Health Benefits of Ginseng
Posted on May 19 2022
Ginseng has been used by humans for thousands of years. Representing a range of species wild-growing plants (in plant genus Panax), ginseng is packed with health benefits that are still known and celebrated across many different countries and cultures. From Native American tribes to wilderness pioneers to Siberian shamans and practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, humans have used ginseng to live longer, better and healthier lives.
But what is ginseng exactly, and what does it do? Today, ginseng seems to pop up in everything, from soft drinks to beauty spa treatments. Thousands of different kinds of ginseng supplements line the shelves at health food stores, but does ginseng actually help? And if so, how? What are the many health benefits of ginseng? What does the research show? This article explores some of the health benefits of ginseng and how you can incorporate ginseng into your daily health regime.
Health Benefits of Ginseng
In folk tradition, the long pale ginseng root resembles the shape of a human person, hence the belief that ginseng was beneficial to humans. Notably, ginseng was believed to promote long life and improve the quality of life for the elderly. What we know today is that one of its key benefits may be improving the overall function of the immune system.
In Asian cultures, ginseng root is often brewed as a tonic, which can be taken to alleviate more chronic conditions. While more research is needed, scientific studies have begun to show an inclination that ginseng extract may offer some relief to those who suffer from fatigue related to cancer. Other studies have shown that ginseng can reduce oxidative stress and restoring antioxidant properties in the body. This is important for reducing any irregularities. This is why ginseng is often associated with a healthy regimen that may helps the body stay well.
Beyond improving quality of life for those suffering from cancer, ginseng offers a whole host of benefits. Studies show us that ginseng can support cognitive function, with the hope that regular use can help the loss of cognitive function that is part of the natural aging process.
Other studies have suggested that ginseng shows some anti-hypertensive effect which can help improve blood sugar levels, while regulating blood pressure. This includes raising low blood pressure and lowering high blood pressure. Natural ginseng contains chemical compounds call Ginsenosides, which affect the body’s insulin levels. That is why ginseng is often used by those who wish to regulate their blood sugar.
Homeostasis from Ginseng?
Homeostasis refers to the state-of-being when our body’s natural processes can reset to balance. Those who use ginseng regularly believe that as a biologically active plant, ginseng can assist their body achieve homeostasis. Likewise, this same regulatory effect of ginseng may also benefit those who deal with stress. As a noted adaptogen, ginseng’s positive effects can extend to improving our mental health, helping our mind and body overcome the negative influences we encounter in our daily lives.
Types of Ginseng
As a term “ginseng” refers to a whole range of plants—or a range of products sold and used for improved health. Different kinds of ginseng are grown or gathered in different geographical locations and may be known for their specific strengths or qualities. When discussing the health benefits of ginseng, it’s important that we know what type of ginseng we are referring to.
Asian ginseng can refer to ginseng that is commercially grown or cultivated in the wild in places like China or Korea. Red ginseng is typically processed, while white ginseng is raw. What we call “Siberian ginseng” (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is not ginseng at all, but a different kind of shrub that is still beneficial to improved blood pressure and overall well-being. Thus, Siberian ginseng is often used as an adaptogen along with real ginseng plant extract.
Similarly, North American ginseng is used as an adaptogen, meaning it is believed to stimulate the body’s defenses against outside stress. Combatting the hormonal responses to stress is just one of the ways that ginseng can improve well-being and bring the body back to an optimal state of function.
Taking Ginseng for Health Benefits
Whether seeking a way to feel stronger, help inflammation, help blood pressure or blood sugar levels, ginseng is a great herbal medicines. Please note that ginseng is not an acute cure, but rather, a natural adaptogen that may help your body achieve better function and balance. Plus, ginseng shows very few side effects.
Ginseng offers the potential for many different health benefits, ranging from help with fatigue and inflammation to help breathing and better heart function. While more research is needed to better understand the full health benefits of ginseng, this ancient root is used regularly by millions who still believe in its benefits.
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