Panax Ginseng the Kingly Herb of Immortality

 

Panax ginseng is a species of plant that grows in the mountains of Eastern Asia. It refers to eleven diverse varieties of a slow-growing, small plant with fleshy roots. Also known as ginseng, Chinese ginseng, Korean ginseng, or Asian ginseng, this plant’s roots are used to make medicine. As one of the most popular herbal remedies, ginseng is well-known to restore & improve overall health and well being.


Background


Panax ginseng is a perennial plant that is found in the mountains of Eastern Asia. It grows well in the shaded, moist mountainsides of China, Russia, and Korea. The plant has oval-shaped dark green leaves with red berry clusters and can grow up to two feet tall. The ginseng roots are light-colored and forked-shaped, which taste slightly sweet, followed by a bitter taste. 


Panax ginseng has been used for years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to cure different ailments and boost overall health. The primary use of ginseng in TCM was for the treatment of fatigue and weakness.


The word “Panax” is a Greek term, which means “all-healing” and the English translation of ginseng is “man root.” That means the translation for Panax ginseng is “all-healing man root.” 


Why Do People Take Panax Ginseng? 


Panax ginseng is one of the most famous herbal remedies throughout the world. It is believed to boost energy, lower stress, reduce cholesterol levels, decrease blood sugar, treat diabetes, promote relaxation, control sexual dysfunction in men, and more. Ginseng is also used to treat overexertion, tiredness, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, nervous exhaustion, and mild depression.


As per modern research, ginseng extract has several functions, like anticancer, anoxia resistance, senility resistance, fatigue resistance, radiation resistance, improvement of human immunity, and more.


Korean ginseng extract has been categorized as the top grade herb in China with prominent effects on sturdiness, nourishing, and life-prolonging. (1) 

What Are The Health Benefits of Panax Ginseng?


There was a time when Panax ginseng was only used to boost stamina & energy and strengthen the immune system. Today, though research on this herb is limited, there are several evidence-based health benefits of ginseng. Some of them are as follows:


  • Improve Cognition Performance

  • As per the 2015 research review of the beneficial health effects of Panax ginseng, it has been proven to enhance cognitive performance, particularly short-term memory. (2)


    Furthermore, a 2018 research discovered that supplementing ginseng for over five years has a significant impact on older people’s cognition. (3) This improvement in cognition is thought to be due to the antioxidant properties of ginseng.


  • Lower Inflammation

  • Ginseng comes with beneficial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some studies have revealed that ginsenoside compounds and ginseng extracts could prevent inflammation and enhance antioxidant capacity in cells. (4)


    One test-tube experiment determined that Korean red ginseng extract decreased inflammation and enhanced antioxidant activity in skin cells from people with eczema. (5)


    Overall, Panax ginseng has been proven to lower inflammatory markers and protect against oxidative stress. 


  • Enhance Erectile Dysfunction

  • Ginseng can also be a useful alternative for the treatment of ED (Erectile Dysfunction) in men. The compounds available in it may protect against oxidative stress in tissues and blood vessels in the penis and restore normal function. (6)


    A Korean study also found that 60% of men who consumed ginseng noticed an improvement in their ED symptoms. Also per a research published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology claimed to offer “evidence for the effectiveness of ginseng in the treatment of ED.” (7) 


    Overall, ginseng may improve ED symptoms by lowering oxidative stress in tissues and increasing blood flow in penile muscles. 


  • Lower Blood Sugar

  • Some studies show that Panax ginseng may help reduce blood sugar and treat diabetes. (8) Ginsenosides may impact insulin production in the pancreas and enhance insulin resistance in the body using other mechanisms. More clinical studies of ginseng root are required to declare it as a complementary therapy for diabetes. 


  • Other Conditions 

  • Panax ginseng is ideal for fatigue, asthma, recovery from bronchitis or pneumonia, chronic stress with anxiety or depression, and autoimmune diseases of the lungs or Gastrointestinal (GI) tract. (9)


    Besides, there have been claims of the effective use of ginseng for an array of medical conditions, but most of those claims are not verified by medical research. (10)


    How to Take Panax Ginseng? 


    Panax ginseng is made into a powdered form using the dry root and is taken by mouth as a supplement. Though there is a tea and tincture state available, most clinical research studies are conducted using ginseng in the supplement or powdered form. 


    Also, there’s no single recommended dose of ginseng. (11) It is advised to take ginseng as directed by a professional healthcare provider. 


    Besides, to get the most out of Panax ginseng and other adaptogens, it is suggested to mix the herb in a formula (where it can work best with adaptogens) instead of taking it alone.


    Note: Avoid taking Panax ginseng at night as the side effect of insomnia has been noticed. 

    Conclusion


    Panax ginseng is a herbal supplement that has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. (12)  The herb is usually touted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It can be consumed raw or lightly steamed. You may also add it to your diet in its extract, powder, or capsule form. Whether you’re looking to improve a specific health condition (any of the above mentioned) or give a boost to your overall well-being, Panax ginseng is worth trying.


    References:

    1. Adaptogens in Medicinal Herbalism, Donald Yance, CN, MH, RH (AHG)
        
    2. Panax ginseng as a Source to Enhance Cognition Performance: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/5/1041
        
    3. Effects of Ginseng Intake on Cognitive Function in Late Life: https://alzres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13195-018-0380-0
        
    4. Potentiation of anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties of cultured wild ginseng root extract through probiotic fermentation: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23356855
        
    5. nti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidative Effects of Korean Red Ginseng Extract in Human Keratinocytes: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21494373
        
    6. Korean Red Ginseng in the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16855773
        
    7. Red Ginseng for Treating Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2561113/
        
    8. Ginseng on Hyperglycemia: Effects and Mechanisms - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781779/
        
    9. Effects of ginseng on stress-related depression, anxiety, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5628357/
        
    10. An Overview on Asian Ginseng - https://nccih.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/ataglance.htm
        
    11. A Review of Ginseng Clinical Trials Registered in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform - https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2018/1843142/

    12. Chemical Diversity of Ginseng Saponins from Panax ginseng - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26869820

    With over 500 scientific records available on ginseng globally, different ginseng root varieties have been used as traditional treatments in Asia and North America for centuries. (1)

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    With over 500 scientific records available on ginseng globally, different ginseng root varieties have been used as traditional treatments in Asia and North America for centuries. (1)

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