How Much Panax Ginseng Is Safe?

Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herbs 2
Panax Ginseng. (Image: Anthony Hall/iStock/Getty Images)

Panax ginseng, or Asian ginseng, is a commonly used herbal supplement purported to boost immune system function, regulate blood sugar levels and reduce erectile dysfunction symptoms, among other things. The beneficial health effects of Panax ginseng are attributed to the presence of ginsenosides, a substance that helps your body control stress. The amount of Panax ginseng that is safe for you to take may vary depending on your health status, age and weight. To ensure you're taking the dosage of Panax ginseng that's appropriate for you, consult your medical provider.

For Healthy Adults

Healthy adults who want to enhance their immune system function, mental performance or stress resistance should take Panax ginseng in two- to three-week cycles, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This means that adults take Panax ginseng for two to three weeks and then stop treatment for two weeks before resuming. Common over-the-counter preparations of Panax ginseng include dried or fluid extract, fresh or dried root, and liquid tincture. Healthy adults may take 200 milligrams of standardized dried extract up to three times daily. Adults may alternatively take 1 to 2 grams of fresh root or 1/2 to 2 grams dried root once daily. Panax ginseng tincture is administered as 1 to 2 teaspoons, while fluid extract is administered as 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons up to three times each day.

For Sick Adults

Adults who want to take Panax ginseng to aid in illness recovery may use 500 milligrams of this herbal supplement twice daily for up to three months. You may also take a twice-daily 500 milligrams dose of Panax ginseng for one month, stop treatment for two months and then resume daily treatment for another month as needed.

For Men With Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which affected men have difficulty attaining or maintaining an erection following sexual stimulation. Men who use Panax ginseng to reduce erectile dysfunction symptoms may take 900 milligrams of this herbal supplement orally up to three times daily.

For Adults With Diabetes

Though additional research is needed to examine the effects Panax ginseng has on blood sugar, treatment with this supplement may be beneficial for people who have Type 2 diabetes. Daily treatment with 200 milligrams of Panax ginseng may help reduce and control your blood sugar levels. However, don't use this herbal supplement without first consulting your doctor or you may be at risk of developing severely low blood sugar levels.

Side Effects

While taking Panax ginseng, you may experience mild side effects, including insomnia, nervousness, nausea, dry mouth, vomiting or diarrhea. More severe side effects, including heart rate irregularities, vaginal bleeding, breast pain or elevated blood pressure are rare but should be promptly reported to your doctor if they occur.

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