The therapeutic use of Panax ginseng tracks back to 4000 years ago, when the Chinese emperor Shen demanded further studies on the plant which showed to have beneficial and therapeutic properties. Let’s see in detail now, Panax ginseng benefits and side effects.
Ginseng refers to eleven different varieties of a short, slow-growing plant with fleshy roots.
It is a perennial plant belonging to the Araliaceae family, and may grow up to 70 centimetres of height. It has therapeutic and adaptogenic properties, and this is the reason why ginseng is a valuable antistress and combats fatigue. What is more, it has important weight loss properties and helps to cure type 2 diabetes mellitus.
The herbs consists of a light-colored, forked-shaped root, a relatively long stalk, and green leaves with an oval shape.
Ginseng botanical name is Panax ginseng which means “heal-all plant”, whereas the Chinese name is Resheng which means “man”, and it is related to the shape of ginseng root. It is a plant growing in Eastern Asia and North America, and the most known type is the vietmanese one.
Panax ginseng benefits
Panax ginseng has beneficial properties attributable to the active substances it contains, besides being rich in vitamin A and E, group B vitamins and minerals among which: phosphorus, potassium, calcium, aluminun, iron, zin, copper and magnesium. It is also important to acknowledge the nutritional properties of ginseng, which may benefit anyone, young and old.
Let’s see now what it is used for:
- Boosts the immune system, thus preventing the onset of several pathologies; its habitual use, without exaggerations, enhances strength and energy;
- Has therapeutic and adaptogenic properties, through which the organism adjusts more easily to environmental changes. It provides significant benefits to people working in disadvantaged situations or performing heavy works;
- Promotes cortisol release, the “stress hormone”, thus enhancing our body response to negative stress; this is the reason why ginseng is beneficial in case of chronic fatigue as well;
- Prevents aging due to saponins and ginsenoids; ginseng can slow down cellular aging. What is more, ginseng root helps to revitalize the organism and increase oxygen levels inside our body, enhancing energy;
- Has cosmetic properties: effective anti-wrinkle due to amino acids, vitamins, minerals packed up in ginseng root; it may have an anti-age effects, preserving tissue elasticity;
- Has a revitalizing effect on hair. Ginseng is actually used in products promoting hair growth.
- Prevents osteoporosis due to the minerals it contains; ginseng root keeps bones in good health, battling the osteoporosis risk, which often affects menopausal women;
- Has weight loss properties; giseng may also be used to keep body weight under control, since it reduces the obesity risk and boosts metabolism;
- Helps to cure type 2 diabetes mellitus, due to its hypoglycemizant properties; a study published in the“Journal of American College of Nutrition” showed Panax ginseng reduces fat levels in the bloodstream, and it is helpful for those who suffer from high blood pressure. Panax ginseng, actually, reduces the glycemia effects improving the insulin effectiveness;
- Enhances endurance, then it is fit for those who engage in sports, as it boosts recovery and improves blood circulation. What is more, it is recommended to individuals in convalescence;
- Is a natural stimulant: it helps concentration and memory, by boosting learning. It is fit for those who work or study hard;
- Has nutritional properties, enhancing hunger and making stomach walls more resistant, which makes it fit for those who suffer from gastritis as well;
- Has tonifying and aphrodisiac properties, improving sex performace as it boosts sex drive and male sex performance. Red Corean ginseng has valuable effects on erectile dysfunction;
- Has anti-inflammatory effects; ginsenosides may have anti-inflammatory effects, according to experimental results in Journal of Translational Medicine.
How and when to take Panax ginseng?
Panax ginseng is to be taken once a day, in the morning on an empty stomach, for not more than 5 consecutive weeks; it is not to be taken in the afternoon, especially if you suffer from insomnia. If you have specific pathologies, it is recommened to seek medical advice as to whether take ginseng or not and choose the proper dose.
How to prepare Panax ginseng herbal tea?
If you want to prepare a cup of ginseng herbal tea, you need a spooful of ginseng root and honey. Boil water and allow Panax ginseng root to steep for at least 15 minutes, then add honey and drink it hot. A good option would be to drink it on an empty stomach in the morning.
The red Korean ginseng, a valuable energy booster and aphrodisiac
The red ginseng is also known as red Korean ginseng and is a plant rich in ginsenoids. Taking ginseng may significantly improve people’s lives by limiting stress due to its revitalizing properties. It is a very good natural remedy especially fit for the elderly and all those who have a weak immune system. Korean ginseng is a perfect energy booster; actually it enhances memory functions improving concentration.
What is more, red ginseng is an antioxidant and is an ingredient which may be incorporated in your daily diet. It may reduce excess sugar and fat in the bloodstream.
Historically, ginseng is a natural aphrodisiac, as it boosts libido and sexual functions. Specifically, red Korean ginseng is like Viagra: it boosts erection and heals erectile dysfunction.
Panax ginseng side effects
Panax ginseng has side effects, though they are often unmentioned: they most common contradindication is insomnia; this is the reason why it is not recommended to take ginseng in the evening, above all in association with other exciting drinks like tea and coffee. What is more, ginseng is contraindicated in cases of palpitations and tachycardia, anxiety, hypertension, stomach ulcer, tremors, headache, major psychiatric pathologies and it is not to be taken by children, pregnant and nursing women.
Panax ginseng interactions
Ginseng may inhibit the action of tricyclic antidepressants. What is more, it is not advisable to mix ginseng with a class of antidepressants called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Taking these antidepressants at the same time as ginseng can cause manic episodes and tremors.
Ginseng can alter the effects of blood pressure, diabetes, and heart medications, including calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine. Never mix ginseng and heart medications without first consulting a doctor.
The herb can also increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood thinners, such as warfarin or aspirin.
Ginseng may intensify the effects of caffeine and other stimulants, leading to a rapid heartbeat and possible sweating or insomnia. It may boost the effect of corticosteroids and estrogens, also cancel out the painkilling effects of morphine.
Used for 4000 years for its benefits, Panax Ginseng is a valuable antistress and adaptogenic plant, as it enhances energy and strength. Famous for its aphrodisiac properties, Red Corean ginseng (a variety of Panax ginseng) has proved effective on erectile dysfunction.
As with any other plant, Panax ginseng has side effects; it is contraindicated in cases of palpitations and tachycardia, anxiety, hypertension, stomach ulcer, tremors, headache, major psychiatric pathologies and it is not to be taken by children, pregnant and nursing women.
As regards interactions with medications, it is not advisable to mix Panax ginseng with a class of antidepressants called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Taking these antidepressants at the same time as ginseng can cause manic episodes and tremors.
What is more, this herb can also increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood thinners, such as warfarin or aspirin.