Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) comes from the Araliaceae family.
Ginseng is a low-growing perennial plant found mostly in China, Russia, Korea and Japan.
As Ginseng is native to China, it holds a history of usage spanning over 2000 years within the system of the Traditional Chinese Medicine. It was believed that regular use of this herb results in longevity and improvement of mental as well as physical vitality.
Ginseng is considered an adaptogen- a herb which helps the body to adapt to stress, fatigue and cold.
Among many of the uses of Ginseng, the most common are:
- Anxiety- reduction of restlessness
- Cancer- some studies showed significantly lower mortality rate in patients who consumed ginseng regularly in comparison to the patients who did not. A study of 1987 people concluded that regular consumption of ginseng lowers the risk of many types of cancer.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome- ginseng has been shown to increase natural killer (NK) cells in people who are suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome
- Cognition- ginseng can improve the powers of concentration, memory and attention
- Diabetes- ginseng can successfully reduce blood sugar levels
- Low libido- ginseng stimulates hypothalamus which is responsible for production of sex hormones
- Menopause- ginseng can increase oestrogen production and so lower the occurrence of hot flashes and depressive moods in menopausal women.
- Morphine dependency- ginseng can help in the stages of unrest which are often accompanying withdrawal
It is worth remembering that drinking green tea during ginseng supplementation can reduce its efficacy.
You should not use ginseng if you currently take blood thinners, high doses of steroids or MAO inhibitors.
If you are not sure if you would benefit from ginseng supplementation, please consult a herbalist.