Siberian Ginseng - AF contraindication?

Had blood tests recently and have been looking through them with a magnifying glass.

My urea and Creatinine levels are on the high side and a few other things as well lead me to think my kidneys are not operating optimally. No alarm bells but I am now trying to sort things out BEFORE the alarm bells start ringing - bizarre turnaround for me :).

Have been reading that siberian ginseng has been shown to have a positive effect on kidney function and can not find much about contraindications esp. AF.

Is anyone here using this supplement or knows of any effect on AF/


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20 Replies

  • Ginseng certainly interacts with Warfarin....don't know what anti coagulant you are on? If your urea & creatinine levels are on the high side I would not be looking to overload your kidneys with more drugs. Concentrate on taking only essential drugs any ensure that you are well hydrated. I am speaking from experience having been admitted with a one off bout of acute kidney injury with very high levels of urea and creatinine. Sandra

  • Thanks Sandra. Am on aspirin. I am of course only taking those drugs that are required. Siberian ginseng is specifically for assisting kidney function. Thanks for your response and interesting to hear about your issue with your kidney.

  • I have to say again that nobody here should give advice on such matters. You should always discuss taking any strong supplement or additional drugs with your doctor. Apart from anything else , how can he successfully treat you if you go behind his back and he doesn't know about what you are taking. Whenever I have had to go for any treatment I always have to provide a full list of prescribed drugs and any vitamins or health supplements I take.


  • Hi Bob, I appreciate your diligence on this however I am not asking anyone to tell me to take it or not take it - I simply asked if anyone had any information or experience with this supplement.

    I am not sure what part of my question made you think I would not discuss this with my Dr or "go behind his back". That would be plain stupid and I doubt anyone here would do that considering we all are aware of the seriousness of our medical problems.

    I think you can see from the tone of my question I am actively seeking out reasons NOT to pursue this supplement. If anyone had information that showed it should not be taken I would simply drop it and not waste my Dr's time. If I had positive feedback then my next step would, of course, be consultation.

    Just to put your mind at rest I keep a full and up to date list of all drugs and supplements I take both in my wallet and on my iPhone, along with a complete medical history. This has proved very handy when visiting A&E and I would certainly recommend everyone does this.

  • Just keeping to Healthunlocked policy here. See the side bar. What you do is up to you but for the protection of all this is policy.

  • I am not sure how my questions differs from any other of the thousands which ask people's opinions or advice but your feedback is noted.

  • Good advice Bob. I was thinking about taking a magnesium supplement. Called my ep. He checked his records and according to them I'm right on as far as my magnesium levels are concerned. When dealing with matters of the heart always go to your doctors first before making any changes.

  • Does your doctor agree with your assessment of your blood test Dave and what has he or she recommended? Creatinine levels can be significantly affected by a meat diet - any heavy 'carnivore activity', either in general or perhaps a day or two before the blood test? Probably worth a repeat test before you get too concerned.

  • His immediate concern was my glucose levels which indicate I am pre-diabetic. The problems I mention above wrap around this kind of diagnosis. Once I have my full thyroid results back I will be sitting down with him to discuss however I am a real advocate for proactively managing your own health in consultation with your Dr hence my question.

  • To prevent diabetes, chromium and cinnamon are both excellent, along with a 'no sugar' diet, and no white bread/flour/rice/pasta etc, and eating a little protein with carbohydrates eg nuts with bread etc. Try eating by the 'GL diet' - see Patrick Holford. He claims that Type II diabetes can be stopped/reversed by such means . . .

  • Creatinine levels are very important I believe, years ago I was on statins And almost could not walk?? A doctor in NZ. Told me to stop taking Statins because my cretinin levels were high, I stopped. And now do 8 mile walks

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    High Cretanine levels are a warrning


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  • I have been convinced of the value of supplements for many years and tried ginseng at some point following my diagnosis with AF, but found it only made me feel worse - more tired, washed out etc. Then somewhere I found some information that showed that it is contraindicated in AF - works on the heart in a way that we do not want - but I can't remember the details, or where I found it. However, ginseng of any description is now on my list of 'do not use' supplements! Hope this helps - sorry not to be able to give more detail.

  • Thats great - appreciate your advice. Because I have not been able to find much that says one way or the other it';s good to hear of other people's experiences.

  • I seem to remember taking ginseng(can't remember which type) long before I developed AF, and it caused me to have a noticeable raised pulse rate. Now I have AF I certainly wouldn't take it, hope this helps.

  • Thanks for that - as I have said previously information regarding AF and this supplement has been hard to find. Personal experience of others certainly helps.

  • Ah, the good old Ginseng. Twenty years ago was in a Chinese herb shop in Sydney. Somebody was buying Ginseng for 70 dollars an ounce. Piqued my interest that did. Like that must be some good stuff at that price. Asked the guy for some. He did, to be fair, look a little dubious and patted the left side of his chest rapidly while saying, "Maybe not so good for you". I wasn't to be stopped at this point. He cut it into small pieces and I took it back and put it on my desk, offering it around and having a good chew myself. Well. I felt like Jesus Christ and all the prophets for about three days, skimming around about about a foot off the ground. Third day, woke up at three in the morning, heart going like a machine gun. Went to A&E and waddaya know? AFib - never heard of it before. Few days and it reverted. Two episodes since, not bad in twenty years and I'm now well instructed by this forum.

    So, for what it's worth, that's a true and accurate account of my experience. Draw your own conclusions and stay on the magnesium!

  • I live in Sydney and also remember a few decades ago when ginseng was talked about like it was the new messiah and all the cool kids were having it in the drinks and smirking at those of us who knew nothing about it :)

    Thanks for the feedback - seems like ginseng is now off the table for me BUT chamomile is a good alternative for kidney support which is what I needed to address.

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