The benefits of ginseng have been known for over 7000 years. It is the most famous Chinese herb with various forms of it being used for medicinal reasons. The whole root is used in powdered form and as a tea. Each plant takes over 5-6 years to grow but the roots can live for over 100 years.
Korean (Panex) is the most widely used ginseng in the world. The name Panax means “all healing”. The other varieties are American and Siberian, with each having its own chemical properties. American ginseng grows from Quebec to Minnesota and to the south to Georgia and Oklahoma.
Benefits of Ginseng
Ingrediants in ginseng include 25 saponin triterpenoid glycosides (also called ginsenosides) that enable ginseng to balance and counter the effects of stress. Ginseng is used to reduce stress, increase performance and energy levels, improve memory and boost the immune system. The Chinese use it as a prevention and as a cure.
The benefits of ginseng include being used as an adaptogen, which means it stabilizes physical functioning as needed. It can be used to lower high blood pressure and also to raise low blood pressure.
Ginseng tea and the powder form are used to remove both mental and physical fatigue. It contains vitamin A, B-6 and Zinc which helps in the functioning of the immune system. Ginseng tea or in powder form is used to increase estrogen levels in women and to treat menopause symptoms. It is also used to stimulate the heart and blood vessels.
Siberian ginseng is also known as eleuthero. It is made from the dried root of Eleutherococcus senticosus, a plant native to China, Japan, Siberia and Korea. It is most popular for it believed ability to fight fatigue and ward off colds and flu.
Benefits of ginseng include the ability to improve energy in people that constantly exhausted. Those who are recovering from an illness, people with a heavy work load or those that always feel rundown seem to praise the effects of the herb.
One noted exception is people who are in excellent physical condition or athletes. In a study done with 20 long distance runners, the group that was given Siberian ginseng seemed to perform no better than the group that was given the placebo.
Ginseng appears to be relatively safe. Korean ginseng is the most potent of the three types, therefore it has been noted that over stimulation from this herb is more common than in the others. Most side effects are from people who take more than the recommended dosage, such as nervousness, dizziness, mood changes, insomnia, headache and loss of appetite.
Do not take ginseng if you are pregnant or nursing and always remember to consult your physician before taking this or any other supplement.