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Asian Ginseng

Asian ginseng is native to the Far East, including China and Korea. It has been used for at least 2,000 years for health-related purposes.

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› Health Benefits

The root of Asian ginseng contains chemical components called ginsenosides that are thought to contribute to the herb’s health properties. In traditional Chinese medicine, ginseng was used as a tonic to replenish energy. Today, it can be used as a dietary supplement to improve general well-being, physical stamina and concentration; to stimulate immune function; to slow the aging process; and to relieve various health problems such as respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disorders, depression, anxiety, erectile dysfunction and menopausal hot flashes.

There have been many studies of Asian ginseng in people, but few have been of high quality. Therefore, our understanding of Asian ginseng’s health effects is limited.

› How much do I need?

The dosage varies depending on age and what it is being used for. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels, and consult your pharmacist, physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Short-term usage of ginseng appears to be safe, but questions have been raised about its long-term safety. Some experts recommend that children, infants and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding do not use ginseng as a supplement. The most common side effects from ginseng usage include headaches, sleep problems and digestive problems. Some evidence has shown that Asian ginseng may affect blood sugar and blood pressure.

› Dietary supplements

Ginseng products can be found as capsules or liquids.

Source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Please consult your health care provider before making changes to your vitamin/supplement regimen.

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