People today are extremely conscious of their health and wellness. I have seen people who are constantly curious to know about natural ways and sources to enhance their health. If you are one among them, let’s grab some knowledge about an ancient treasured Chinese herb called, Ginseng.
What is Ginseng?
Ginseng is a slow growing, short perennial plant with fleshy roots. It belongs to the Araliaceous botanical family and is grown naturally in the Northern Hemisphere, in Eastern Asia (Northern China, Korea, Eastern Siberia). Ginseng is scientifically known as Panax, a Greek word meaning “all-healing”.
Types of Ginseng
Ginsengs are usually categorized by the place they are found or their colors. There are six major species:
- American Ginseng (White or yellow in color)
- Asiatic Ginseng or Korean Ginseng (red color)
- Dwarf Ginseng
- Japanese Ginseng
- Siberian Ginseng
Here, let us have a look at the 3 most popular categories.
1. American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.)
Panax quinquefolius (American Ginseng) gives a cool feel to your body, increases energy levels and relieves you from stress.
2. Asiatic Ginseng (Panax Ginseng)
Asian, Chinese or Red Korean ginseng is grown in North Korea and China. It is also known as Panax ginseng. Panax ginseng keeps the body warm.
A Red Korean ginseng is the processed product made by steaming the white Korean ginseng for 8-10 hours and further used in tea, capsules and tablets.
3. Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) A false Ginseng
It is not a true ginseng, but belongs to the ginseng family (Araliaceous). The main chemical constituent in Panax ginseng root is ginsenosides, but this chemical is not present in Siberian ginseng.
Well, let us have a brief look on ginseng benefits in various disease conditions.
Health Benefits of Ginseng
1. Relieves Stress
Ginseng helps you to handle your stress levels and acts as a stimulant. It is also useful to regulate your metabolism and increase your energy levels.
2. Anti Aging
Ginseng is the richest source of antioxidants, which stops the formation of free radicals.
3. Cognitive Alertness
Ginseng helps to stimulate your brain cells, thereby improving your memory and concentration.
4. Ginseng – An aphrodisiac drink
This Panax root is helpful for men with erectile dysfunction. It is also useful in increasing libido in men.
5. Weight Loss
Naturally, ginseng is a natural appetite suppressor. Having ginseng in any form will suppress your hunger and prevent you from gaining weight.
6. Ginseng for Diabetics
A recent study has claimed that ginseng may help diabetic patients control their blood sugar levels.
7. Menstrual Problems
American ginseng helps to reduce the menstrual pain in women, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and symptoms of menopause.
8. Fights Flu and Cold
Siberian ginseng effectively fights fatigue and wards off flu and cold.
Side Effects of Ginseng
- Inability to sleep (Insomnia)
- High blood pressure
- Low blood pressure
So, if you experience any of the above symptoms, stop taking ginseng and immediately consult a doctor.
How to Consume Ginseng
The recommended ginseng dosage is 500- 1500 mg per day.
If you have diabetes, blood pressure or liver disease, consult your doctor before using ginseng.
Pregnant women are not recommended to take this product without consulting their doctor.
Since it’s a medicinal herb, you can incorporate it into cooking or take a whole ginseng root, dry it and make a powder.
Brew a cup of tea or add it to your soups or you can directly chew them without any preparations.
Don’t think that it’s only for internal use. It also has its presence in cosmetic products specially to treat wrinkles.
So, add ginseng to your regular diet either in the form of tea or by adding it to your dishes for a better health.
For any queries or suggestions please write in the comments section below.