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Complementary Medicine

Does Ginseng Contain Analbolic Properties?

01/31/2003

Question:

I recently read that ginseng may have anabolic properties. Is that true? How much ginseng should one take? Thanks.

Answer:

Ginseng (American and Asian) are reported to be helpful as an adaptogen, that is helping one to adapt to stress. The studies, however, have been conflicting. One of the reported uses is to increase strength, but whether the exact mechanism is secondary to anabolic properties is not known. Ginseng has been used in Asian countries for centuries, and is thought to be safe. I caution patients to watch for possible effects on blood pressure (can elevate it) and on blood sugar (can lower it). The recommended dose is between 500-1000mg of dried root per day. 

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Response by:

Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd
Formerly, Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University