The Superfood Ginseng is One of Nature’s Greatest Naturally-Occurring Supplement
Ginseng — I love it. The fabled herb was first specifically mentioned in the work “Omissions from Ben Cao Gang Mu” by Zhao Xue-min, published in 1765 during the Qing dynasty in China.
Since then, it’s grown in popularity in the west. What is ginseng? It really is a super food in many ways.
Ginseng is a perennial herb that has been used for medicinal purposes in China and other Asian countries for centuries.
Ginseng is a slow growing herb, which consists of a light colored root, a single stalk and long oval green leaves.
It also contains complex carbohydrates called saponins or ginsengsines. It possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer elements.
It also promotes the production of sex hormones and thus is used to enhance sexual desire.
It is also used to slow the aging process. Ginseng is used in cures but its main value, when taken over a long period of time, is as a preventative.
One study reported that a dietary supplement containing extracts of Korean ginseng as well as ginkgo and other ingredients improved the sex drives of female participants.
But it is not clear how the supplement worked to enhance function, and further research is necessary to determine the role, if any, of ginseng.
American ginseng never became an important medicinal plant in American medicine, though the root was official in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1842-1882. It was regarded as a mild stimulant, and soothing to an upset stomach.
Let’s now talk more about the specific benefits of ginseng.
Health Benefits of Ginseng
Ginseng is an herb that has been used in Chinese medicine for many centuries because of its many benefits to the body. Ginseng can be used as an anti-inflammatory agent, to increase blood volume or as an energizer. It is frequently found in male enhancement products because it is thought to increase stamina and desire.
Ginseng is used as a restorative or tonic, rather than as a cure for a particular illness. It can be used to improve the health of people recovering from illness. It is said to clear the mind, improve mental facilities and improve overall energy.
It is a medicinal herb taken to improve a person’s health. Ginseng is a medicinal plant with wondrous powers. Ginseng is usually a very well-tolerated herb when it is taken by mouth.
It strengthens left ventricular function and reduced free radical damage in patients post MI. It seems to increase SOD (super oxide dismutase) activity in cardiac muscle, and decreases lipid peroxidation. It is considered a cardiac tonic.
It is a fleshy rooted herb, native to well drained, cool, shaded hardwood forests. It is a fleshy rooted herb and a slow growing plant that takes years to grow. It is a very slow growing perennial herb, reaching about 2 ft in height. It is a slow-growing plant whose typical height is 8 to 15 inches. Ginseng is also known as Siberian ginseng, devil’s shrub, eleuthero, touch-me-not, and wild pepper.
Probably where it has gained most of its acclaim is its increasing of the human libido. Ginseng is well known as a sexual stimulant. It is safe but it is possible to overdose, especially on Korean ginseng, the most potent of the three types. It is defenseless against rodents, turkey, and deer, for example. It is widely cultivated in the U.S., Canada, and China. Ginseng is so synonymous with China that few know that it is native to Canada.
Ginseng contains amino acids, A, E, B2, niacin & 20 different minerals. It is a common health drink in China, Korea, and Japan and consumed its distinct flavor and medicinal properties. It is believed to possess amazing healing properties, increase wisdom and longevity, cure neurological disorders. It is believed to be effective in helping increase sperm production. Ginseng can be used as an anti-inflammatory agent, to increase blood volume or as an energizer.
Ginseng can also be used to lower high blood pressure and to raise low blood pressure. It has been reported to cause either decreased blood pressure or increased blood pressure.
But people with diabetes should not take ginseng or ginseng tea, as it can lead to a sudden drop in their blood sugar. It may lower blood sugar levels. Diabetic people taking insulin should also avoid it. It is an herb that comes from the root of the ginseng plant.
Some forms of ginseng are used to treat colds and respiratory tract infections and others use it as a beauty ingredient to enhance the skin. There are many different types of this herb, and even more uses and benefits for it.
Ginseng helps reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, has anti-clotting effects, reduces the risk of arterial blood clots, and helps control diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels. It is known as an antioxidant, protects the liver from the effects of drugs, alcohol, preventing the cumulative cell damage, and toxins, minimizes cell damage from radiation, and increases intestinal absorption of nutrients.
How does it taste? Believe it or not, it doesn’t taste bad at all. It has an earthy or “woodsy” taste. I like mine in tea but you can eat it as well.
It’s really good with bee pollen and honey or succanat (freeze-dried can sugar). It’s a “superfood” that is actually nice tasting.
Types of Ginseng
Ginseng root comes in three types. Korean or oriental ginseng is the most widely used ginseng in the world. American ginseng has a cooling quality on the body versus a heating quality for oriental ginseng. American ginseng grows from Quebec to Minnesota and to the south to Georgia and Oklahoma.
The third type is Siberian, which is also common in North America. Siberian ginseng is a cousin of oriental ginseng but has similar properties. The name ginseng is Chinese meaning “Man Plant” from the root’s frequent likeness to the human form.
In Korean, it’s called “Insam” for essentially the same reason. Moreover, overall, ginseng is best from Korea and China where it is quite popular. (I saw many ginseng fields in Korea when I lived there.)
To be more precise, here are different types of ginseng. They include the Oriental ginseng (also called panax ginseng), American ginseng, (panax quinquefolium), Siberian ginseng, (eleutherococcus senticocus), and Korean ginseng. (The Korean ginseng is typically classified from the same family as panax or Oriental ginseng.)
Other ginseng strain include called Panax vietnamensis or Vietnamese ginseng, Indian Ginseng, also known as Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), Southern Ginseng, also known as Jiaogulan (Gynostemma Pentaphyllum), Japanese Ginseng (Panax Japonicum), Brazilian Ginseng (Pfaffia Paniculata), Peruvian Ginseng, known as Maca (Epidium Meyenii), and Prince Ginseng (Pseudostellaria heterophylla).
Side Effects of Ginseng
As with any herb or health supplement, there are contradictions and possible drug interactions to be aware of. It is important to know exactly what side effects may come up when taking ginseng alone or in conjunction with other treatments, so consult a healthcare professional to be sure. When it is taken with antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs, the effect of the drug may be increased, possibly resulting in uncontrolled bleeding.
The most distressing side effects are gastrointestinal problems, particularly stomach cramps and heartburn, which Ginseng is available in many forms, such as fresh and dried roots, extracts, solutions, capsules, tablets, cosmetics, sodas, and teas.
It can be consumed in many forms, including whole root, powdered capsules, tablets, teas and oil extracts.
It is used to treat anemia, diabetes, gastritis and other conditions, including anti-aging. It is used to treat fever, fatigue, respiratory tract disorders, and other illness.
Ginseng is one of the famous alternative medications used to treat stress, anxiety, fatigue, and other physical illness.
Ginseng has increased the heart rate or increased blood pressure. Effects of overdose can be quite severe; mild signs include fever, tachypnea, tachycardia, nausea and vomiting and diarrhoea with abdominal pain. This can progress to headache, delirium, mydriasis and coma.
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease.
Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health care provider qualified in the field of botanical medicine. It has stabilizing effects on capillaries and reduce vascular permeability and fragility.
The most common side effects of too much ginseng are: restlessness, nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations, insomnia, and may also include abdominal pains including digestive problems.
In a statement issued by the Health Behavior News Service, JinSong Geng, M.D., the lead review author, stated: “Ginseng appears to have some beneficial effects on cognition, behavior and quality of life. “But at present, recommendations about [whether to take the herb] cannot be made due to the lack of high-quality evidence.
Needless to say, generally speaking, individuals who have heart disease, including high blood pressure and previous heart attacks, should not take eleuthero without supervision from a healthcare professional.
Lastly, if a person is allergic to ginseng, he or she can develop allergic reactions like, skin rash , blisters, itching, swelling, especially of the face and tongue, and breathing difficulties.
If not treated on time, the allergic reaction can lead to a potentially life threatening condition known as anaphylaxis.
Although the Korean ginseng side effects are generally mild in nature, it is advisable to take this herb or its supplements only under the supervision of a health care professional. Though herbs have the potential of providing a great number of health benefits, their excessive intake can give rise to some major complications.
Therefore, moderation and adequate precaution is required while taking herbs for medicinal or therapeutic purposes.
I love ginseng. It is a great super food. It’s great tasting and it really gives an avalanche of nutrition and increases libido.
Ginseng is generally safe but it is wise to keep these potential side effects in mind.
Thanks for visiting.
Yours in health,