Ginseng and hydorcarbons.

JenandMike jenandmike at aol.com
Thu Apr 10 02:21:27 EST 1997

wkh at enteract.com wrote:

>My father has been taking a commericially available >ginseng extract
>for the past two years and recently came accross a >chemist who warned
>him about such prolonged use,  claiming that >'hydorcarbons' can
>accumulate in the system and be potentially hazardous.  >Does this make
>sense and is there a danger in prolonged ingestion of >ginseng?

>Any help would be appreciated.

>wkh at enteract.com

This statement makes little sense. "Hydrocarbons" is a very general term
for all chemicals (natural or synthetic) which contain only carbon and
hydrogen. Sugars for example are common hydrocarbons. Other hydrocarbons
are crude petroleum derived compounds (which of course can pose health
risks.) Supplements from Panax spp. (ginseng species) are tonic OTC or
health food remedies with little or no healthrisks (with a few exceptions,
consult your R.Ph, or other health professional). Actives in ginseng are
considered saponines (ginsenosides). These are indeed hydrocarbons but I
have not heard of any accumulative effects regarding ginsenosides..
Ginseng products in the U.S. are considered "food supplements" and
regulated as such.

Michael Lindenmaier

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