- Other Names: Asian Ginseng, Korean Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng
- Origin: China, Japan and Korea
- Available Forms: Ginseng root is available fresh or dried. You can buy it whole, sliced, in powder and tea form. You can also buy ginseng in tablet, capsule, powder, tincture and tea form.
Ginseng which literally means “root of man” is one of the world’s best known herbal remedy, it has been used in Asia for more than 5,000 years as tonic and rejuvenator. Panax ginseng is one variety of ginseng that is most prized by the Chinese, the name “panax” comes from the Greek word “panacea”, meaning “cure all”.
The medicinal properties of panax ginseng are found in both the leaf and its light tan root; which sometimes resemble a human body. A portion that looked like a man would command a higher price than an entire bale of nondescript roots. The root is harvested after four to six years when its overall ginsenoside content (the main active ingredient in ginseng) is at its peak.
Health Benefits of Panax Ginseng:
- Panax ginseng herb is considered “adaptogen” because of its unique ability to normalize whatever is out of balance in the body.
- Panax ginseng works to stimulate and improve the working of the brain with it’s oxygenation properties. It is therefore beneficial in promoting physical and mental alertness.
- Panax ginseng is believed to increase women’s level of hormones therefore recommended for menopausal symptoms.
- Panax ginseng not only inhibits the production of cancer cells but actually converts the abnormal cells into normal ones.
- Panax ginseng possesses a stimulatory effect on sexual function in males and females that is why ginseng has reputation for enhancing sexual desire.
- Panax ginseng increases sperm production with a marked decrease in erectile dysfunction. It may be taken by mouth or applied topically, directly to the penis to treat erectile dysfunction in men.
- Panax ginseng helps lower the blood alcohol content by reducing absorption from the stomach. It can therefore shorten hangover.
- Panax ginseng decreases harmful LDL cholesterol and increases beneficial cholesterol HDL levels.
- Panax ginseng helps treat diabetes, because it enhances the release of insulin from the pancreas and lowers blood sugar levels.
- Panax ginseng is thought to prevent liver damage in people who have been exposed to various drugs and toxins. It has also been used to help in withdrawal from methamphetamines and cocaine.
Guidelines for use:
- Start at the lower end of the dosage range and increase your intake gradually.
- Some experts recommend that you stop taking ginseng for a week every two or three weeks and then resume your regular dose. In some cases, ginseng may be rotated with other immune-stimulating herbs, such as astragalus or Echinacea.
- Select a product that is standardized to contain at least 7% ginsenosides. Read labels carefully to be sure you’re getting Panax ginseng. Other kinds, such as American ginseng and Siberian ginseng produce different effects.
- Vials of ginseng elixir sold at some health-food shops have become popular energy tonics, especially among teenagers. They often contain little (if any) ginseng, however, and may have a high alcohol or sugar content.
Possible Side Effects of Panax Ginseng:
- There have been reports that higher doses cause nervousness, insomnia, headache and stomach upset. If you have any of these problems, reduce your dose.
- The combination of ginseng and caffeine may intensify these reactions, so cut back on caffeine or avoid it altogether.
- Some women report increased menstrual bleeding or breast tenderness with high doses of ginseng. If this occurs, reduce your dose or stop using it.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
“This post was originally published on June 15, 2012 @ 14:25”