Side effects and contraindications of ginseng

Side effects of ginseng

From the Panax ginseng CA Meyer plant (Asian ginseng), the rhizome more precisely, used for its general tonic effect, to stimulate the immune system, or to fight physical fatigue and intellectual.

However, in some cases, and like all herbal medicine, ginseng can cause certain  side effects, which is why it is important to know what these side effects of ginseng are and when can they occur before consuming them.

Side effects and contraindications of ginseng

What are the contraindications for ginseng?

Due to its action on the body, ginseng is contraindicated or must be consumed under medical supervision for:

•People with diabetes
•People with high blood pressure
•People who suffer from heart disease
Care should be taken with medical advice if you suffer from any of these conditions.

Although studies show that ginseng does not exert estrogenic action, there are still recommendations for caution in patients who have suffered from hormone-dependent cancer such as breast cancer.

What are the side effects of ginseng?

At recommended dosages, ginseng is a safe remedy that does not present any danger. The side effects associated with ginseng are caused by excessive consumption of the rhizome, which can then cause:

•Nervousness
•Insomnia
•Irritability
•Diarrhoea
•Increased blood pressure
•Palpitations

These side effects have been observed after overconsumption of more than 15g per day. They are harmless and stop after stopping the consumption of the plant, or returning to normal doses. However, due to its action on the body, ginseng should be consumed with caution in:

•People who suffer from insomnia
•People who suffer from nervous disorders
•People who suffer from obesity

Even if some consume it throughout the year, it is recommended not to exceed 3 months of treatment. Ginseng does not, however, cause addiction and dependence concerns.

Ginseng in children, pregnant and lactating women

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises against, as a precautionary principle, the use of ginseng in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Likewise, it advises against the use of ginseng in children and adolescents under the age of 18.

Likely interactions between ginseng and medications

1. Anticoagulants

Because of its anticoagulant effect, people on anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapy, aimed at thinning the blood, should consult a doctor before taking ginseng.

Indeed, the anticoagulant properties of ginseng can theoretically increase the thinning effects of drugs, which could have serious consequences (bleeding, haemorrhaging, bruising, etc.).

Among the most common anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs are aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine), AVK (anti-vitamin K), ticlopidine (Ticlid), warfarin (Coumadin) ), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, etc.

Be careful, some plants or spices can also have anticoagulant properties, so they should be combined with ginseng with caution. Among the most common: garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Eleutherococcus, tonka beans, turmeric, etc.

2. Antidiabetics

With its anti-diabetic properties, people on treatment for diabetes should consult a doctor before taking ginseng.

Indeed, in theory, ginseng could increase the effects of anti-diabetic drugs, and this could lead to side effects such as hypoglycemia, excessive sweating, tremors, blurred vision, dizziness, anxiety, etc.

Among the most common antidiabetics are biguanides, sulfonylureas, meglitinides, thiazolidinediones, DPP-4 inhibitors, SGLT2 inhibitors, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, bile acid sequestrants. , etc.

Be careful, some plants or spices can also have actions on blood sugar, so they must be combined with ginseng with caution. Among the most common: cinnamon, fenugreek, psyllium, flax seeds, black garlic, ginger, etc.

3. Cardiac treatments

People undergoing medical treatments for the cardiovascular system, including high blood pressure, should consult a doctor before consuming the plant.

4. The exciting

With its tonic action on the body, it is advisable to be careful about the association of ginseng root with exciting substances to avoid certain undesirable effects such as insomnia, irritability or palpitations.

It is, therefore, preferable to limit your consumption of coffee, tea, chocolate, guarana, colas, etc.

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