Ginseng supplements have been used for improving health for centuries in Asia and North America. Although this herbal medicine has been used for several medical conditions, it is not studied completely. Ginseng is of two basic types – Korean ginseng and American ginseng – and each have specific health benefits. Many other herbs, like eleuthero, are also considered to be ginseng. But these herbs do not contain the active ingredient in traditional variety.
There is some evidence that shows that ginseng boosts the immune system. Some studies also show that extract from American ginseng helps in reducing the severity of a cold in adults. Ginseng is also known to reduce the blood sugar levels which can help in alleviating the symptoms of diabetes. Reports show that ginseng extract can help in improving concentration and learning. Gingko is sometimes combined with ginseng to improve intelligence and mental performance. But substantial evidence is still lacking regarding the uses and benefits of this herbal supplement for these conditions. It is also being studied in a number for other different conditions, including erectile dysfunction, heart disease, fatigue, hepatitis C, high blood pressure, menopausal symptoms, and several other conditions. But the evidence is not conclusive enough to prove the effect of ginseng on improving health.
The standard dose for the use of ginseng is not yet established. The quality and the active ingredients present in each of the brands and product may vary widely. Look at the labels and buy a product from a well-reputed company. Unfortunately, there are no natural sources of food for obtaining ginseng. In some cases, ginseng is added to energy drinks and other foods.
Ginseng supplements have a few mild side effects. In some cases, it may cause nervousness and insomnia. Those who use these supplements for a long time may experience headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, and other symptoms. In women, it may cause breast tenderness and changes in the menstrual pattern. Few may have allergic response to the supplement.
Since ginseng interacts with certain medications, one should consult with a doctor before starting the supplements. This herbal supplement may also affect the blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes should discuss taking the supplements with a doctor. Ginseng has a stimulant effect, which may be increased by caffeine. Experts are of the opinion that this supplement should not be used for more than three months at a stretch.