Cat’s Claw for Immunity and Recovery - Medicinal Herbs Podcast Series

LATEST PODCAST EPISODE — LISTEN NOW

Scientific Name: Panax ginseng

Constituents:

  • Triterpenoid saponins (ginsenosides/ginpanaxosides): protopanaxatriols (Rg1, Rg2, Rf & Re) & protopanaxadiol (Rc, Rd, Rb1 & Rb2)
  • Steroidal saponins
  • Polysaccharides (glycans)
  • Acetylenic alcohols (panaxynol and panaxydol) & polyacetylenes (ginsenoynes A-K)
  • Sesquiterpenes (B-elemene, panasinsanol A and B, ginsenol)
  • Phytosterols
  • Flavonoids
  • Amino acids
  • Volatile oil

Medicinal actions:

  • Adaptogen
  • Antioxidant
  • Antispasmodic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Cardiotonic
  • Diuretic
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Immunomodulator & Immune stimulant
  • Nervine Stimulant & Tonic

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Triterpene saponins (Ginsenosides/ginpanaxosides) are considered to be the major pharmacologically active agents and can be divided into two classes – the protopanaxatriols consisting mainly of Rg1, Rg2, Rf and Re and the protopanaxadiols consisting mainly of Rc, Rd, Rb1 and Rb2.
  • Note: ginsenosides have low bioavailability and are not likely the active forms which reach the bloodstream after oral doses of ginseng, and so greater weight should be given to the oral pharmacological studies vs. vitro investigations. Their decomposition products after the action of digestion and bowel flora are absorbed and may be their true active forms of the ginsenosides. These metabolites have been identified as prosapogenins and sapogenins.
  • Ginsenosides have corticosteroid-like action and inhibit re-uptake of GABA, NE, dopamine, gluatmate, and serotonin. Can also reduce ACTH-stimulated cortisol production and significantly inhibit the production of corticosterone in a dose-dependent manner, and lower serum ROS and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, thereby increasing total glutathione concentrations and GSH Reductase activity and possibly contributing to anti-fatigue effects.
  • The individual ginsenosides may have opposite effects such as vasoconstriction & dilation, increase & decrease cardiac performance, hemostatic & anti-coagulant, and CNS stimulant & depressant.
  • Polysaccharides are antioxidant, hypoglycemic, and anti-tumorogenic.

Pharmacy:

  • Decoction
  • Tincture
  • Capsules
  • Note: avoid long-term use unless in lower doses

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • Results from controlled clinical trials using a daily dose of 1 g indicate that ginseng is generally safe and well tolerated. However, higher doses may cause side effects, and Ginseng Abuse Syndrome (GAS) has been described as overuse causing hypertension, with nervousness, palpitations, chest pain, euphoria, insomnia, skin eruptions, headache, nosebleeds, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Ginseng may cause side effects related to an estrogen-like activity in women (e.g mastalgia & postmenopausal vaginal bleeding have been reported).
  • Note: Reports on side effects are controversial due to lack of information on the type of ginseng used in studies, though death reports exist.
  • Avoid in history of arrhythmia, acute asthma, hypertension, acute infections, and ADHD. Use caution with acute infection and in hyper tense people and in children.
  • Use cautiously during pregnancy (controversial).

Interactions:

  • Avoid concurrent use with stimulants such as caffeine and amphetamines (due to additive effects).
  • May decrease effectiveness of antihypertensive medications (e.g nifedipine).
  • May potentiate effects of anticoagulant (e.g. Warfarin), hypoglycemics and sildenafil.
  • Theoretical interaction with anti-psychotics, MAOIs, sedatives, immunosuppressants, and other hormone therapies.
  • May potentiate adverse effects of chemotherapeutic drugs (e.g. imatinib), HIV integrase inhibitors (e.g. raltegravir).

Scientifically driven. Education focused. Healing Inspired.

Subscribe to Insights

Receive clinically driven nutrition insights you can trust.

Animated Newsletter WM
close

Join Our Community to Read Further

This is a premium article created for our Healthcare Practitioner readers. Create a free account to continue reading and gain full access.

Dismiss

signup-logo

WholisticMatters offers health care practitioners and nutrition enthusiasts alike the opportunity to create a free profile for access to site features like bookmarking. Enjoying an article you are reading or a video you are watching? Save it to come back to later! Sign up in seconds for continuous access to all that WholisticMatters has to offer.

WholisticMatters also offers health care practitioners who create a free user profile access to exclusive content and tools to utilize in clinical practice. Articles, tools, and downloads created specifically for practitioners to use in their office for better patient education in clinical nutrition and health. Sign up today with your email and credentials so we can confirm you as a health care practitioner, and you are free to peruse the resources unique to you and your colleagues in health.

close

Create Your Account:

show-pass Please use 8 or more characters with a mix of letters, numbers & symbols
signup-logo
close

Create a free account to use our great bookmarking tool

Once your account is created, you'll be able to save and organize what matters to you!

Already have an Account? Login Here


Click 'Sign Up' above to accept Wholistic Matters's Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.
close

Are you a Healthcare Professional? Sign Up For Free Access!

We'll verify your credentials and get you access to our great interactive tools.

Already have an Account? Login Here


Click 'Sign Up' above to accept Wholistic Matters's Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.