If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use Asian ginseng without first talking to your health care provider:
Heart medications -- Asian ginseng may alter the effects of certain blood pressure medications, including calcium channel blockers.
Blood thinning medications -- Asian ginseng may decrease the effectiveness of the blood-thinning medication warfarin. In addition, ginseng may inhibit platelet activity. For this reason, it should probably not be used with aspirin.
Caffeine -- While taking Asian ginseng, it is wise to avoid caffeine or other substances that stimulate the central nervous system because the ginseng may increase their effects, possibly causing nervousness, sweating, insomnia, or irregular heartbeat.
Psychiatric medications -- Asian ginseng may exaggerate the effects of this anti-psychotic medication, so these should not be taken together. There have been reports of a possible interaction between Asian ginseng and the antidepressant medication, phenelzine (which belongs to a class known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors), resulting in symptoms ranging from manic-like episodes to headache and tremulousness.
Morphine -- Asian ginseng may block the pain killing effects of morphine.
Ernest B. Hawkins, MS, BSPharm, RPh, Health Education Resources; and Steven D. Ehrlich, N.M.D., private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.