American ginseng improves glucose tolerance in diabetics and
A small, randomized clinical study showed that treatment with
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) helped improve glucose
tolerance in nondiabetic people as well as those with type II
diabetes mellitus. For the study, 10 nondiabetic people and 9
people with type II diabetes received treatment with 3 g ginseng
or placebo capsules either 40 minutes before or in combination
with an oral glucose challenge. In nondiabetic participants, no
difference was observed in glycemia between placebo and ginseng
when the substances were administered along with glucose, but
significant reductions were seen when ginseng was taken 40 minutes
before the glucose challenge. However, compared with placebo,
both ginseng dosage regimens improved glucose tolerance in the
people with diabetes. The researchers cautioned that for nondiabetics,
"to prevent unintended hypoglycemia, it may be important
that the American ginseng be taken with meals." They also
noted that the 3 g dose of ginseng used in their study is higher
than that used in most other clinical studies, which is typically
1.5 g or less. Vuksan V, Stevenpiper JL, Koo VYY, et al. American
ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) reduces postprandial glycemia
in nondiabetic subjects and subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Archives of Internal Medicine 2000; 160: 1009-1013.
© 2003 by Herb Research Foundation,
Boulder, CO, USA.