Ginseng Should be Consumed Carefully to Promote Health


Source: The Liberty Times

Modern medical analysis has confirmed that ginseng has many effects, including preventing cancer, improving metabolizing, and lowering cholesterol, among others. It is listed as a top-grade ingredient in the “Compendium of Materia Medica.”

However, there is often misconception about proper ginseng consumption among consumers. Because ginseng is considered a health tonic, many consider ginseng consumption a suitable method to build a strong body and promote health, but this warming herb is not suitable for everyday consumption by all consumers.

Medical clinics often see patients who have taken large amounts of ginseng on their own with increased health problems, including increased blood pressure, severe skin diseases, and increased risk of stroke.

Ginseng itself is not harmful to health, but consuming an inappropriate dose of ginseng is not suitable for people with certain pre-existing conditions and other health problems. Patients with the following conditions should be cautious in their ginseng consumption and consult a physician before beginning a ginseng consumption regimen:

  • rashes, allergies, asthma, or any allergic reaction following the consumption of ginseng;
  • inflammatory conditions;
  • hypertension;
  • cold or sore throat;
  • history of heart disease or stroke;
  • menopausal hot flashes;
  • tendency for nosebleeds;
  • insomnia, irritability, or mental instability; and
  • constipation and/or hemorrhoids.

Higher-priced ginseng is not necessarily more effective, and even weak ginseng supplements can still impact the body. Ginseng is often more suitable for use as a tea or in soup for gentler effects.

Regardless of which form ginseng is consumed in, whether as tea, candy, pollen, or other products, if eaten in moderation, ginseng will not produce adverse side effects.

After eating or drinking ginseng, consumers should avoid extremely spicy food. Patients taking antipsychotics, anticoagulants, cardiovascular drugs, tranquilizers, or steroids, as well as other drugs, should be cautious of drug interactions with ginseng.

As ginseng is an energizing herb, consumers should avoid eating ginseng before bedtime. Ginseng is not recommended for consumption by pregnant women. All nutritional supplements should be consumed in moderation.

(The author of this article is a physician of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Taipei City Hospital.)