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How Effective Is Ginseng for Diabetes?

Nicole Madison
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Some scientific research has revealed that ginseng may prove effective for controlling blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes. Studies have produced evidence that people who consume ginseng and significant amounts of fiber may experience lower levels of blood sugar. It is difficult, however, to determine how effective ginseng will prove for an individual. Likewise, it can prove a challenge to determine how much of the herb each person needs and how it will react with other medications. Even the source of the ginseng can play a role in its effectiveness, as ginseng from one source may prove more effective than another.

Ginseng is thought to be highly effective for diabetes. When using ginseng for diabetes, a person may experience lowered blood sugar levels or enjoy improvement in his sensitivity to insulin, which is a hormone that regulates metabolism and blood sugar levels. Positive results have been produced in research studies thus far, though scientists need to conduct further studies to learn more. Despite this, a person can feel reasonably comfortable with the idea that using ginseng for diabetes can have a beneficial effect.

Research to determine how one ginseng product will work versus another could help a person decide whether or not to use it. Ginseng taken from one source and processed, packaged, and delivered in a certain way may prove more or less effective than another type. In most places, herbal products are regulated in a much different manner than medicines. As such, it is hard to set standard dosages.

Though research concerning the use of ginseng for diabetes may seem promising, most doctors won't suggest that a person start using it right away. Instead, many doctors recommend taking a wait-and-see attitude and waiting for research that answers more questions about the manner in which the herb works and the optimal dosages. Still, some doctors may approve their patient's use of small amounts of ginseng as a supplement as long as the patient's blood sugar levels and any adverse reactions are monitored and reported. Taking ginseng for diabetes without a doctor's approval could prove risky, as it could lower one's blood sugar to dangerous levels.

Besides the effectiveness of using ginseng for diabetes, a person may do well to consider its safety. Research to determine the long-term effects of using ginseng in medical treatments may help patients and their doctors decide whether or not to use it. Additionally, patients may benefit from research results that reveal how the herb will react with diabetes medications.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison , Writer
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By serenesurface — On Jan 18, 2012

@burcidi-- I agree with you, ginseng is a bit iffy to work with. Plus, there are so many different brands out there and multiple types of ginseng cultivated in the world.

If it was produced and sold like medication, in well measured doses and proven quality, I would definitely take ginseng. My sister-in-law uses it and swears by it for diabetes. B

But that is not the case. There is like three or four different types of ginseng- American, Asian and Siberian. Many supplements don't specify the kind of ginseng or where it was cultivated. There is no way of know if it's pure or if it really has ginseng in it at all.

It's a shame because I do believe that ginseng has therapeutic effects for diabetics.

By burcidi — On Jan 17, 2012

From my experience, ginseng is effective for diabetes, but it doesn't work equally well for everyone.

I used to take ginseng supplements when I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and it did lower my blood sugar. When I went in for my 3 month check-ups, my average blood sugar was lower when I used ginseng than when I did not.

However, at this time, I was only using tablet medication and my blood sugar did not go up as high as it does now. Now, I'm on insulin and my insulin and blood sugar levels are not very balanced. I can have sudden rises and falls which requires quick treatment.

So it's not possible for me to take ginseng anymore because I don't know how much of a drop it's going to cause in my blood sugar. I need to follow my sugar very carefully so I can't afford to deal with ginseng at this point. But I would recommend it for people with type 2 diabetes.

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison

Writer

Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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