Ginseng & Women...

I like to take ginseng every moring along with some other supplements, but now I’ve heard that women aren’t supposed to take it on a regular basis.

Does anyone know why this might be? Am I going to turn into a man? Develope a hairy chest? Grow a penis (wouldn’t THAT be a shock in the shower).

I’ve tried google and wound up with people selling it, but not a huge amount of info about safety.

Can anyone help?


Uh, thats supposed to be develop.

I take Ginseng regularly in tea form. From my understanding Ginseng helps blood circulation. Perhaps someone has put this together with women’s monthly cycle and concluded that it must be bad for women.

I doubt this is the case and unless your source can come up with facts to back it up, I would categorize this as an urban legend.


The way I’ve heard it is that Dong Quai is supposed to do for women what ginseng does, only better. Which is not to extrapolate that therefore ginseng is no good for women, only that Dong Quai is preferable. Specifically, Dong Quai helps to regulate the monthly cycle.

There are several types of Ginseng. Asian ginseng (panax ginseng), American Ginseng (panax quinquefolium), and Siberian Ginseng (eleutherococcus senticosus) are usually used as support during stress: they have a generally stimulatory effect, and an overall tonic action on the body. Different types of ginseng, and the way they are processed, have varied effects according to historic use.

Dong Quai(Angelica sinensis), is traditionally known as the “female ginseng”, and used as a blood-building tonic herb. It is also an emmenagogue (brings on menses), so should not be used during pregnancy.

Some thumbnail sketches can be found here. They’re a reputable source.

I think what you’re encountering is the Chinese medical principle of Yin/Yang. Traditionally, Asian Ginseng is considered a Yang (male) tonic. But that terminology is complex and gets misinterpreted by the evolving dialogue of Eastern and Western medicine. I haven’t seen any particular contraindications in ginseng use for women. If used regularly, it might be overstimulating.

Please note that I am an avid student of medicinal herbs, but not a medical professional.