Is it Safe to Eat Ginseng During Pregnancy?

Ginseng is one of those herbs that has reached near mythic status. It has been consumed for thousands of years specifically for its medicinal properties. Eating it has been proven to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, fight off fatigue, and reduce your stress levels. The health benefits of ginseng are undisputed, but its medicinal value for pregnant women is still up for debate. In fact, many researchers are concerned if it is even safe for pregnant women to consume ginseng at all. Read on to find out more about pregnant women and ginseng.

Benefits of Ginseng

Ginseng root is rich in ginsenosides, an active chemical that is believed to be responsible for the bulk of ginseng’s medicinal properties. Specifically, the ginsenosides are believed to:

  • Lower the blood sugar levels of diabetics
  • Prevent cold and flu symptoms
  • Stimulate the immune system
  • Provide relief to menopausal symptoms
  • Treat erectile dysfunction
  • Reduce post exercise muscle injuries
  • Improve digestion
  • Soothe pain

Effects of Consuming Ginseng During Pregnancy

All of the health benefits of ginseng are indisputable, but consuming too much ginseng while pregnant can result in some unwanted side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Allergic reactions
  • Nervousness

The side effects are due in large part to the fact that the ginseng root contains a compound known as ginsenoside Rb1. When this compound appears in higher concentrations inside rats, it led to complications in the rat embryos. The study reached similar conclusions when it was repeated with mice. When taken in moderation, ginseng will not cause too much difficulty or result in symptoms at all. But it has to be taken in moderation for this to be true. Just keep an eye on your ginseng intake.

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