Ever since I joined the university, I must admit that I have always had some problems juggling between work and school, both of which can get very demanding. After a long day of studying and learning new concepts, I have to show up at work for the night shift, which usually lasts at least six hours. Resultantly, in many instances, I would suffer extreme burnouts and fatigue. This tendency continued for a while until a colleague at work recommended Ginsomin, a product made from the extracts of the root of Panax ginseng.
In an attempt to maintain my vitality and suffer less exhaustion, I bought the idea of using ginseng, and for eight months now, I have been taking Ginsomin capsules almost daily. However, following this protracted usage, I began questioning the effectiveness of the formulation as an adaptogen with its purported effects against fatigue.
A visit to the product’s website reveals a home page which has a very vivid picture of the drug, though with relatively little information to complement it. However, from the scant details provided, a few statements stand out, one of them being “Stay fit and active …everyday! Daily dose of nutrients and high-quality Ginseng extract to keep you at 100% in your performance, energy and immunity. Get more out of your personal and professional life (MegaWeCare).” Through this statement, it is obvious what the company attempts to achieve – quickly lure unsuspecting customers into purchasing Ginsomin.
A further perusal through the website and an assessment of the company’s overview of their product additionally shows a worrying trend. After giving a vague history of the usage of ginseng, the statement that follows is that “Ginseng in Ginsomin influences positively the immune system and increases the body’s resistance to stress and fatigue.” The information provided on the website regarding the indication of the drug is summarized in a five-word sentence, “Helps relieve fatigue and stress” (MegaWeCare).
On the FDA website, a link through which drug information to the consumers can be accessed is provided. This link leads to another site, MedlinePlus.gov which outlines the vast list of drug products available, among them Asian ginseng, the plant material from which Ginsomin is produced. Further details on the product are found in the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) website. According to NCCIH, “There have been many studies of Asian ginseng in people, but few have been high quality. Therefore, our understanding of Asian ginseng’s health effects is limited.” Additionally, the site clearly outlines that, “There’s currently no conclusive evidence supporting any health benefits of Asian ginseng (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health).”
Under the product’s safety, NCCIH’s stand is that “Short-term use of Asian ginseng in recommended amounts appears to be safe for most people. However, questions have been raised about its long-term safety, and some experts recommend against its use by infants, children, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.” Immediately afterward, the untoward effects of Panax ginseng are outlined: “The most common side effects of ginseng are headaches, sleep problems, and digestive problems (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health).”
Evidently, the information provided by the manufacturers of Ginsomin which contains Asian ginseng differs from that given by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. While Mega boldly proclaims the positive effects of Ginsomin, the government agency categorically states that the effects of ginseng are not proven and that only scanty details about the same are available….
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