My name is R Sr.
I'm 72 years of age. I am Diabetic. I have it under control.
I've been Diabetic for 30 years. I would like to know if
I can consume Korean Ginseng seeing as how I am Diabetic.
I used to consume Korean Ginseng regular at that time I
was a Bench Press Competitor. I backed off of
Bench Press competition in 1994. I miss it and I have been thinking
about training again to compete. I miss the competition. I also
have High Blood Pressure which is under control bottom line is
in the 60's top line in the 140's. I served as a Police Officer
for 30 years im now retired. Please respond to my email. I have
Ginseng and would like to know if it's beneficial.
The warning I must give first, is that some doctors believe that
since ginseng can affect blood glucose levels, it shouldn't be
used by diabetics.
The second warning is that ginseng is contraindicated in people
with high blood pressure.
See Your Acupuncturist/Herbalist
The best answer is "get thee to an acupuncturist/herbalist."
Ginseng is but one component of a vast and complex medicine- the
kind of info they would need to know to answer that question would
require a chinese medical diagnosis.
If you did that, you would gain access to more powerful and more
personalized treatment options than just ginseng. Plus, you need
someone to watch out for drug herb interactions in your case specifically.
To find one, go to this article.
Information about Diabetes and Ginseng
Knowing that you may not have access to a chinese medical practitioner,
here is some more info:
If you've read my ginseng article then
you know that Korean or red ginseng is the hottest type of ginseng.
I wrote another article that deals with the Chinese Medical conception
of heat - if you have some of these
symptoms, you may want to reconsider the korean ginseng and go
for american ginseng instead.
Some drugs that may be problematic with ginseng are estrogens
And there are some drugs that you might not want to take any
herbs with... these are the drugs with narrow therapeutic margins
that are easily thrown off- e.g. warfarin. There are loads of
these, so you might need to consult your doctor, pharmacist, or
any acupuncturist who owns a Drug Information Handbook.
Research on the Ginsengs and Blood Glucose
American Ginseng Berry (Mice)
A recent study showed that American Ginseng Berry extract lowered
blood glucose, reduced obesity, and lowered body temperature in
diabetic mice. Of course, to maintain the same dosage they gave
the mice, a 160 pound man would have to take about 15 grams of
it a day! And there are no studies on that yet.
White Ginseng Root and Rootlets (Mice)
In 2001, mice were studied with White Ginseng root and rootlets...
faster blood glucose levels were lowered. They did some disection
studies to try to figure out how it works. Based on that they
speculated that white ginseng root blocks the absorption of glucose
in the intestine, and inhibits Glucose 6 Phosphatase (an enzyme
that is thought to be a major contributing factor in diabetes
- this information thanks to William J. Arion, PhD at Cornell
University). And they speculated that white ginseng rootlet also
blocks intenstinal glucose absorption and regulates PPAR-gamma.
Ginseng for Diabetes in Humans - A Gold Standard Study
In 1995, researchers found that korean/chinese ginseng elevated
mood and reduced fasting blood glucose and body weight in diabetes.
And this was a double-blind placebo-controlled study... the gold
standard of research science! The dose was 200mg per day.
So as you can see, there are benefits for diabetics with either
american or asian ginseng... but the safest and most effective
way to go about it is through a chinese medical practitioner and
your regular doctor- get them to work as a team.
All the best!