What is ginseng? A native of Northern hemisphere in countries such as Korea, China and Siberia, ginseng is a herbal plant that prefers cooler climates. You are likely to come across varied types of ginseng, with the major difference being in their root formation. While those used as herbs have fleshy roots, such Korean ginseng, others such as Siberian ginseng have woody roots and are therefore not used as herbs. Those types used as herbal medications are referred to as ginseng panax to distinguish them from those with woody roots. Ginseng plants resemble in many aspects and you are likely to confuse ginseng panax with others.
Ginseng panax plant is valued for its roots and leaves, which have traditionally been use in treating and managing various health problems. However, ginseng roots retail at high ginseng prices compared to the leaves. You are likely to find ginseng roots in dried form either sliced or whole. Ginseng leaves are available in dried form. You are likely to find ginseng panax either as red or white ginseng. While white ginseng is that which has been peeled and dried, red ginseng is not peeled, only steamed and dried. Both are commercially available in tinctures, liquid form, capsules and in powder form.
Ginseng panax has been subjected to various studies aimed at establishing benefits of ginseng. These studies have revealed several benefits that can be derived from the plant genus. Unlike other types of ginseng, ginseng panax has been found to contain ginsenosides, a group of varied substances with the capacity to eliminate varied disease-causing organisms and reverse damages in the body. Traditionally, ginseng herbal preparations have always been in combination with other herbal extracts to improve ginseng’s performance.
Health Benefits of Ginseng
- Increased cognitive ability – From a study reported in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, ginseng was administered to some of 30 clinical trial participants, with those receiving the ginseng treatment showing increased cognitive ability compared to those who did not receive the same. Another study conducted in 2000 and reported in same journal showed a marked cognitive improvement in those given a combination of ginseng and either ginko, biloba or guarana.
- Diabetes – Studies conducted on ginseng have shown the effectiveness of ginseng in managing diabetes and in particular, Type 2 diabetes.
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED) – This is one of the major benefits of ginseng that men have enjoyed. Used over a period of eight weeks reverses the condition.
- Reproductive health – Ginseng panax fights disease-causing organisms in the reproductive health inn both men and women.
Apart from the above benefits, ginseng has also been established to prevent anxiety, asthma, cancer, depression, hangover, headache, fever, inflammation and stress amongst other health problems. You can take ginseng herbal medication in various ways. You can buy the capsules from pharmacies or get the powder and prepare ginseng tea at home and drink. Popular referred to as ginseng green tea, the preparation acts quickly once in your system. The medication is also available in jelly form and many use ginseng jelly for topical application on the skin. Like with any medication substance, you may experience ginseng side effects. Such include lack of sleep, nausea, nose bleeding, high blood pressure, low blood pressure and low blood pressure. These side effects have been noted amongst those who use ginseng along with other medications.