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Home > Living Well > Health Library > American Ginseng for Sports & Fitness
Some athletes say that American ginseng helps reduce fatigue.
There is little research on the effect of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) on exercise. Theoretically, American ginseng increases cortisol (a steroid hormone found naturally in the body) output, which suggests that it should be able to increase athletic performance; however, there is no human research to show this to be the case.
Historically, it has been used to help people who are fatigued feel less lethargic. The energizing effects of American ginseng only last while it is in your system. If you are consistently feeling tired, it's best to pinpoint the reason for your fatigue.
An extract of American ginseng was found ineffective at improving endurance exercise performance in untrained people after one week's supplementation in a double-blind study.1
Standardized extracts of American ginseng, unlike Asian ginseng, are not available. However, dried root powder, 1 to 3 grams per day in capsule or tablet form, can be used.2 Some herbalists also recommend 3 to 5 ml of tincture three times per day.
Occasional cases of insomnia or agitation have been reported with the use of American ginseng. These conditions are more likely, however, when caffeine-containing foods and beverages are also being consumed.3
Conditions such as insomnia or agitation are more likely to occur when caffeine-containing foods and beverages are being consumed along with American ginseng.4
Certain medicines interact with this supplement.
In a study of healthy human volunteers, supplementing with American ginseng reduced warfarin's anticoagulant effect, apparently by stimulating the body to accelerate the metabolism of warfarin. People taking warfarin should not take American ginseng, unless supervised by a doctor.
Last Review: 05-24-2015
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