View Full Version : People are dying from Ginsing, yet the herb goes unregulated in the U.S.

11-26-2000, 08:12 PM
This is interesting,
apparently a medical college did a study on ginsing imported from asia, and out of 20 different brands, only 8 were actually safe for human consumption. This was prompted because of the yearly death tolls of people who take ginsing are rising in the u.s., but the herb still goes unregulated. Apparently many third world producers of ginsing supplements are adding lead and other poisons to the mixture and many people don't realize this.
Also, people are giving this stuff to their kids, and mainly it is the kids who suffer the most results. A woman in New York recently poisoned her son by giving him ginsing.
BTW - I got all of this information from Dr. Dean Adell, I don't know if anyone else listens to him, but I consider him to be an authority on medecine and medical happenings.
Anyone had any problems with ginsing?
I took it once, but it gave me severe heart palpitations and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. Interesting note, the little old Korean lady at the Asian supply store who sold it to me told me that I was too young to be taking ginsing. She said that it is for old people, and can harm younger adults.
The news said that there are hundreds of deaths yearly from unregulated herbal supplements that come from asia, I'm not sure what that percentage is ginsing, but there are at least 50 cases that were mentioned.

11-26-2000, 08:26 PM
You are listening to a good source of information on western medicine with Dr Dean. He has an understandbable dislike for eastern medicine. Ginseng is an Herb, used as medicine in the east according to very carefully laid out methodologies in compliance with a several thousand year old medical practice. When that medicine is imported to a culture that does not properly regulate its use, there will be side affects and abuses. Everyone here will remember Phen-Phen and abuses of other chinese herbs without the advice of a legitimate practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

As a side note, most western doctors have a great and ignornce based dislike of chinese medicine. There are a great many charlatans making a great deal of money off of the ignorance of the west and the relatively cheap availability of herbs. This doesnt help TCM practitioners at all. I like Dr Dean...he seems nice...

thanks for pointing out the articles!



11-26-2000, 08:33 PM
Every time I have taken Ginseng, from store bought brands to chewing roots pulled out of the ground at my inlaws herb farm, I've gotten a killer stomach ache. Solution, no more Ginseng.

Oh, and as side note, both Chinese herbalists I've dealt with say you shouldn't take anyting daily if you are healthy. Kind of goes with the whole, your body is naturally healthy, idea.


11-26-2000, 09:44 PM
There's alot of BS concerning herbal supplements in the Natural Foods Industry, but also a bootload from the completely corrupt FDA and AMA.

If you want mothers to stop poisoning their children with WHATEVER, you have to educate them, but everyone including the Government has an agenda and most people get their info from the "We'll Print Anything" Publishing Co.

The 'Sang trade has been in the Americas for hundreds of yrs., so it's NOT the herb. How many people died this Holiday from the overstuffed turkey not quite cooked or Mom servin' up the toadstools from the backyard?

Kung Lek
11-26-2000, 10:24 PM
Ginseng, like anything else you put into your body is defined as a drug.

Different drugs cause different reactions in different people.
With a doctor of chinese medicine, the goal is prevention moreso than "cure".

That is not to say that you cannot be cured of disease through tcm because you can be both treated and cured with the methodologies of the practice. But you cannot look for a quick fix and often formulas must be altered over time so as to suit the person being treated by the tcm practitioner.

It is likely that there are more deaths in a year from over the counter cold remedies than from Ginseng, asian or otherwise.

American Ginseng is in high use because of its properties being "cooler" than the Yang energy raising properties of the srong asian types of ginseng.
This "cooling' property is good for energy restoration in young and old people without causing the strong effects of a ginseng root such as the red panax variety which raises a lot of "hot" Yang energy in the body. For the young, this is too strong and even for many old people this effect is not the best for them.

Many people (including doctors) do not do the required research into herbs and because of this there is a danger of herbology falling into the realms of psuedo science (as it is in North america)and ultimately causing more harm than the good it can provide.

Also consider that the mediacl associations of north america have a business to run and if everyone was treated, in treatment or cured, well there wouldn't be much money for the doctors to make now would there.

Many Doctors in North America are excellent doctors, as many in the east are just as excellent.
There are exceptions and I feel that what people must come to know is that ultimately they are responsible for their health and should take it very seriously and not be so quick as to become totally dependent upon a doctor western eastern or otherwise.
Make your doctor explain it to you exactly what you can expect, exactly what the known risks are and so on.
in my experience, people in my life have often just let the doctor do everything and released themselves from the responsibility of taking care of the self. This is fundamentally wrong.

would you rather take the time to ask a few questions, read a few articles or books or would you rather blindly trust someone because they attended university?

because a doctor has a diploma doesn't tell you if the doctor was in the top 5% of the class or the bottom 5% of the class, all it tells you was the doctor was in class and finished what was required.

medicine is a dynamic thing and the learning path is lifelong. Any doctor that sits on his laurels and does not keep the path going is not fit to be a doctor, eastern, western or otherwise.

that's my rant and I'm stickin to it...

Kung Lek

Sam Wiley
11-27-2000, 12:06 AM
I notice you use the term "supplements," JoJitsu. I take it you mean the pills? I have always been told to never take the pills. I admit, I took a bottle of them to try them out, but never noticed any side effects, good or bad. In fact, I got some of the root from a Chinese herbalist near my home, and the old man cautioned me when deciding which to try, saying the same thing about the cool, medium, and hot varieties. I picked the medium, and never noticed anything then either. The only time I ever noticed any effect from taking ginseng was when I drank one of those little bottles of honey flavored stuff with the root in it (the panax variety I think), but I also ate the root. I don't know if you're supposed to do that, but it was kind of like a half-cooked carrot. Anyway, I was hyper for a while, but no heart palpitations or anything else. And that's the only time I ever noticed anything whatever.

"To enter is to be born, to retreat is to die."
-An Old Taijiquan Saying

11-27-2000, 12:37 AM

Can you point me to some medical references for this? I'm a medical herbalist and naturopath (and pyschotherapist) by profession and although I rarely find the need to use ginseng, when I have used it it has had spectacular results.

It depends on which sort of ginseng you're talking about too. The siberian species (Eleutherococcus) is much more versatile and gentle than the Panax ginseng which i think you're talking about. That stuff you just do not hand out to any and all who ask for it otherwise you can run into problems. It has always been given in very low dosages and never to children, the elderly or people with renal or heart conditions - it's just too strong.

I suspect that the reasonthere has been some difficulty - other than poor prescription - is that the level of standardisation is quite poor in imprted stuff. In fact,, you guys over there in the States are growing some very good quality American ginseng which is well standardised for active constituents in the manufacturing process.

Oh, BTW - my teacher used to make us all chew ginseng root before we used to compete and inthe lead up before competitions. I can't say it did anything special to me but we all thought it was "interesting" at the time!

If you have those references I'd love to check them out.

Many thanks


11-27-2000, 06:08 PM
I got most of my info from dr. dean adell's show. I guess you could get a transcript or copy of his Nov, 26th broadcast. He is pretty popular around here, and it could easily be done through krmg, tulsa, oklahoma, or you could find out which local station of yours he broadcasts on.
Aside from him, and he is considered a VERY reliable source, I am sure there is alot of info about this topic on the web. I will look around some today at work and see if I can find anything else.

ps: I'm sorry, I just noticed you are from Australia, so you probably have no idea who dr. adell is. He is a dr. who has a broadcast radio show that deals with current medical issues. He is pretty well known here and is considered a very reliable source of medical info.

11-28-2000, 12:36 AM

Thanks Buddy. I have to spend some time in a medical library in the next few days so I'll hit some of the phytotherapy and pharmacology journals while I'm at it.