Ginseng has been shown to help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, fatigue related to cancer treatment, erectile dysfunction, and other health conditions. However, it can also interact with some drugs, including blood thinners, HIV medications, and immunosuppressants such as azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), and cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune).

Avoid American ginseng if you have type 2 diabetes because it may lower your blood sugar levels too much.

Boosts Energy Levels

Ginseng is a popular herbal supplement that boosts energy levels, improves mental performance, and reduces blood sugar. It can also reduce stress and increase sexual function. It can be consumed as a capsule, tea, or added to food. It is available over the counter and may interact with certain medications.

Studies show that ginseng root can improve glucose metabolism and lower hemoglobin A1C (an indicator of diabetes control). However, more well-designed studies are needed.

Taking ginseng can cause side effects, including mood changes, blood pressure changes, loss of appetite, insomnia, and headaches. It can also interfere with medications like monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and sedatives such as benzodiazepines, narcotics, and antidepressants. It may also interact with diabetes and heart medicines such as calcium channel blockers, nifedipine, and warfarin.

Boosts Immune System

Ginseng is believed to be an adaptogen, which helps promote the body’s resistance to physical and emotional stress. It may help relieve fatigue, boost immune system function, regulate hormones, fight aging, and promote cognitive performance. (5)

In one study, taking American ginseng reduced exercise-induced muscle damage in 12 active men and lowered oxidative stress levels. It might also prevent upper airway infections, according to a 2012 review of studies. However, more research is needed.

A 2020 study found that people who took ginseng supplements were less likely to catch a cold or flu than those who didn’t. But, it’s important to note that ginseng can interact with certain medications, including antidepressants and blood pressure drugs. It can also cause side effects such as low sexual drive and headaches in some people.

Regulates Blood Sugar

American ginseng can regulate blood sugar and provide many other benefits to people with diabetes. A study conducted with ob/ob mice found that 2.7 g of fermented red ginseng daily significantly increased insulin and decreased blood glucose levels after a test meal, compared to a placebo (38).

Other studies show that American ginseng may reduce the number of colds and the severity of symptoms in some adults. A laboratory study suggests that it also inhibits tumor growth.

If you have a history of organ transplantation, you must talk to your doctor before taking ginseng capsules. It can cause immune-suppressing effects and interfere with blood-clotting medications, such as Coumadin or Warfarin. Because it has estrogen-like properties, ginseng can interact with female hormone-sensitive conditions, including breast cancer, uterine fibroids, ovarian cancer, and endometriosis.

Boosts Mental Performance

Ginseng is a commonly used herbal supplement and is thought to improve cognitive function, boost the immune system, and combat fatigue. The roots of several plants in the Panax ginseng family, such as eleuthero or Siberian ginseng, contain ginsenosides. Still, few studies have shown that supplements containing this plant extract improve mental performance. One study found that a supplement with 3 g of red Korean ginseng daily improved menopausal symptoms and increased sexual arousal, but a second trial of this herb did not have the same results [53].

Like other adaptogens, ginseng has energy-boosting effects. It increases BDNF levels, stimulating new brain cells and keeping existing ones healthy. It also lowers cortisol, reduces inflammation, and is a natural antidepressant. However, this herb may interact with ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers. People who take these medications should consult their doctors before taking ginseng supplements.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Ginseng is a potent herbal remedy that can increase energy levels, lower blood sugar, and boost the immune system. It can also reduce fatigue and help people deal with stress. But it can also raise or lower blood pressure, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you have any health problems or take other drugs or supplements before taking this herb.

The antihypertensive effect of ginseng is due to its vasodilation and stimulation of nitric oxide production. It can also reduce lipid levels and improve cholesterol.

If you have hormone-sensitive conditions, avoid American ginseng because it contains chemicals called ginsenosides that act like estrogen and might worsen them. But it is safe to use short-term and inappropriately suggested amounts. Moreover, the herb may be safe for children when taken at doses that do not exceed the daily recommended amount.