Ginseng Use
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Mary
Posted on: January 4, 2002

I have been taking American Ginseng for 8 years, 500 mg. I read you should only take it 3 weeks on, 2 weeks off. Have I done too much? Should I stop? I have let my doctor know. He never said to stop.

I am going through the change and did have very heavy hot flashes. The doctor put me on hormone pills. Should I stay away from Ginseng for awhile? I also take Gotu Kola. Will that cause a problem? I have only been taking it for 3 weeks.

Ginseng, like many herbs, should be taken for a limited time period, for a specific purpose. Taking daily doses of herbs in pill form is not how herbs have been used traditionally for healing purposes. A traditional Chinese method of using ginseng is to cook soup with a ginseng root for the purpose of boosting the immune system, especially in winter. Other specific uses include: aphrodisiac, adrenal support, decreasing the toxic effects of cancer radiation therapy, improving memory, boosting energy in recovery from illness or surgery, increasing physical endurance for sports. In all cases of health problems, the root cause of the problem should be sought and remedied, so that the body finds a natural balance, and daily intake of specific herbs is not required.

Thomas Bartram, in "Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine", (available at Richters) states that Gotu Kola should not be used for longer than 6 weeks without a break.

You should discontinue the use of Ginseng, and if you have a specific problem that you are self-treating, visit a natrual therapist such as a herbalist or naturopath for advice. For natural help with hot flashes and menopause, please see our website at Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then choose "Search Richters Q&A", and enter the word "flash" for one search and "menopause" for a second search.

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