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In some of the above studies, it is possible that ginseng was used in insufficient amounts or for an inadequate length of time; a more effective regimen for enhancing endurance performance may be 2 grams of powdered root per day or 200 to 400 mg per day of an extract standardized for 4% ginsenosides, taken for eight to twelve weeks.6 Short-term intense exercise has also not been helped by Asian ginseng according to double-blind trials,7, 8 but one controlled study reported increased pectoral and quadriceps muscle strength in non-exercising men and women after taking 1 gram per day of Asian ginseng for six weeks.9
Used in the recommended amounts, ginseng is generally safe. In rare instances, it may cause over-stimulation and possibly insomnia.10 People with uncontrolled high blood pressure should use ginseng cautiously. Long-term use of ginseng may cause menstrual abnormalities and breast tenderness in some women. Ginseng is not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women.
Consuming caffeine with ginseng increases the risk of over-stimulation and gastrointestinal upset.
Certain medicines interact with this supplement.
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2017.