Ginseng is traditionally used in Korea as a tonic during pregnancy. The Commission E Ginseng—Korean 566
does not list any restrictions (Blumenthal 2001). However, due to the potential
teratogenicity of some compounds (ginsenoside Rb1 ) observed under experimental conditions, ginseng should be used cautiously during the first trimester of pregnancy (Chan et al 2003).
In a two-generation rat study, a ginseng extract fed at doses as high as 1 5 mg/kg/day did not produce adverse effects on reproductive performance, including embryo development and lactation (Hess et al 1982).
PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING
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