Supplements Details

Ginseng (Ginseng, American)

What other names is American Ginseng known by?

American Ginseng, Anchi Ginseng, Baie Rouge, Canadian Ginseng, Ginseng, Ginseng à Cinq Folioles, Ginseng Américain, Ginseng Americano, Ginseng d'Amérique, Ginseng D'Amérique du Nord, Ginseng Canadien, Ginseng de l'Ontario, Ginseng du Wisconsin, Ginseng Occidental, Ginseng Root, North American Ginseng, Occidental Ginseng, Ontario Ginseng, Panax Quinquefolia, Panax Quinquefolium, Panax quinquefolius, Racine de Ginseng, Red Berry, Ren Shen, Sang, Shang, Shi Yang Seng, Wisconsin Ginseng, Xi Yang Shen.

What is American Ginseng?

American ginseng is an herb. The root is used to make medicine.

Is American Ginseng effective?

There is some scientific evidence that American ginseng might help lower sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

There isn't enough information to know if American ginseng is effective for the other conditions people use it for, including: high blood pressure, stress, anemia, insomnia, gastritis, impotence, fever, and others.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Lowering blood sugar after a meal in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Preventing respiratory tract infections such as the common cold or influenza in adults.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Stress, anemia, insomnia, gastritis, impotence, fever, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), HIV/AIDS, fibromyalgia, breast cancer, and other conditions.

How does American Ginseng 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.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Warfarin (Coumadin)
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. American ginseng has been reported to decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Decreasing the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) might increase the risk of clotting. It is unclear why this interaction might occur. To avoid this interaction, do not take American ginseng if you take warfarin (Coumadin).



Medications for depression (MAOIs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

American ginseng might stimulate the body. Some medications used for depression can also stimulate the body. Taking American ginseng along with these medications used for depression might cause side effects such as anxiousness, headache, restlessness, and insomnia.

Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.



Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

American ginseng might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking American ginseng along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.



Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

American ginseng can increase the immune system. Taking American ginseng along with some medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of these medications.

Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), and other corticosteroids (glucocorticoids).

Dosing considerations for American Ginseng.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For reducing blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes: 3 grams up to 2 hours before a meal. American ginseng should be taken within 2 hours of a meal. If it is taken too long before eating, the blood sugar might become too low.100-200 mg of American ginseng have been taken daily for up to 8 weeks.
  • For preventing upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold or flu: a specific American ginseng extract called CVT-E002 (Cold-fX, Afexa Life Sciences, Canada) 200 mg twice daily for 3-4 months has been used.

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