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The use of ginseng herb in traditional healing can be traced back to some 5,000 years ago. True ginseng belongs to the genus Panax of the family Araliaceae. It is differentiated from other cultivars by the presence of ginsenosides (anticancerous active ingredients). The roots are basically used in herbal medicine, but you will also come across products that contain ginseng leaves. Roots are available as dried slices or in a ground form, and it is commonly used while making herbal tea.

The two most touted health benefits of ginseng tea are addressing the problem of type 2 diabetes and correcting erectile dysfunction in men. It also boosts the immune system and serves as an adaptogen while reducing high blood pressure. Nevertheless, mild to dangerous side effects of this herbal tea have been reported by regular tea drinkers. These include stimulation of brain activities, lowering blood sugar, elevating blood pressure, and allergies amongst others. Thus, every prospective user should compare the benefits and probable adverse effects prior to its usage for therapeutic applications.

Side Effects of Ginseng Tea

Ginseng is considered a safe adaptogen herb if the intake dose is kept within recommended levels. For preparing this tea, one can steep root slices in boiling water or brew it with ginseng powder. Either way, the amount of tea used can differ depending on personal requirements. Excessive intake of this herbal tea can result in unpleasant consequences. For your understanding, a few have been enlisted below.

Sleep Difficulties
Lack of sound sleep is a common complaint amongst people who drink ginseng tea on a regular basis. Certain studies have indicated that the active components found in ginseng produce a stimulating effect on the brain cells. Thus, over consumption leads to sleeplessness and similar sleep disorders.

Digestive Problems
This herbal tea may cause nausea, stomach discomfort, and diarrhea. These gastrointestinal conditions are most common amongst those who drink it for the first time. In most people, these symptoms disappear gradually once the body gets adjusted to the safe amounts of this tea.

Fluctuating Blood Pressure
Consuming this tea in large amounts is associated with elevated or abnormally low blood pressure. This can be because of a possible reaction with any existing medication (if any). Taking this into consideration, a patient suffering from high blood pressure should consume ginseng tea only after getting an approval from the concerned physician.

Lowered Blood Glucose
Though ginseng tea is considered as a natural remedy for type 2 diabetes, it may lead to abnormally low blood sugar levels resulting in unpleasant symptoms. In order to avoid this, a diabetic patient should not drink this tea along with the recommended diabetic drugs and medications.

Nervousness and Restlessness
Some people who consume this tea on a regular basis have complained about nervousness, loss of concentration, restlessness, and excitability. These symptoms occur because of over stimulation of the brain cells. These indicants get exacerbated when this tea is taken along with coffee and other caffeinated drinks.

Other Ill Effects
Drinking ginseng tea may cause allergic reactions, mild skin rashes, tightness in the chest area, and difficulty in breathing. It is also linked with other serious adverse reactions, like palpitations, tachycardia, asthma attacks, breast tenderness, and vaginal bleeding in postmenopausal women. Ingesting ginseng products may cause hormonal imbalance in both men and women.

If one experiences any of the above-mentioned side effects, immediately stop the usage of ginseng products. Till date, no clinical trial has proved the safety of ginseng tea in children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. So, to be on the safer side, don't give this herbal tea to children and women who are expecting or breastfeeding. A word of caution regarding the use of herbal tea for health benefits is to seek advice from a trusted doctor or herbalist. This is mandatory for those who are currently taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.