Panax Ginseng is a plant that grows in a handful of Asian countries such as Korea, northeast China and certain parts of Siberia. It is very important that you don’t confuse Panax Ginseng with any other types such as American, Siberian and Panax pseudoginseng. Each different variation is used for something separate from the others, so you want to make sure you know which one you are after.
So, now you know what Panax Ginseng is, let’s take a look at what it’s used for, and what the side effects are.
Panax Ginseng is generally viewed as a supplement with minimal problematic side-effects. The most commonly listed side effect when taking Panax Ginseng is insomnia, and trouble sleeping. Especially if taken alongside caffeine, or in higher than recommended doses.
It is estimated the 6 million people use Panax Ginseng in the United States alone, not to mention 5,000 years of use in traditional Chinese medicine. There has been an extremely low incidence of reported side effects or other negative complications with Panax Ginseng.
However, it is possible to be allergic to Panax Ginseng, and in this case, it should be avoided. If you are taking Panax Ginseng and experience any sort of negative side effects, discontinue its use and consult your doctor.
What Is It Used For?
There are a number for uses of Panax Ginseng. Some of the time it is used to improve thinking, concentration, physical endurance, work efficiency, and preventing muscle damage from intense exercise. These uses are focused both on the mind as well as the body, and this shows the diverse range of things that Ginseng can help you with. This is why it is so popular with people, as it can help with a wide variety of things.
Some people even use Ginseng to help them with certain mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. It has also been used to help reduce the effects of stress and improve your overall well being. For these types of uses, Ginseng might be referred to as ‘adaptogen’.
There are a range of other conditions that Panax Ginseng is said to help with and to name a few these would be: anaemia, bronchitis, diabetes, asthma, and has also been said to increase sexual arousal in women. If you want to know more about what Ginseng can do, just search Panax Ginseng online, and a whole variety of things will come up for you to explore.
Is Ginseng Safe?
Panax Ginseng is generally safe when it is applied to the skin as part of a product that includes a range of ingredients and this could be the case in the short term.
However, it is possibly unsafe when it is taken orally for a prolonged period of time, such as six months or so. As well as this, it depends if you are on any medications at the time of taking Panax ginseng and a such, you should always consult with your doctor before you take it. This is especially true if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Most consumers of ginseng choose to cycle their ginseng intake quarterly.
When Not To Take Ginseng
You should NOT take Panax ginseng under any circumstances if any of the following apply:
If you have any bleeding conditions - this is because it has been known to cause problems with blood clotting. As such, make sure that you never take ginseng if you have any sort of bleeding conditions.
Diabetes if you are already taking medication - Panax ginseng has been known to lower blood sugar. So, if you are already taking a medication to lower your blood pressure and you take ginseng, it could lower your blood sugar too much, causing you damage.
Any autoimmune disease - It has been known for ginseng to increase the activity of the immune system, and this is why you should not take it if you have any autoimmune diseases.
When To Be Cautious Of Taking Panax Ginseng
You should be careful about taking ginseng if any of the following apply:
Heart disease - While there is not usually any side effects that come with the continued use of the product, ginseng can impact heart rhythm and blood pressure on the first day that you use it. Due to this, you should exercise caution if you choose to take ginseng with a heart disease.
Schizophrenia - If you take a high dose of Panax ginseng, it has been known to cause sleep issues and agitation in people who have this mental condition. Due to this, you need to be careful if you have this condition and you are taking ginseng.
Common Side Effects of Ginseng
There are a number of common side effects that can occur when you take Panax ginseng. The most common side effect that has been reported is insomnia. It is extremely common for people who use this product to experience issues with their sleeping pattern, and sometimes, not to sleep at all while they are using.
Less common than insomnia, but still common is headaches. A lot of people who have used Panax ginseng have complained of headaches at some point through their use of this product. This is not something that is going to impact your life too much unless you are experiencing these headaches frequently, this isn't causing for concern.
Some of the other more common side effects include breast pain, high or low blood pressure, dizziness, mood changes and loss of appetite. Again, most of these side effects aren’t really a cause for concern unless you are experiencing them daily. If your blood pressure is getting higher or lower, you should seek the advice of a medical professional before you continue to take this product. If the symptoms persist and do not get better on their own, either consult a medical professional or simply stop taking Panax ginseng.
Uncommon Side Effects
One of the most uncommon side effects is Stevens-Johnson syndrome. This is very rare and very serious, so if this does happen to you, you need to seek medical attention quickly. It will start with flu-like symptoms, and then you will get a painful rash that spreads and blisters. Make sure that you stop taking Panax ginseng immediately if you start to notice anything like this.
The two other uncommon side effects are liver damage and severe allergic reactions. You are going to need medical attention if you start to experience either of these issues. Signs to look out for are yellowing of the eyes for liver damage or feeling pain. For severe allergic reaction, you need to watch out for issues with your breathing, dizziness and other reaction like symptoms.
We hope that after reading this article you know more about the ginseng side effects of Panax ginseng and when it is okay and not okay to take it.
Side Effects of Ginseng For Pregnancy & Children
Panax Ginseng is not recommended for children or pregnant women, and it may have some hormone-like effects that contraindicate its use long term.
Panax Ginseng has been shown to cause birth defects in animal studies only, but it is still not recommended for pregnancy. Correlative studies looking at human consumption of Panax Ginseng showed no effects on pregnancy or birth.
In human studies, a review of 57 randomized, controlled trials showed that Panax Ginseng has a low incidence of harm (1). Of the 57 trials, only 16 reported side effects of any kind. These included mainly gastrointestinal upset; nausea, sickness, cramps and diarrhea.
Side Effects of Ginseng For Diabetes
In type 2 diabetics, there was small incidence of hypoglycemia in one study (2), but in healthy individuals, the usual recommended supplemental dosage and above, from 2g per week, right up to 6g per week, showed no apparent side-effects in any of the human trials.
To avoid potential hypoglycemic effects of Panax ginseng, you should take the supplement with food at meal times.
Herbs are known to interact with other substances in the body and can therefore be contraindicated alongside other supplements or medicines. It is not recommended that Panax Ginseng is taken long term. You should take periodic breaks from the supplement, and follow the advice from your medical practitioner.
Side Effects of Ginseng For Blood Pressure
Panax Ginseng herb refers to the plant itself. It is usually taken by powdering the root, or making it into a herbal tea.
Ginseng leaves are much cheaper than ginseng root, however they do not contain the same levels of ginsenosides - the bioactive ingredient that makes Panax Ginseng such a great herb for your health. You can make ginseng tea with the leaves of the plant as well as the roots, but there is little evidence on the effectiveness of doing so for your health and wellness.