Panax ginseng is a slow growing deciduous plant, which reaches about 50 centimeters in height. Panax ginseng plant has dark green leaves and greenish yellow flowers. However, it is the root of the plant that is forked and fleshy, which is beneficial for various health purposes.
Panax ginseng is also known as Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng and Korean Red Ginseng. The name Panax is derived from the Greek word ‘panacea’ which means ‘all healing’. Because of the healing properties ginseng possesses, it is popularly known as ‘Wonder of the World’. Ginseng has been used as a herbal medicine for centuries in several Asian countries owing to the innate properties derived from the plant. Today the digital revolution has swept the world and turned it into a smaller space, thereby creating an increased awareness of the various health afflictions and their remedies amongst the general population.
With health issues becoming a major concern, ginseng is steadily gaining popularity across the world for its numerous benefits. A few of them have been listed below:
The Health Benefits of Ginseng
1. Improves immune system:
Ginseng has traditionally been used for centuries as an immune system booster. This wonder supplement is known to be effective in preventing cold, cough, flu, viral infections and fatigue. It is believed to have various anti-microbial and anti-bacterial constituents, which effectively curb the initiation of infectious diseases, thereby increasing chances of survival.
2. Reduces inflammation:
It is known to reduce the symptoms and progression of inflammatory diseases. The relaxing effect of the supplements on lung muscles has also been observed. This results in the expansion of constricted airways and gives the required relief to patients ailing from asthma, bronchitis and various other lung conditions. Details of how ginseng beats inflammation has been described in the NCBI article and can be reached here.
3. Reduces stress:
Traditionally ginseng has been used for stimulation and relaxation of the nervous system. Ginseng has been known to increase capillary circulation inside the human brain, thus being an effective supplement to treat stress related ailments faced by individuals today.
4. Promotes anti-ageing:
Ginseng is rich in antioxidants and is being applied as an anti-ageing treatment in an extensive manner.
5. Lowers blood sugar and cholesterol:
Clinical studies have highlighted Panax ginseng’s effectiveness in reducing blood sugar and cholesterol. It is claimed that it helps stabilize blood sugar levels in individuals with type-2 diabetes. Ginseng is widely being used as a tonic for blood pressure modulation to reduce as well as increase blood pressure as per the requirements of the patient. The herb is also being imbibed as a blood sugar regulator to lower the sugar levels. The benefits have been covered in detail in ‘Herbwisdom’, and can be studied here.
6. Boosts memory:
People from China, Japan, Korea and Singapore have been using ginseng for generations as an antidote for memory loss. These Asian countries have been administering ginseng supplements to the youth as it is believed to enhance their memory retention capabilities. The immense health benefits of this magical herb aid in providing respite to patients suffering from mental disturbances and epilepsy. A popular remedy wherein ginseng is mixed with gingko (another age old herbal supplement) is prescribed to increase mental concentration and stability. Many individuals suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and depression attribute their recovery to remedies adapted from ginseng.
7. Reduces alcohol intoxication:
Ginseng is known to instantly absorb and lower the alcohol content in the human body thereby reducing hangovers to a large extent.
8. Treats Alzheimer’s and Dementia:
Ginseng aids in improving the memory and mental performance of users, hence is believed to be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients.
9. Relieves Cardio-vascular disease:
Apart from being a beneficial supplement to maintain the correct blood pressure levels, ginseng is also known to decrease harmful LDL cholesterol and increase the HDL (good) cholesterol in the human body. This results in ginseng being an effective herbal relief for patients suffering from cardio-vascular diseases. The fact that it has a calming effect on a person helps in quick relief and recovery from various heart conditions.
10. Enhances sexual vitality:
Ginseng is widely used as an alternate treatment for people suffering from erectile dysfunction and is believed to increase the sperm count in men. These aspects help in enhancing sexual vitality and ensure building strong interpersonal relationships in couples. The earlier generations prescribed the use of ginseng to childless couples as a treatment for infertility.
11. Provides relief during menopause:
Ginseng relieves the symptoms that women face during menopause like hot flushes, emotional imbalance, mood swings, cramps, pain, erratic bleeding etc. The positive attributes of ginseng are said to increase manifold when combined with vitamin and mineral supplements.
12. Relieves Hepatitis C:
Hepatitis C is a serious contagious liver disease. It is a viral infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). A huge majority of individuals infected with HCV show no symptoms till they reach 20 – 30 years old. This long gap in diagnosis can lead to severe liver damage. There have been a host of experiments conducted on smaller animals that indicate that ginseng may aid in improvement of liver function. Thus, there is a strong belief that ginseng could provide significant relief to patients suffering from Hepatitis C.
13. Improves cognitive ability:
Students as well as elderly turn to ginseng for its effectiveness in improving cognitive abilities. Many young students facing issues like lack of focus and exhaustion feel a sense of relief after the intake of this herbal supplement, as it is considered to enhance neural activity. It is supposed to have a positive impact on elders who suffer from reduced reflexes and nervous disorders.
14. Supports weight loss:
Ginseng has an inherent chemical combination, which suppresses appetite naturally. Quick consumption of powdered ginseng slows down the “hunger hormones” from causing food cravings. This cuts the urge to snack in between meals and aids in maintaining the diet charts of fitness conscious individuals. Ginseng is being consumed as a dietary supplement for weight reduction since centuries.
15. Improves hair health:
Ginseng is used extensively to combat premature balding by men. Ginseng contains a natural carbohydrate that is directly associated with the prevention of alopecia. Direct application of ginseng salvages the scalp, invigorates hair follicles, reduces dandruff, and cuts hair loss.
16. Improves skin health:
The Asians are known for their flawless skin and ginseng has been their age-old home remedy for ensuring the same. The herb stimulates blood flow throughout the body, thus helping the skin cells significantly. This keeps the skin looking fresh, hydrated and radiant. Consumption of ginseng supplements are known to detoxify the human body and propagate overall good health.
Known as a miracle herb for centuries in many countries, Ginseng is now available in many forms. Taking ginseng supplements boosts your energy, stamina and overall well-being.