Ginseng—Killer or Panacea?

Depends on the manufacturer



Ginseng makes us feel younger—my energy spikes, head clears and metabolism burns calories as a raging oven—I can get done twice as much and stop contemplating excuses for skipping exercise. With the right ginseng I can enjoy my thighs bikini-perfect through the whole year.

But if you try to buy the supplement without much research into it, consuming ginseng from a wrong manufacturer may backfire, big time.

A HealthyLivinG Foundation investigation into popular Panax ginseng (also known as Korean Red Ginseng and White Ginseng) supplements found the amount of lead ingested from some supplements exceeded California Prop. 65 safety limits.

With more frequent use, the amount could exceed safe harbor levels by more than 200%. Among the companies, HLF sent Notices of Violation to Nature’s Answer and Mason Natural, which were tested to have the highest levels of lead. The investigation also found a number of brands whose products were completely lead-free. See the chart for details.

Lead in Natures Answer supplements ginseng

Lead in Natures Answer supplements ginseng

All tests for lead were performed by the independent laboratory Exova. Each product was tested one to six times. HLF continues to test and post results. Average mcg/day intake is based on the product label.

Lead Risk

Lead is known to cause cancer and reproductive defects. It also causes hypertension, violent behavior and dementia. Lead accumulates in the bones and is almost wholly absorbed by the fetus during pregnancy, lowering a newborn baby’s IQ besides posing additional long-term behavioral and neurological risks.

Corporate Consciousness

Most companies, when confronted with facts about their toxic products, make every effort to remove them from the marketplace and protect the health of their customers. When Mason Natural learned from the HealthyLivinG Foundation about high amounts of lead in one of their ginseng products, the company withdrew it from the marketplace, discussed with the Foundation ways to market a safe product, paid about $60,ooo to settle the product toxicity claims (see Attorney General website) and commenced to reformulate with cleaner ingredients.

Follow The Story

However, corporations like Nature’s Answer (CEO Frank D'Amelio) continue selling products without warning after being served three Notices of Violation. We have reached out to Mr. D’Amelio for comments and did not hear back.

Post below what you think Mr. Amelio’s response will be.

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Read more about HLF’s fight for your natural right to live a healthy long life—and to know what’s in your product.

Learn about the mission or donate to the cause at www.HealthyLivinGFoundation.US

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