While ginseng can be very relaxing, however, it is not the perfect herb. The risks are just as debated as the benefits are, but it is worth knowing about them before you take any ginseng so that you can be cautious if you need to be.
To start off with, there are some people who would be best to stay away from ginseng altogether: anyone with a blood-related condition (such as diabetes or high blood pressure), people with plant allergies, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and children. People with a plant allergy may find that ginseng makes them feel short of breath or swell up, and children should be kept away from ginseng because its effects on their developing bodies are not yet known. If you really want to take ginseng, it will probably be alright, but you absolutely must consult a doctor first.
The biggest controversy about the risks of ginseng surrounds a condition known as Ginseng Abuse Syndrome, discovered by a Dr. Siegel. He claims that taking too much ginseng can cause difficulty sleeping, all-over swelling and tense muscles. Ginseng producers and herbal enthusiasts hotly dispute these findings, but all the same, it is best to stick to the guidelines on your ginseng packet and not exceed the recommended daily dose.
As herbal supplements are not tightly regulated, it is also worth considering that what you’re buying may not even be ginseng at all, or might have been contaminated somehow – there have been many cases of herbal supplements accidentally getting contaminated with poisonous metals. To avoid getting fake or tainted ginseng, you should only buy from a shop you trust, not from street dealers, and avoid anything that seems suspiciously cheap or comes in unclear packaging. If in doubt, walk away – over all, it is best to cheap to the larger health store chains for this kind of thing.