Panax Ginseng Supplement Uses Warnings Side Effects Dosage

Panax Ginseng Supplement Uses Warnings Side Effects Dosage

panax ginseng

Panax ginseng is an herbal supplement made from the root of the Panax ginseng plant. It’s one of the most commonly used herbs in the world and has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine.

Panax ginseng is an herbal adaptogen that helps people manage stress, anxiety, and fatigue, and enhances overall health, stamina, and cognitive function.

The main active compounds in panax ginseng are ginsenosides, which have antitumor, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. They may also produce therapeutic effects on the nervous system, cardiovascular system, and immune system. Some uses of panax ginseng include:

  • Enhancing physical and athletic performance
  • Improving cognitive function
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Treating:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Male impotence and infertility
  • Headaches and pain
  • Menopausal hot-flashes
  • Cancers
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Fatigue related to multiple sclerosis
  • Respiratory inflammation

There is limited evidence supporting some of the uses of panax ginseng, such as improving cognitive function, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation. However, more scientific evidence is needed for most of its other uses.

Panax ginseng is available in different forms, including capsules, dry root for brewing tea, root powder for oral consumption, and cream for treating erectile dysfunction. It is also added to energy drinks, foods, and skincare products.

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  • Do not take panax ginseng if you have any of the following conditions:
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Bleeding or blood clotting disorders
  • Breast, ovarian or endometrial cancer
  • Endometriosis or uterine fibroids
  • Estrogen-dependent malignancies
  • Hormone sensitive conditions
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Newborns
  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Pregnant or nursing women
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Insomnia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Autoimmune conditions

What are the side effects of panax ginseng?

Common side effects of panax ginseng include:

  • Headache
  • Fever (pyrexia)
  • High or low blood pressure (hypertension/hypotension)
  • Palpitations
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Breast pain (mastalgia)
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Absence of menstruation (amenorrhea)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Mania
  • Euphoria
  • Swelling (edema)
  • Allergic skin reactions such as itching (pruritus) and rose spots

Rare and severe side effects of panax ginseng include inflammation of the arteries in the brain (cerebral arteritis), inflammation of the liver due to impaired bile flow (cholestatic hepatitis), Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).

This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions. Contact your doctor or report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What are the dosages of panax ginseng?

There isn’t enough reliable information to determine appropriate dosages of panax ginseng. Follow directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Cut or Powdered Root

  • 0.6-3 g orally one to three times daily

Brewed Root Tea

  • 3 g orally one to three times daily


Erectile Dysfunction

  • 900 mg orally three times daily
  • Topical cream applied 1 hour prior to intercourse and washed off before intercourse has been used
  • 200 mg orally once/day
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Other Information

  • 100-300 mg extract three times daily for 3-4 weeks
  • Extract standardized to 7% ginsenosides


  • Long-term use or high doses of panax ginseng can cause headache, dizziness, stomach upset, muscle weakness, liver damage, and menstrual changes.
  • If you overdose, discontinue panax ginseng and seek medical help.

What drugs interact with panax ginseng?

Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking to check for possible interactions.

  • Panax ginseng has no known severe or serious interactions with other drugs.
  • Panax ginseng has moderate interactions with at least 72 different drugs.
  • Panax ginseng has mild interactions with 39 different drugs.

For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.

Always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare provider about all medications you use, including dosage.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • Do not take panax ginseng if you are pregnant, as it may cause fetal harm.
  • There isn’t enough information on the safety of panax ginseng use in nursing mothers, so it’s best to avoid it.

What else should I know about panax ginseng?

  • Panax ginseng may be generally safe for adults if used for short periods.
  • Always check labels for ingredients, as panax ginseng formulations may contain multiple other ingredients.
  • Panax ginseng is marketed as a dietary supplement and does not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the FDA. Choose your product carefully.
  • Many herbal products, including ginseng, available over-the-counter may not contain the listed plants or may contain unlisted contaminants.


Panax ginseng is an herbal adaptogen that helps people manage stress, anxiety, and fatigue, and enhances overall health, stamina, and cognitive function. Common side effects include headache, fever, high or low blood pressure, palpitations, rapid heart rate, breast pain, vaginal bleeding, absence of menstruation, vomiting, diarrhea, reduced appetite, nervousness, insomnia, mania, euphoria, and swelling. Do not take panax ginseng if you are pregnant.

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