For thousands of years, ginseng has been used in Asia as a natural supplement with amazing benefits for those who use it regularly. It is said that ginseng will boost the immune system, enhance vitality, increase physical endurance, increase mental alertness, and treat illnesses like colds, fevers, headaches, and vomiting. It is even believed to be an aphrodisiac.
Ginseng may be taken as tea, in capsules or liquid form from, some people eat the root itself. Ginseng is most commonly grown in Asia, particularly in China, Korea, and Japan.
How Ginseng Works
The active substance in the root is Ginsenosides, which have been shown to increase endurance and decrease fatigue in mice when given to them in large amounts. One study where large amounts were given to humans noted a small improvement in the endurance levels of those who took it. Also, “Chinese herbal medicine” published by the US National Institute of Health, claims the use of ginseng can raise unusually low blood pressure and can help prevent shock after heart attacks.
Ginseng is the most famous Chinese herb, and the most widely recognized plant used in traditional medicine. Ginseng has been cultivated extensively in China, Korea, and Japan, and Russia. Ginseng starts flowering in fourth year, and the roots take 4-6 years to reach maturity. The older the root, the greater the concentration of ginsenosides, the active chemical compounds, thus the more potent the ginseng becomes.
Ginseng is a protected herb in China and Russia: exporting ginseng seeds is banned in China, and harvesting wild ginseng is illegal in Russia. Natural white ginseng is often steam- processed to produce “red ginseng” with different, higher medicinal potency.
It is used to reduce the effects of stress, improve performance, boost energy levels, enhance memory, and stimulate the immune system. Oriental medicine has deemed ginseng a necessary element in all their best prescriptions, and regards it as prevention and a cure. It is said to remove both mental and bodily fatigue, cure pulmonary complaints, dissolve tumors and reduce the effects of age.
Native North Americans consider Ginseng to be one of their most sacred herbs and add it to many herbal formulas to make them more potent. The roots can live for over 100 years. Ginseng contains vitamins A, B-6 and the mineral Zinc, which aids in the production of thymic hormones, necessary for the functioning of the defense system. Animal studies have shown that extracts stimulate the production of interferons, increase natural killer cell activity, lower cholesterol and decrease triglyceride levels. Men have used the herb to improve sexual function and remedy impotence. Ginseng is believed to increase estrogen levels in women and is used to treat menopausal symptoms
has been shown to increase energy, stamina, and help the body resist viral infections and environmental toxins. Research has shown specific effects that support the central nervous system, liver function, lung function and circulatory system.
Korean Red Ginseng
is also known by the names Asian Ginseng, Asiatic Ginger, and Chinese Ginseng. Korean Red Ginseng is used as a natural preventive, restorative remedy and valued for its adaptogenic properties. Used for centuries in China, Korean Red Ginseng was believed to be and anti-aging herb. By equalizing the system levels in the body, Korean Red Ginseng has been used to balance the metabolism, increase energy levels, and stimulate the immune system.
Korean White Ginseng
is an adaptogen having yang properties and an arousing and stimulating metabolic effect on the central nervous system, head, brain, and blood vessels. It may benefit blood sugar levels, histamine levels, stress levels, inflammation, mental and physical abilities, impotency, anemia, artery hardening, depression, diabetes, ulcers, edema, immune and lung function, appetite, libido and may offer protection against radiation exposure and easement of cocaine withdrawal.
North American White Ginseng is believed to give a cooling effect to the body. This cooling, energy and, endurance enhancing factor is believed to be the most beneficial for our fast paced, stressful world.
is a distinct plant with different active chemical components. Prized for its ability to restore vigor, increase overall health, longevity, and stimulate both a healthy appetite and a good memory, it is widely used in Russia to help the body adapt to stressful conditions and to enhance productivity.
American ginseng, was at one time plentiful in all mountainous regions of the United States. However, it was over-harvested in the mid-1970s, and was subsequently defined as an endangered species. Now, only licensed ginseng harvesters are allowed to dig for the wild ginseng root.