Ginseng – Understanding the Wonder Herb

Feb 07

Ginseng – Understanding the Wonder Herb


Among the various branches of traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine seems to stand out a winner. Chinese herbs are being used to heal different ailments of the body today, and have managed to work wonderfully, sometimes even better than conventional drugs and medications, when it comes to disease treatment and prevention.

Among the many herbs used in Chinese herbal medicine, Ginseng is the most popular thanks to its excellence and versatility. Let’s take a closer look at this Chinese herb, its various types, and how you can use them to your benefit.

What is Ginseng?

Found growing in the northern hemisphere, ginseng is basically an herb, used by herbalists and natural medicine practitioners around the world to deal with different health conditions. Though the entire plant has wonderful therapeutic properties, it is ginseng root which holds the best benefits.

There are many different types of ginseng, and the extracts of this herb are commonly used as a stimulant, an aphrodisiac and for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and different sexual disorders, in particular.

Korean Ginseng

Korean ginseng is basically a type of ginseng, and is particularly known for its use in health conditions like cold, flu, herpes simplex infection, diabetes, erectile dysfunction and some mental disorders too. The use of Korean ginseng, just like any other herb, should be done with caution as it may lead to certain side effects (very rare, only in people who are allergic to the herb), drug interactions or some other complications (in very weak individuals such as elderly, pregnant women, infants and immunocompromised people).

Taking Korean ginseng is believed to have the following health benefits-

  • Better mental efficiency
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower blood sugar
  • Body balance
  • Optimum immune system function
  • A libido boost
  • Relief from stress and fatigue
  • Reduced symptoms of arthritis

Siberian Ginseng

Also known as Eleuthero, Siberian ginseng is yet another type of ginseng, and is rather popular, thanks to its use in skincare and beauty. While the research on Siberian ginseng, just like other herbs, is fairly limited, there are certain health benefits commonly observed among individuals who use it as a herbal treatment.

Siberian ginseng offers the following health benefits-

  • Protection from cold and cough
  • An immunity boost
  • Protection from seasonal flu
  • Better mental performance
  • Relief from the symptoms of osteoarthritis
  • Reduced pain (associated with osteoarthritis)
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Better energy levels
  • Reduced blood cholesterol level
  • Reduced risk of cancer and heart disease
  • Protection against other health conditions including osteoarthritis, alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, insomnia, kidney disorders, bronchitis, chronic fatigue syndrome and atherosclerosis.
  • Relief from side effects of chemotherapy
  • Better athletic performance
Panax Ginseng

Panax Ginseng

Panax Ginseng

Among all the different types of ginseng, panax ginseng is known for its particular ‘heating’ properties, which help improve circulation and promote overall well being. Several studies have found that the extracts of panax ginseng may be helpful in-

  • Improving cognitive performance
  • Relieving fatigue and stress
  • Boosting memory
  • Managing diabetes
  • Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
  • Treating erectile dysfunction
  • Slowing the ageing process
  • Boosting stamina and improving energy levels
  • Reducing symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, hangover etc
  • Promoting better sleep

Chinese Ginseng-The Side Effects, Dosing and More

Chinese ginseng is basically nothing but an interchangeable term for Panax Ginseng. To make things even easier, here we’ve put down, in detail, the side effects, dosing and other important facts you should know about Chinese ginseng.

Side effects: When used in moderate amounts for less than 3 months, Chinese ginseng doesn’t have any side effects whatsoever. However, due to the lack of studies concerning this herb, not much can be said about its long term effects. Those allergic to this herb may develop rashes, itching and redness, and in certain severe cases, liver damage has also been reported.

Some not-so-scary side effects associated with the use of Chinese ginseng include an inability to sleep (avoid taking this during bedtime), loss of appetite, premature ejaculation, mood changes and low blood pressure.

Those suffering from heart conditions, schizophrenia, insomnia, auto-immune disorders (including multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis), diabetes, bleeding conditions and those who have recently received an organ transplant must avoid taking this herb to prevent complications.

Dosing: In the appropriate dose, Chinese ginseng can work wonders. When using Chinese ginseng for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, around 900mg, taken three times a day, works great. When using it as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, 200mg single dose a day should suffice.

Interactions: Chinese ginseng may react with several substances and drugs. Here we’ve listed them down.

  • Insulin
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Furosemide
  • Medications for liver problems
  • Medications for diabetes
  • Medications for depression
  • Immunosuppressant medications
  • Medications to slow down blood clotting
  • Warfarin
  • Stimulant drugs

Ginseng is sometimes also used in the supplemental form, and you can check out some really effective and amazing supplements.



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