Question

I am a breastfeeding mother and i want to know if it is safe to use Ginseng? Is Ginseng safe for nursing mother and child? Does Ginseng extracts into breast milk? Does Ginseng has any long term or short term side effects on infants? Can Ginseng influence milk supply or can Ginseng decrease milk supply in lactating mothers?

Answer by DrLact: About Ginseng usage in lactation

The roots of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), and several other species contain steroidal saponins called ginsenosides that are purported to be adaptogens (i.e., to increase endurance and improve memory). Ginseng has no specific uses during breastfeeding. Ginseng is generally well tolerated in adults and is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The most common side effects include headache, hypertension, diarrhea, sleeplessness, skin rash, and vaginal bleeding. Ginseng decreases the blood levels of some drugs, such as warfarin, and enhances the effect of sedating drugs. With long-term use, nervousness, diarrhea, confusion, depression or depersonalization may occur. Gynecomastia and breast pain have been reported.[1][2] No data exist on the safety and efficacy of ginseng in nursing mothers or infants. Because of its possible estrogenic activity and lack of information during breastfeeding, many sources recommend that ginseng not be used during lactation. Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed information #about dietary supplements# is available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.

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Disclaimer: Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. We do not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.