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Harms of ginseng for women: does it outweigh its benefits?

 Harms of ginseng for women: does it outweigh its benefits?

Ginseng is one of the most commonly used herbs in alternative medicine, and this herb has undesirable side effects, including it affecting women in particular, so what are the harmful effects of ginseng for women?

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There are many types and colors of ginseng, including: red and white, all of which are almost the same in terms of effectiveness and side effects. Here are the most important harms of ginseng for women in the following article:

Harms of ginseng for women

There are many side effects of ginseng that affect women in particular, so some women may be advised to avoid taking ginseng in the following cases:

1. Increased risk of developing estrogen-sensitive cancers

Ginseng contains chemicals called ginsenosides, which are substances that resemble estrogen in their work, which may increase the size of malignant or benign tumors that depend on estrogen for their growth and reproduction, such as:
  • Cervical cancer.
  • Endometrial cancer.
  • Benign uterine fibers.
  • breast cancer.
  • ovarian cancer.

2. Menstrual disorders and breast pain

It is not a common effect, but it is possible, such as: breast pain, menstrual irregularities, and vaginal bleeding.

3. Negative effect on pregnancy

There are chemicals in ginseng that may cause birth defects of the fetus, so a pregnant woman should avoid consuming ginseng in all of its forms.

3. Not safe for breastfeeding women

There is not enough evidence about the safety of using ginseng for breastfeeding women, so it is best to avoid it during breastfeeding.

4. Reducing the effectiveness of estrogen pills

Taking ginseng with estrogen pills might reduce its effectiveness, such as: Estradiol and Ethinylestradiol.

Other harmful effects of ginseng

After you learned about the harmful effects of ginseng for women, here are the harms of ginseng for women and men in general:

  • Sleep disturbance: Taking ginseng in high doses may cause sleep difficulty and insomnia.
  • Deterioration of autoimmune diseases: Ginseng increases the activity of the immune system, which may cause a deterioration in some diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Hypoglycemia: Taking ginseng along with diabetes medications may cause a sharp drop in blood glucose level.
  • Increased bleeding: Be careful of taking ginseng if the person suffers from bleeding or a blood-clotting disease, as ginseng may worsen the condition.
  • Schizophrenia: Ginseng may increase symptoms of agitation and difficulty sleeping in patients with schizophrenia, so patients with schizophrenia should avoid taking it.
  • Problems with transplantation: Ginseng increases the activity of the immune system, so it counteracts the action of immunosuppressive drugs, which may cause rejection of the transplanted organ.
  • Poisoning of infants and children: Ginseng may cause death in infants, and it is also cautioned against consuming even for older children.

Benefits of ginseng

There are many potential ginseng benefits for both women and men, the most important of which are:

  1. Improving the cognitive functions of the brain: Ginseng may improve perception and thinking processes.
  2. Stimulate physical activity: ginseng enhances the body's energy and helps get rid of fatigue and weakness, especially when used with cancer patients during treatment sessions.
  3. Anti-inflammatory effect: This may be due to the fact that it contains ginsenosides that reduce inflammation.
  4. Combating some viruses: It may help in the treatment of the respiratory syncytial virus, and it may also improve epithelial cells in the lung infected with the influenza virus.
  5. Reducing blood sugar: Ginseng helps treat diabetes by increasing insulin secretion from the pancreas and reducing insulin resistance in body cells. 
  6. Strengthening the immune system: It is believed that ginseng increases the activity of some immune cells, such as: natural killer cells and macrophages.