Herb-Drug Interactions: Ginseng

Panax ginseng C.A.Mey (Araliaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Many species and varieties of ginseng are used. Panax ginseng C.A.Mey is also known as Asian ginseng. Chinese ginseng, Korean ginseng, Oriental ginseng, Renshen. Panax quinquefolius L. is also known as American ginseng. Other species used include: Panax notoginseng (Burkill) F.H.Chen ex C.Y.Wu & K.M.Feng known as Sanchi ginseng, Tienchi ginseng and Panax pseudo-ginseng Wall, also known as Himalayan ginseng. It is important to note that Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus Maxim.) is often used and marketed as a ginseng, but it is from an entirely different plant of the Araliaceae family and possesses constituents that are chemically different. It will be covered in this monograph with distinctions made throughout. Not to be confused with ashwagandha, which is Withania somnifera. This is sometimes referred to as Indian ginseng. Not to be confused with Brazilian ginseng, which is Pfaffia paniculata. Pharmacopoeias American Ginseng (US Ph 32); American Ginseng Capsules (US Ph 32); American Ginseng Tablets (US Ph 32); Asian ginseng (US Ph 32); Asian Ginseng Tablets (US Ph 32); Eleuthero (US Ph 32); Eleutherococcus (British Read more […]

Korean ginseng: Adverse Reactions. Significant Interactions

Adverse Reactions Ginseng abuse syndrome (hypertension, nervousness, insomnia, morning diarrhea, inability to concentrate and skin reactions) has been reported and there has been a report of a 28-year-old woman who had a severe headache after ingesting a large quantity of ethanol-extracted ginseng. Cerebral angiograms showed ‘beading’ appearance in the anterior and posterior cerebral and superior cerebellar arteries, consistent with cerebral arteritis. High doses (1 5 g/day) have been associated with confusion, depression and depersonalisation in four patients. However, the majority of the scientific data suggest that ginseng is rarely associated with adverse events or drug interactions. A systematic review found that the most commonly experienced adverse events are headache, sleep and gastrointestinal disorders. Data from clinical trials suggest that the incidence of adverse events with ginseng mono-preparations is similar to that of placebo. Any documented effects are usually mild and transient. Combined preparations are more often associated with adverse events, but causal attribution is usually not possible. A case of suspected ginseng allergy has recently been reported in the scientific literature. The case Read more […]


ANTHELMINTICS (anthelminthic drugs) are used to treat infections by parasitic organisms of the helminths family (helminthos, a worm). A large proportion of humankind harbours helminths of one species or another. In some cases there may only be minor discomfort, but in many cases there is serious morbidity. The form of treatment depends in part on the form of the infection. Intestinal forms include infection by tapeworms, including Taenia species. Tissue forms include Trematodes or flukes (genus Schistosoma, class Trematoda, phylum Platyhelminthes) cause schistosomiasis — or bilharziasis. The drugs that treat fluke infection by Schistosoma mansoni, S.japonicum and S. haematobium are called ANTISCHISTOSOMES. In all cases there is a complicated life cycle in which hosts other than humans are utilized. Treatment varies with the stage of the life cycle. Anthelmintic drugs, in order to act, must be capable of penetrating the cuticle of the worm or pass into its alimentary tract. They work in a variety of ways to damage the worm, causing paralysis, narcosis, or damaging its cuticle and so allowing partial digestion. Some drugs interfere with the metabolism, which may be very species-dependent. Benzimidazoles include albendazole, Read more […]