood sugar that is too low. Herbals that may reduce blood sugar include:

• Fenugreek
• Ginger (in high amounts)
• Kudzu

Certain herbal products are stimulants that may result in side effects if they are taken with Panax ginseng. These herbal products include ephedra (which has been withdrawn from the market), guarana, and mate. Taken together with Panax ginseng, any one of these herbals may cause insomnia, irritability, nervousness, and other side effects.

Foods

Caffeine increases the central nervous system stimulation effect of Panax ginseng. The combination may cause excessive nervousness and irritability, along with other signs of over-stimulation. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soft drinks, and tea should not be consumed when taking Panax ginseng.

Some interactions between herbal products and medications can be more severe than others. The best way for you to avoid harmful interactions is to tell your doctor and/or pharmacist what medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter products, vitamins, and herbals. For specific information on how Panax ginseng interacts with drugs, other herbals, and foods and the severity of those interactions, please use our Drug Interactions Checker to check for possible interactions.

American Ginseng

Other Names: Anchi, Canadian Ginseng, Five Fingers, North American Ginseng, Panax quinquefolius, Red Berry, Ren Shen, Tienchi

American Ginseng Uses and Benefits

NOTE: American ginseng is different from Panax ginseng and
Eleuthero (formerly Siberian ginseng). They are not interchangeable.

As its name indicates, American ginseng is native to North America. While it is related to Panax ginseng, which originated in Asia, American ginseng is a distinct species with a different chemical makeup than Panax ginseng. Most notably, American ginseng typically has higher levels of a chemical known as ginsenoside Rb1 and no ginsenoside Rf. Ginsenoside Rb1 is believed to limit or prevent the growth of new blood vessels. American ginseng has not been studied as extensively as Panax ginseng, but, in general, ginsengs are considered to be adaptogens, or substances that may help individuals adjust to physical and emotional stress.

American ginseng may have several main effects in the body. For example, in small studies of humans, taking American ginseng has appeared to lower blood sugar levels for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Non-diabetic study participants also experienced reductions in blood sugar levels, although their reductions were smaller than those seen in individuals with diabetes. Results from one small study in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) showed that American ginseng combined with ginkgo biloba may help to control disruptive behavior associated with ADHD. American ginseng has also been shown in animal and laboratory studies to protect nerve cells from damage caused by a lack of oxygen. In humans, this effect could help prevent or limit impairment from strokes. None of these potential effects have been studied well enough to recommend the use of American ginseng to treat any of these conditions.

Even though American ginseng is thought to have estrogen-like components that ordinarily may worsen hormone-dependent conditions such as some types of breast cancer; laboratory studies have shown that it may have a cancer-fighting effect for breast cancer cells. Both the methods used to process American ginseng and possible fungal contamination may contribute to potential estrogenic effects. Further studies of American ginseng’s possible use as add-on therapy for breast cancer and investigations of its potential to relieve symptoms of menopause are underway.

Frequently, American ginseng is added to sports supplements and beverages that are promoted to increase physical performance. In small studies, however, products containing American ginseng did not show any benefit over placebo (sugar pills) for athletes who took it.

When should I be careful taking American Ginseng?

American ginseng is thought to have some estrogenic properties, which could worsen certain conditions. Women with hormone-dependent conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, ovaries, or uterus should not take American ginseng due to its possible estrogenic effects. Men with prostate cancer should also avoid taking it.

American ginseng is thought to slow the rate and decrease the force of heart beats. It may also reduce blood pressure in some cases. All of these effects may worsen many types of heart conditions, therefore individuals with heart disease should not take American ginseng without supervision from a healthcare professional.

Taking high doses of American ginseng has been reported to worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia in some individuals.

Precautions Individuals with diabetes should use only recommended amounts of American ginseng and monitor their blood sugar levels closely while taking it. Taking more than is recommended may result in hypoglycemia (blood sugar that is too low). Indications of low blood sugar may include shakiness, sweating, confusion, distorted speech, and loss of muscle control. If not corrected, low blood sugar can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

Very little information is available on how American ginseng might affect a developing fetus, an infant, or a small child. Therefore, its use is not recommended during pregnancy, while breast-feeding, or during early childhood.

Taking American ginseng may cause or worsen insomnia.

What side effects should I watch for?

Infrequently, the use of American ginseng has been associated with insomnia, irritability, nervousness, or restlessness, but these effects are usually mild and temporary.

Korean Ginseng

Scientific Name: Panax Ginseng Other Names: Asian Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng, Ginseng, Guigai, Japanese Ginseng, Ninjin, Oriental Ginseng, Panax schinseng, Red Ginseng, Seng

Uses and Benefits

NOTE: Panax ginseng is different from American ginseng and
Eleuthero (formerly Siberian ginseng). They are not interchangeable.

Panax ginseng is related to, but not identical with American ginseng. Panax ginseng is native to Asia, while American ginseng originated on the North American continent. The two plants have somewhat different chemical compositions, the most notable differences are that Panax ginseng has higher levels of a ginsenoside known as Rg1 and lower levels of ginsenoside Rb1.

Panax ginseng is best known as an “adaptogen” -- a substance that may help individuals cope with physical and emotional stress. As a part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, Panax ginseng has been used to treat almost every ailment from anxiety to cancer. Currently, it is used extensively in Oriental countries to treat several illnesses, including heart conditions, and for an overall health enhancer.

In western herbal medicine, Panax ginseng’s regulating effects on the immune system have been studied for potential effectiveness in preventing colds, flu, and some forms of cancer. In clinical studies, Panax ginseng has been shown to lower blood levels of both sugar and cholesterol, therefore it may help treat type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. Its other potential uses are not as well defined, however. In separate studies of laboratory animals and humans, Panax ginseng had a relaxing effect on muscles in the lungs. The resulting airway expansion may help relieve asthma symptoms and other lung conditions that result from constricted airways. In other studies, a combination of Panax ginseng and gingko is believed to boost memory and thinking processes. Early results from laboratory study may show that chemicals in Panax ginseng promote the growth of blood vessels, which could be valuable in treating extensive injuries. All of these possible effects are under more extensive study.

Panax ginseng may be taken by mouth or applied topically, directly to the penis to treat erectile dysfunction in men. One large study revealed that taking Panax ginseng orally improved male fertility by increasing sperm count, quality, and movement. Although the exact reasons that Panax ginseng may enhance male fertility are not completely known, it is believed that chemicals in Panax ginseng may activate the body system that increases production of certain hormones. Whether Panax ginseng increases testosterone levels in the blood is uncertain, however. Nevertheless, due to proposed hormonal activation, Panax ginseng is frequently added to sports drinks or supplements as a way to enhance athletic performance, even though no evidence supports this use.

Through the same activation of hormone production, chemicals in Panax ginseng are thought to exert an effect similar to the female hormone, estrogen. In some laboratory studies, Panax ginseng accelerated the growth of breast cancer cells, perhaps by activating estrogen receptors. Other laboratory and animal studies suggest that Panax ginseng may increase blood levels of substances that the body converts into estrogen. Results of a recent chemical analysis show that some of Panax ginseng’s possible estrogenic effects may be due to a fungus that frequently contaminates Panax ginseng roots. Much more research is needed to understand more clearly Panax ginseng’s possible hormonal effects.

When should I be careful taking it?

An intoxication-like syndrome has been seen in a few newborn babies who were given Panax ginseng or whose mothers took it while pregnant or breast-feeding. One documented case of an infant's death which was attributed to Panax ginseng intoxication has been reported. Small children and babies should not be given Panax ginseng; pregnant and breast-feeding women should also avoid taking it.

Women with hormone-dependent conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, ovaries, or uterus should not take Panax ginseng due to its possible estrogenic effects. Men with prostate cancer should also avoid taking Panax ginseng.

In clinical studies of both humans and animals, Panax ginseng has slowed the rate and decreased the force of heartbeats. It has also reduced blood pressure in some cases. All of these effects may worsen some heart conditions. Individuals with any kind of heart disease should not take Panax ginseng without supervision from a healthcare professional.

Precautions

Individuals with diabetes should avoid taking large amounts of Panax ginseng because it can lower blood sugar levels, potentially resulting in hypoglycemia (blood sugar that is too low). Indications that blood sugar may be too low include shakiness, sweating, confusion, distorted speech, and loss of muscle control. If not corrected, low blood sugar can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

Taking Panax ginseng by mouth may cause or worsen insomnia.

What side effects should I watch for with Korean Ginseng?

Note:Most side effects from Panax ginseng have been reported in individuals who took high doses or who took Panax ginseng continually for long periods of time.

Major Side Effects

Infants given Panax ginseng may develop a condition, resembling alcohol intoxication that has lead to at least one reported death of a newborn.

Rarely, taking Panax ginseng by mouth has been associated with non-infectious hepatitis.

In other rare reports, Panax ginseng may have caused inflammation of blood vessels in the brain – a condition that could result in headaches or strokes.

One case has been reported of an individual who developed anaphylaxis-like symptoms shortly after ingesting a small amount of Panax ginseng syrup. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that may involve the development of a rash or hives, a sudden fall in blood pressure, swelling of the mouth and throat, or unconsciousness.

Less Severe Side Effects with Korean Ginseng

Other side effects associated with taking Panax ginseng are generally mild and temporary. They usually diminish after a few days and they may include:

• Blood pressure changes
• Breast pain
• Diarrhea
• Dizziness
• Headache
• Heart rate changes
• Insomnia
• Itching
• Loss of appetite
• Mood changes
• Nervousness

A few individuals have experienced itchy rashes after taking or applying Panax ginseng preparations or touching Panax ginseng plants. In very rare cases, Panax ginseng may have caused a very serious skin reaction called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. A doctor should be contacted right away if a high fever, swollen eyelids, blisters in the mouth, or red marks on the skin develop while Panax ginseng is taken.

Siberian Ginseng-Eleuthero / Panax Ginseng / American Ginseng / Korean Ginseng

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