You're always feeling lethargic during pregnancy. Will ginseng help to boost your energy levels?
Researchers have conducted a review of herbs used by women during pregnancy in Singapore, using Korean ginseng in various combinations and amounts for testing, shares Dr Ho Hon Kwok, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at HK Ho Women & Fertility Clinic, Mount Alvernia Medical Centre.
While they couldn’t confirm the claims made by herbalists on its bene ts, they didn’t exclude the possibility of a beneficial psychosomatic effect (where the mind influences how people feel).
As for Siberian ginseng, there are no reports in the medical literature of it being either safe or advisable when you’re expecting.
There are also concerns among parents about the possible risks of birth defects that might be related to taking ginseng in the first trimester.
"My advice is to be cautious during the first three months of your baby’s growth," Dr Ho says.
"If you like, have it in the later stages of your pregnancy instead, but always check with your gynae first."