What Are the Benefits of Using Korean Ginseng?


Quick Answer

According to WebMD, Korean ginseng has been used to improve overall body health by strengthening the immune system and helping alleviate stress-related illnesses. It is also used to treat unclear thinking, diabetes and erectile dysfunction. It is used in the West as a stimulant and to prevent heart disease and cancer.

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Full Answer

The American Cancer Society does not support ginseng as a cancer treatment or prevention method but acknowledges that various studies have demonstrated that ginseng has anticancer properties. Most of the health claims surrounding ginseng have not been proven or supported in a clinical setting, but its benefits have been traced to ginsenosides found in its roots. Further complicating the issue are contradictory results; the West advertises ginseng as a stimulant, but ginseng is advertised in traditional Chinese medicine as a sedative.

The American Cancer Society considers ginseng to be a safe dietary supplement, though high doses can lead to negative side effects like headaches, increased heart rate and restlessness. Some women have reported swollen breasts and increased vaginal bleeding. Ginseng has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, which has important implications for people with diabetes. WebMD cautions against taking large doses of ginseng for more than three months.

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