And so to reduce discomfort and make pregnancy a comfortable experience, many mums-to-be turn to alternative natural treatments.
These could be yoga, meditation, and occasional consumption of natural herbs. One such natural herb is ginseng. It is used across the globe, especially in South Asian countries. But is taking ginseng pregnancy-safe?
Let’s find out!
What Is Ginseng?
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Ginseng is a herb grown in Asia (Panax ginseng) and the USA (Panax quinquefolius). Ginsenosides are the active component in all species of ginseng. This herb comes in varied forms such as teas, powders, creams, oils, and supplements. People consume it today and have been for thousands of years for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and medicinal properties.
In 2018, Korean red ginseng actually sold rather well in Singapore and a CheongKwanJang’s Chinatown Point store became quite popular. The Korean Ginseng Corp even said that the country became its sixth-largest market among the 40 countries that were selling CheongKwanJang’s products during that time.
Types And Uses of Ginseng
There are four known types of ginseng that are grown across the globe. From China to Japan, and US to Korea.
Panax Ginseng. Also known as Korea Ginseng, this type is grown in China and Korea. It is a lateral root and has distinct morphologically characters including a well-developed human-shaped form.
Panax Quinquefolius. This type is grown in the states of Virginia and Wisconsin in the US, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. It is also called American Ginseng and is grown as a short-tap and lateral root.
Panax Notoginseng Burk. Grown in China, Yunnan, and Guangxi, it is also called Tienchi Seng. It has rugged and black roots.
Panax Japanicus. Grown in Japan, this is bamboo-shaped and uneven and is also called Japanese Ginseng.
With so many forms available in the market, there is enough clinical evidence to prove its natural healthcare benefits. Some of the common benefits include the following:
Boosts the immune system and enhances digestion
Increases energy, stamina, and strength
Improves brain and cognitive abilities
Reduces signs of ageing and prevents cell damage
Prevents cold, flu, and other respiratory syncytial viruses
Helps to treat erectile dysfunction
Eases menopause period, and more
But Is The Use of Ginseng Pregnancy-safe?
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Ginseng is a fairly safe herb to consume when you are not pregnant and are taking it in moderate quantities. However, there is hardly any scientific evidence on the efficacy or safety of using ginseng during pregnancy and lactation.
Hence, women should be cautious about consuming ginseng during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Thus, ginseng is not considered safe during pregnancy.
Warnings About Use Of Ginseng During Pregnancy
There are certain reasons you should avoid ginseng while you are pregnant:
It has anticoagulant properties (blood thinning) that might cause congenital disabilities.
Ginseng could disturb your sleep patterns and cause mood swings.
This herb may also lower blood sugar levels, causing dizziness and nausea.
Ginseng might stop the normal clotting of blood during and after pregnancy.
It sometimes causes diarrhoea, dry mouth, headache, dehydration, and fatigue.
Ginseng may reduce the effect of any medication prescribed by your gynaecologist.
It might cause excess bleeding during a cesarean birth.
Is Ginseng Safe During Breastfeeding?
Well, if you’ve avoided ginseng during pregnancy, perhaps avoid it during the breastfeeding phase too. According to a study, ginseng was of no real benefit during the lactation phase.
It is, therefore, best to avoid ginseng while you are breastfeeding.
Are There Any Alternatives to Ginseng?
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As we know, herbal remedies are largely prevalent because they are ‘natural substances.’ However, that does not make all herbs safe or suitable for pregnant and lactating women. Whether you are trying to conceive, are pregnant, or breastfeeding, it is always best to avoid herbs or consult a qualified professional before trying any herbal remedy.
Drinking herbal teas with ginger, garlic, cinnamon, caraway, and mint can be great alternatives to ginseng. But, again, you must consume them in moderation and after consulting with a medical expert only.
While there is no certain percentages of how many pregnant women use herbal medicine as it ranges from 7 percent to 55 percent. In fact, studies suggest that there are still about 80 percent of people all around the world who rely on herbal medicine as well as other natural products.
At the end, all that matters is your baby’s health. If that means making a few sacrifices on the way, so be it.