4 Important Health Benefits of Ginseng
Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal remedies that has been used for centuries to enhance wellbeing. There are eleven variants of ginseng plant which is a slow growing, short plant with fleshy roots. Available as a supplement, powder, tea, or as ginseng tea capsules, the herb has been researched for its numerous health benefits.
Here are some of the potential health benefits of ginseng and ginseng tea:
Free radicals are highly reactive substances that are released in the body through the normal process of metabolism. Environmental pollutants, tobacco or smoking, heavy metals, industrial solvents are the other sources of free radicals. These substances damage healthy cells in the body, and such damage is linked to illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Antioxidants are substances present in certain foods that can neutralize these free radicals and prevent cellular damage. Ginseng has been studied for its antioxidant properties over the years. Test tube studies show that extracts of ginseng boost antioxidant capacity of body cells. Korean red ginseng was found to reduce inflammation and enhance antioxidant activity in the cells of the skin in people suffering from eczema.
Inflammation is an important part of the body’s defense system in response to infection or injury. Chronic inflammation, however, is linked to disease conditions such as stroke, heart disease, and autoimmune conditions, including arthritis and lupus.
Researchers investigated the impact of Korean red ginseng extract at a dose of 2 grams taken three times a day for a week on eighteen male athletes. The inflammatory markers were measured after the athletes undertook an exercise test. Researchers found that these markers were significantly lower in athletes who took ginseng as compared to the placebo group.
Mood and fatigue
Ginseng has components such as compound K and ginsenosides that can improve mood, mental health, and social functioning. In a study, 200 mg of ginseng was given for four weeks to thirty healthy people. At the end of four weeks, the participants reported improvement in mood and mental health. Another study found that ginseng had a positive impact on brain function and reduced mental fatigue.
Ginseng has also been shown to boost physical energy levels while reducing fatigue. Animal studies indicate that ginseng steps up cellular energy production while lowering oxidative stress. These mechanisms help in fighting fatigue and boosting energy levels.
Researchers focused on cancer patients who were undergoing chemotherapy treatment to study the effect of ginseng. Thirty-nine people recovering from stomach cancer surgery were administered 5400 mg of ginseng for two years. The researchers found that the immune functions had significantly improved in these patients at the end of the study period while there was a reduction in symptoms. Ginsenosides may also have the potential to prevent abnormal cell growth and production, which is the typical cell cycle in cancers. Some studies showed that people who took ginseng had 16 percent lowered risk of cancer.
Panax ginseng is the most common type of ginseng consumed, which translates into "all-healing man-root." Also known as Chinese ginseng, Asian ginseng, or Korean ginseng, the root occupies a premium place in traditional Chinese medicine. Although in typical doses, ginseng is well-tolerated, excess use can lead to some side effects, including nervousness and insomnia. Ginseng may also interact with other medicines and supplements. It is important to consult your healthcare provider if you are considering taking ginseng in any form.