2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Knowledge Base

Welcome to our extensive library of articles on health concerns and ailments, alternative therapies, nutritional supplements, and much more. Please mouse over the letters to get started. We hope you enjoy browsing.

Ginseng (Panax)

What Is It?

Look at the nutrition label on your orange juice or multivitamin and you may notice that ginseng has been added. That’s because smart marketers have caught on to this Herb’s 2,000-year-old reputation as a “feel good” tonic that can boost energy, combat the physical effects of stress, empower the immune system, improve concentration, and provide Antioxidant actions. Its legendary properties, particularly as an aphrodisiac, were once so prized in China that only the emperor was allowed to gather the herb. Today some men still take it to treat impotence and infertility although it’s unclear whether it actually improves these conditions.

The healing ingredients in Panax ginseng are concentrated in the root, or what traditional Chinese healers call the “man root” because it’s shaped like a person. This classic form of ginseng, also known as Asian, Chinese, or Korean ginseng, is the most widely available and extensively studied form.

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) are botanical cousins with different effects. A growth period of four to six years is necessary for full maturity of the herb’s complex mixture of energizing compounds known as ginsenosides, panaxans (substances that reportedly lower blood sugar), and polysaccharides (complex sugar molecules that enhance the immune system).

High-quality ginseng root is expensive and must be properly cured to be of any therapeutic value. A recent analysis of products on the market revealed that some so-called ginseng supplements are devoid of active ingredients. Other examinations have found that the amount of active ginsenosides in different brands varies widely. Such ginseng products as chewing gum and soft drinks probably contain little if any of the root.

Use products standardized to contain at least 7% ginsenosides, the main active ingredient in ginseng.

General Interaction

Because of the risk of unwanted interactions, don’t take ginseng with MAO inhibitors (drugs primarily used to treat depression), antipsychotics, diabetes medications, heart disease medications, high blood pressure medications, diuretics (furosemide in particular), or oral Corticosteroids. Consult your doctor if you have any questions.

Ginseng may increase the risk of overstimulation and stomach upset when taken with methylphenidate (Ritalin) and other nervous system stimulants.

Consuming large amounts of caffeine or other stimulants while taking ginseng can result in nervousness, sleeplessness, elevated blood pressure, and other complications.


Avoid ginseng if you have an acute illness, uncontrolled high blood pressure, an irregular heart rhythm, or if you are pregnant.

Because the effects of long-term use of ginseng remain to be carefully examined, avoid using it for more than three months at a stretch.

Ginseng is a stimulant, so don’t take it too close to bedtime.

Higher than commonly recommended doses may cause nervousness, insomnia, headache, skin eruptions, stomach upset, and increased menstrual bleeding and breast tenderness. If you experience any of these reactions, reduce your dose or stop taking the herb.


Andropause – 600-700 mg mg twice a day or 1/2 tsp. liquid extract twice a day

Diabetes – Take 1-3 g of the crude root, or 200-600 mg of a standardized extract daily

Fatigue – 535-650 mg or 1/2 tsp. liquid extract twice a day

Impotence – 600-700 mg mg twice a day or 1/2 tsp. liquid extract twice a day

Infertility, male – 650 mg twice a day or 1/2 tsp. liquid extract

Stress – 100-200 mg 2 or 3 times a day

For product recommendations and orders click here for the Natural Apothecary or call 773-296-6700, ext. 2001.

Leave a Comment

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!


Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our


The Knowledge Base


Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!


Upcoming Workshops

The Next Lyme Academy Begins
Tuesday, October 4, 5:30-7 pm
Here’s a special invitation for patients of Dr. Kelley who are currently being treated for Lyme disease. Dr. Kelley’s new, four-week Lyme Academy starts on October 4, continuing over the following three Tuesdays.


Awakened Body, Quiet Mind
An innovative workshop series for relieving mind/body stress and tapping into your true power and natural health.
4 Group Sessions with Meghan Roekle, PsyD
Four meetings using a unique combination of embodiment meditation and mental inquiry for deep healing.
Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm; beginning October 20th

Recent Health Tips

  • Tired All The Time? Useful Info and Two Supplements

    Tired All The Time? Useful Info and Two Supplements

    As you might expect, fatigue is a fairly common reason people visit doctors. Feeling tired is vague symptom and can be linked to dozens of possible diagnoses, plus there’s a need to differentiate between physical fatigue and mental fatigue (brain fog) or consider both. When …Read More »
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

    I’d been reading Ally Hilfiger’s new autobiography Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me, preferring the Lyme parts to those devoted to fashion and her MTV “Rich Girl” series. Her symptoms were typical of chronic Lyme and …Read More »

October Sale: 20% Off Urban Moonshine Products


All Urban Moonshine products are 20% off for the entire month of October!

Urban Moonshine creates beautiful herbal formulas that focus on prevention, improving quality of life, and empowering people to create home herbal apothecaries.  More>>