Abstract Title:

North American ginseng exerts a neutral effect on blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.

Abstract Source:

Hypertension. 2005 Aug;46(2):406-11. Epub 2005 Jul 5. PMID: 15998708

Abstract Author(s):

P Mark Stavro, Minna Woo, Tibor F Heim, Lawrence A Leiter, Vladimir Vuksan


An early observational study suggested that ginseng could elevate blood pressure. This caused concern because 4.5% of American adults use ginseng, with a popular choice being North American ginseng. To date, North American ginseng lacks hemodynamic evaluation; therefore, we conducted a randomized, double-blinded, controlled trial to investigate its effect on blood pressure in 16 hypertensive individuals (mean+/-SD age 61.1+/-8.1 years; systolic/diastolic blood pressure 132.4+/-12.8/83.3+/-8.1 mm Hg; 13 on antihypertensives). We used 6 batches of North American ginseng root that varied in quality and ginsenoside content, representing the spectrum of this ginseng on the market. On 8 mornings, each participant was fitted with an ambulatory blood pressure monitor, which measured blood pressure during a 30-minute baseline period. Each participant then consumed in a randomized and double-blind fashion 3 g of encapsulated treatment: placebo (on 2 mornings) or powdered North American ginseng (on 6 mornings). After treatment, blood pressure was measured every 10 minutes for 160 minutes, and its change at each post-treatment time point relative to baseline was determined per individual and averaged, and the mean was obtained for the overall 160-minute period. None of the North American ginsengs or their mean differed from placebo in their effect on overall (160 minutes) mean blood pressure change. None affected blood pressure versus placebo at the 10-minute intervals; but their mean versus placebo increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure at 140 and 160 minutes, respectively, and lowered diastolic blood pressure at 100 minutes. The findings together suggested that North American ginseng exerts a neutral acute effect on blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.

Study Type : Human Study

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