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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 23, 2021.

What are other common names?

  • Panax ginseng
  • Panax quinquefolius
  • Panax schinseng
  • American Ginseng
  • Anchi Ginseng
  • Asian Ginseng
  • Asiatic Ginseng
  • Baie Rouge
  • Canadian Ginseng
  • Chinese Ginseng
  • Chinese Red Ginseng
  • Ginseng a Cinq Folioles
  • Ginseng Occidental
  • Ginseng Oriental
  • Ginseng Root
  • Ginseng, Panax
  • Japanese Ginseng
  • Korean Ginseng
  • Korean Ginseng Root
  • Korean Panax
  • Korean Panax Ginseng
  • Korean Red Ginseng
  • Korean White Ginseng
  • North American Ginseng
  • Oriental Ginseng
  • Panax Quinquefolia
  • Panax Quinquefolium
  • Racine de Ginseng
  • Radix Ginseng
  • Red Berry
  • Red Chinese Ginseng
  • Red Ginseng
  • Red Kirin Ginseng
  • Red Korean Ginseng
  • Red Panax Ginseng
  • Ren Shen
  • Sang
  • Shang
  • Shi Yang Seng
  • Tibetan Ginseng
  • White Ginseng
  • White Panax Ginseng
  • Wisconsin Ginseng
  • Xi Yang Shen

What is this product used for?

Ginseng is used by some people to help with diabetes. Others may use to help with colds or the flu.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • Do not use this product if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Use birth control you can trust while taking this product.

  • Do not use this product if you are breastfeeding.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to thin your blood. These are drugs like warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, or enoxaparin (Lovenox).

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to dissolve blood clots. These are drugs like alteplase (Activase), reteplase (Retevase), or streptokinase.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to help with swelling or inflammation. These are drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Naprosyn).

  • Do not use this product if you are taking drugs called MAO inhibitors. These are drugs like isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).

  • Do not use this product if you have health problems that are sensitive to hormones. These are problems like breast cancer, prostate cancer, or endometriosis.

  • Take extra care if you are at a high risk for infection. This includes people who have had a transplant, are on chemo, or have an autoimmune disease.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Liver problems

    • Heart problems

    • Bleeding problems

    • Stomach or bowel problems

    • Blood pressure problems

    • Diabetes

    • Cancer

    • Mental health problems

  • Keep hard candies, glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or juice on hand for low blood sugar.

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Rash

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of low blood sugar. These include hunger, dizziness, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, or sweating.

  • Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headaches, nervousness, problems breathing, or nosebleeds.

  • Signs of low blood pressure like feeling dizzy, weak, or tired; fainting; more thirst; or skin that is pale, cool, and clammy

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Breast pain

  • Bruising or bleeding that is not normal

  • Changes in menstrual periods like lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles

  • Changes in thinking, unusual behavior, low mood, confusion, or restlessness

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to provide advice that is right for you. You should not rely on this information in deciding whether or not to use, or accept your healthcare provider’s advice regarding use of, any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices. This information does not endorse any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information. It does NOT include all information about natural products, possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to you. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about your health and treatment options.


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