American ginseng is a member of the renowned ginseng family, together with possible immune-boosting and antioxidant properties. It might protect against diabetes, common cold, and cognitive decline, but the available evidence is scarce. Continue reading to find out the benefits, side effects, and drug interactions of American ginseng.
What’s American Ginseng?
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a herb that grows mainly in North America. This particular ginseng is in such high demand that it has been declared a threatened or endangered species in certain states in the United States. People today take it for stress, to enhance the immune system, and as a stimulant.
Ginsenosides are the active components of ginseng and are often found in the main extracts. Ginsenosides have antioxidant properties and can also help protect the brain.
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
- May Aid with diabetes
- May prevent cold & flu
- May enhance brain functioning
- Clinical signs are rare
- Treatment for pregnant girls
- Interacts with blood thinners
Ginseng and ginsenosides have an anti-oxidant effect that’s manifested as a reduction in oxidative stress.
Ginsenosides Rg2 and Rh1 are good at improving energy metabolism and shielding mitochondria.
Anti Inflammatory Effects
Several ginsenosides like Rd, Rg1, Re, Rg3, Rh2, and Rb1 can control brain inflammatory responses in cultured brain cells. The anti-inflammatory effects may be associated with the antioxidant property of ginseng.
It also reduces inflammation in the colon and prevents DNA damage from happening.
1) Cold Prevention
According to four clinical trials of over 1,300 participants, a specific American ginseng extract (CVT-E002, 200-400 mg twice daily) during flu season may reduce the danger of a respiratory tract infection such as the common cold or influenza, especially in the elderly.
But some of the studies were funded by a business that sells the extract, which indicates a possible conflict of interest.
Taking American ginseng (3 gr, up to 2 hours before a meal) significantly prevented blood glucose rises in two studies of 19 diabetics and 10 healthy people.
Both Asian and American ginseng roots revealed anti-diabetic consequences in mice.
Preliminary research is promising, but we lack solid clinical signs.
No legitimate clinical evidence supports the use of American ginseng to any of the conditions in this part. Below is a summary of up-to-date animal research, cell-based research, or low carb clinical trials which should spark an additional investigation. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t translate them as supportive of any health benefit.
3) Brain Function
Administration of American ginseng into 52 healthy young adults enhanced working memory, calmness, and mood.
Ginseng and ginsenosides can rescue nerve cells by increasing cell survival, extending neurite (projections sticking from neurons which allow for communication with other neurons) growth, and rescuing neurons from death both in humans and cell cultures.
They also showed beneficial effects in animal models of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Long-term ginsenoside management to mice prevented memory loss or impairment.
Animal and Cellular Research (Lacking Evidence)
No clinical evidence supports the use of American ginseng to any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a list of the existing creature and cell-based research, which ought to guide further investigational efforts. On the other hand, the studies listed below shouldn’t be interpreted as supportive of any health advantage.
Pseudo Ginsenoside-F11, a saponin contained in American ginseng, efficiently reduced stress, depression, and memory deficits and alterations of monoamine contents in animal models of drug withdrawal.
Side Effects and Precautions
This listing doesn’t cover all potential side effects. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you see any side effects. In the US, you might report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. Back in Canada, you may report side effects to Health Canada in 1-866-234-2345.
American ginseng is likely safe when taken in adequate amounts, short-term. It may also be safe for children, but they should use it under strict medical supervision. Potential side effects are mild and include headache and sleeplessness.
Due to its capacity to cause birth defects, shown in animal research, pregnant women should not take American ginseng.
Supplement-drug interactions can be dangerous and, in rare cases, even life-threatening. Always ask your doctor before supplementing and let them know about all drugs and supplements you’re using or contemplating.
American ginseng might interact with blood thinners (warfarin), diabetes medications, and immunosuppressants. Caution and strict medical supervision have been warranted before using these combinations.