View Full Version : Ginseng -- How much ?

The Whyzyrd
12-27-2001, 09:03 AM
Anyone know if there are side affects or such from extended use of Ginseng?

If I injest it, say, twice a day (in pill form) every day - does this have problems?

12-27-2001, 05:18 PM
Having checked my ever reliable book of herbs, its recommended that you take a two week break every two months. I dont know the exact side effects of OD on ginseng only that it is not suitable for those with high blood pressure as its a powerful stimulant (having high BP I wont touch it).

I hope this is of some help, maybe one of the other guys can throw some light on the side effects.



The Whyzyrd
12-31-2001, 06:15 AM
Thanx :)

The Whyzyrd
12-31-2001, 06:27 AM
Thanx :)

Repulsive Monkey
12-31-2001, 11:51 AM
I wouldn't advise that Ginseng be repeatedly taken unless there is a prescribed reason for it i.e. internal cold/damp or Kidney deficiencies. Ginseng is a powerful stimulant but is alo a heat genrating herb which if there is already heat in the body it can add to it and causing too much heat. I found that after a spell of low energy i carried on taking Ginseng and it had effects upon my stomach causing bloating and distension and loads of belching caused by the unecessary heat it created. If you are not in need of it don't take it! It is a Yang herb and should be used to balance up the effects of a Yin complaint.

The Whyzyrd
01-02-2002, 10:53 AM
Thanx again. I have been getting WAAAAY too little sleep the past few months due to life things and have been using it to keep my eyes open (better than caffeine - I think) so I was wondering.

Repulsive Monkey
01-09-2002, 07:39 AM
Thats hardly accurate that statement. Overuse of Ginseng does not not necessarily make you used to it at all. Where did you come up with that rubbish? Overuse of it, as it is a warming tonifying herb, can in occassions create too much heat and can even cause bleeding too if added repitively to a condition which already is heat based. People who have excessive conditions can be pushed over the dge if too much tonfication is administered, so this rather negates your over generalisation.

Repulsive Monkey
01-11-2002, 05:49 AM
I does not matter at all if Chinese Ginseng isn't as warming, the fact is is that it is a Tonifying herb, therefore that alone can cause problems if someone already suffers fron heat conditions. The tonification will amplify the heat conditions and thus escalate it. The strength of it its heating properties is irrelevant in this case (partially).
It is a Yang herb. Yang herbs are not always a good thing to use if someone has a full Yang condition.

Repulsive Monkey
01-11-2002, 03:59 PM
You really don't know much about Chinese Medicine do you???? Of course you can use Ginseng if you're under 40, whoever gave that advice should be ignored in future due to being inept and uneducated. Anyone at all who suffers with Kidney Jing or Kidney Yin conditions can be prescribed Ginseng. People who suffer with Kidney Qi softness are more than likely to be prescribed with it too or Kidney Yin-Fluid overflowing conditions. I think its safe to say you haven't ever studied Chinese Medicine have you?

Repulsive Monkey
01-13-2002, 08:45 AM
I really don't mean to sound insulting but you sound rather mixed up!! It's never a good idea to mix different disciplines of medicine together unless you know their ramifications to a significant degree. Thats just asking for trouble. And your statement about being a naughty school boy and experimenting with Ginseng...so whats the deal there??? you can buy ginseng over the counter in most stores almost anywhere in the world. It's not a class A drug you know?!!

01-21-2002, 11:15 AM
dont u go die on me man :D

01-21-2002, 04:34 PM
No way Bro! I'm going down swinging if I go down!:D

One Finger Zen
09-09-2004, 08:37 AM
Hey everyone,

I just bought some Manchurian Ginseng tablets (a friend of mine recommended them). Just a few questions for ya ;)
1.What exactly are the properties of Ginseng?

2. Are there any downsides or side affects to using them?

3. Do they have any affect on qi?

thanks in advance

One Finger Zen

09-10-2004, 09:07 AM
Western scientists are still researching physicians. Herbologists and oriental medicine, including TCM attribute over 5000 benefits/effects from ginseng.

In general western science has measured the following (incomplete, still researching) effects-

High source of vitamin C

These are western science CONFIRMED properties. Other benefits are either still under research or have no equivalent in western science/medicine.

One Finger Zen
09-10-2004, 10:32 AM
Thanks FngSaiYuk,

interesting properties.

do you take any supplements like this?

Peace, OFZ

09-10-2004, 01:37 PM
Back when I lived in the Los Angeles area, I'd be able to get korean ginseng at a fairly good discount and munch on them like potato chips throughout the day. This was back when I felt at my physical and energetic peak.

Since then I'd try out some of the various pills that you can find in supermarkets, health & drugstores. Although there were similiar benefits, none of them FELT as strong.

Now I live near Wisconsin, so I'll be looking around for good deals on american ginseng (grown in wisconsin) and go back to munching on them like chips throughout the day.

NOTE: the older the ginseng when harvested, supposedly, the stronger the properties (and more expensive per unit). The ginseng I would munch on were typically younger than 6 years.

One Finger Zen
09-10-2004, 01:46 PM
Cheers dude,

Nice to get others opinion and views on these things. Since it ain't too warm here in the UK :D i have to go to the local health store to get my ginseng. She warned me that it could give some people insomnia.

Is this true?

Cheers, OFZ

09-10-2004, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by One Finger Zen
i have to go to the local health store to get my ginseng. She warned me that it could give some people insomnia.

Is this true?

Well, it IS a stimulant... Back when I was in top condition I would sleep about 4 hours a night....

One Finger Zen
09-12-2004, 07:22 AM
Holy Crap!

Didn't you even feel tired? I need to get a minimum of 6 hours a night to feel in good condition....

09-12-2004, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by One Finger Zen
Holy Crap!

Didn't you even feel tired? I need to get a minimum of 6 hours a night to feel in good condition....

This was when I was in *TOP* condition. I was young, I worked out/trained 8-12 hours almost every day (sometimes I'd take a day off and train only 4 hours). My blood pressure was really low, akin to boxers/fighters when they're in intense training.

Now that I'm older and haven't trained in a looooong time (just started workingout/training again in the past 3 weeks), I need at least 6 hours to function, and ~8 hours to feel good.

One Finger Zen
09-13-2004, 08:12 AM

Yeah sounds 'bout right :D

What age were you at when you trained this intensely? And what style of martial arts may I ask?

Peace, OFZ

09-13-2004, 09:03 AM
This was between the ages of 21 & 24.

Martial arts style, I'd say in general, kungfuish, shaolinish, some internalish.

It's all ishish, 'cuz I learned from a few different people who were just basic instructors, not qualified masters. And I just trained really hard in the basics. I was also working out a lot in the gym (which I had been doing on and off for years since I started wrestling in high school) and running 5 days out of the week.

Man did it feel good to be alive back then! I'm sooooo striving to surpass that... perhaps after a few years of gradually increased training intensity. I'm not old yet, but I *AM* older... ::grin::

09-13-2004, 07:02 PM
I have been told that it is not good to take ginseng constantly because the stimulant and warming effects can cause an imbalance. Like any herb, it should only be taken when needed.

09-13-2004, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by joedoe
I have been told that it is not good to take ginseng constantly because the stimulant and warming effects can cause an imbalance. Like any herb, it should only be taken when needed.

Or do what americans do and overcompensate by taking more herbs to balance the imbalance! Like dong quai and others!

Seriously though, if you eat properly and are healthy and well, you really don't need much in the way of supplements, that's true.

I munched on ginseng because of my heavy training, but I also took other herbs fairly regulary, as well as vitamin supplements and other weird things (kumbucha mushroom tea!).

The things you do in your youth... ::grin::

If you're really interested, you may want to visit an OMD or equivalent who can evaluate your body as a whole and prescribe what's best for ya.

09-14-2004, 12:23 PM
Go to:


-> Library > Chinese Herbal Medicine > Ginseng - A Guide for Consumers. This is a very good review of ginseng and how Asian and American ginseng differ.



If you really want some herbal supplementation, a good Chinese herbalist can do wonders. Don't play around too much with potent herbs.

One Finger Zen
09-15-2004, 07:29 AM
Thanks to everyone for their input. Some really good stuff here. I don't take much ginseng (manchurian ginseng) only 1 tablet a day in the morning. i'm going off on a limb here and assuming tablets aren't as potent as the herb itself yeah?

nice links looking_up, although it didn't say anything about manchurian ginseng- was the info on the sites for the herb?

Peace, One Finger Stabilises the Cosmos

02-10-2007, 07:03 PM
Hi everyone,

I've recently purchased some Ginseng & asked the clerk where I bought it a couple questions, how to make, etc. She recommended a crock pot- bring it to a boil, and put it on low for the rest of the day. But of all the things to ask, I forgot to ask how much I should drink when sick, etc.

Any suggestions? I'm new to TCM.


Dale Dugas
02-10-2007, 07:58 PM
Ginseng is not for drinking when you are sick. Ginseng is for when you are over the cold and want to tonify your body back to a better state of health.

FYI anyone under 35 does not need ginseng in the least.

herb ox
02-11-2007, 10:07 AM
Yeah, I've gotta agree with Dale... you don't want to drink Ginseng when sick. This can actually make the illness worse and drive the pathogen deeper internally. This is what we refer to as "trapping the robber" - you don't want to lock the doors to your house when a robber is inside.

Ginseng is used for people with fairly severe deficiency - cold limbs, fatigue, pale tongue, weak knees and low back...

One of my teachers said: "an ounce of meat better than a pound of renshen (ginseng)" - meaning that these tonic herbs were used traditionally to counteract dietary deficiencies due to the scarcity of meat in China.

But, a little ginseng can be good for you, especially if its the american ginseng - it's cool and sweet and generates fluids while tonifying the lungs and kidneys - much better for westerners who usually have a 'hot' constitution due to our lifestyle and diet.


herb ox

02-11-2007, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the replies. I will definently keep that in-mind!

02-22-2007, 04:43 AM
I have some really nice oolong tea that has ginseng in it. I use a yixing tea pot and brew it in fully boiling water.

Not really into brewing ginseng root straight, though I do love the taste and have drunk it on its own a few times (used to chew the roots sometimes aswell lol, dunno if its bad for you though so probs wouldn't do that).

Anyways, all I can say in relation to ginseng root is STORE IT WELL. I picked some up from a thai market and didn't realize that it was infested with weevils.....


07-20-2009, 05:04 PM
LOL. i once lived in marilyn coopers attic in stroudsburg... she gave me a bag of ginseng roots for about a week until she saw i was eating them everyday, periodically thru-out the day... LOL... i felt like i was speeding - my eyes were all dilated... i was a mess. anyhow, she took the bag away for a week and then gave it back to me and told me to be more careful... i kept that bag for like 3 years or so. my favorite was a root re-hydrated in water, blended into puree and shot like a whisky. YOW!! talk about a kick in the a$$!! :D

07-21-2009, 05:56 AM

I also learned about taking a week or two break from using the stuff. I learned this from a middle aged Russian.

I found ginseng to be incredibly stimulating, to the point of actually weakening my constitution; thereby, creating a condition identical to the munchies, a desperate attempt to replace all the energy that was expended in one shot. Needless to say, I had some very embarassing moments eating in public.


07-21-2009, 10:30 AM
Those pills arent as strong as a good decoction, so youll have less issues with it whether it unbalances you or not. However, youll likely never run into a practicioner telling you to take any single herb--These sorts of things work best when combined with other herbs.

With that said, its never a bad idea to take an occasional break from tonics, regardless of potency or action....

07-24-2009, 08:40 AM
If I remember correctly from my TCM school days with herbal medicine (I will have to find some of my books) there are actually 4 main areas where ginseng is grown:
1. China
2. Korea
3. Russia
4. USA

Korean ginseng is known to be the 'better' variety andthe USA variety, though quality is not as strong, its effects are such that it can be used for longer periods of time by itself but for the synergistic effect, it should blended as such with the appropriate herb for the result needed. The Chinese and Russian version may be potent, depending on the characteristics of the location (latitude/longitude/cover/soil conditions).

Individual constitution usually determines if it is warming or not. Some people can handle once a week, others every other day, while the weaker individual may need to take it for x days in a row followed by a washout period (no ginseng for 2-3 weeks, then take for a week.

07-27-2009, 10:41 AM
Hi mawali,

I have been told that American ginseng is so abundamt that it has been brought and resold under a different national flag. Have you heard about this?


07-27-2009, 02:30 PM
Hi mawali,

I have been told that American ginseng is so abundamt that it has been brought and resold under a different national flag. Have you heard about this?

mickeyall i know is that american ginseng is rare in my area, but i have a few spots in the woods where i have found it growing in plentiful amounts... there is another variety which i know merely as "dwarf ginseng" - the root is about the size of a marble... my mycology mentor showed it to me... apparently american ginseng was harvested and sold for its medicinal purpose early in the century, but that tradition has been lost since the rise of the big pharm and franken-medicine agenda.

07-28-2009, 04:25 PM
Hi mawali,

I have been told that American ginseng is so abundamt that it has been brought and resold under a different national flag. Have you heard about this?


Some Asian companies buy American ginseng and resell it. They mix it with certain herbal varieties as a tonic.