Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. This short and slow growing plant with fleshy roots can be classified in three ways: fresh, white or red. There are many types, but the most popular are American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian Ginseng (Panax ginseng).
American and Asian Ginseng vary in their concentration of active compounds and effects on the body. It is believed that the American works as a relaxing agent, while the Asian variety has a stimulating effect.
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7 Benefits of Ginseng
1.It is a potent antioxidant that reduces inflammation
The Ginseng has beneficial antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. Some test tube studies have shown that extracts of this plant and ginsenoside compounds could inhibit inflammation and increase antioxidant capacity in cells.
In fact, one study investigated the effects of 18 young athletes who took 2 grams of Korean red ginseng extract three times a day for seven days. The levels of certain inflammation markers were measured after performing an exercise test. These levels were significantly lower than in the placebo group, lasting up to 72 hours after the test.
In the same vein, a larger study followed 71 postmenopausal women who took 3 grams of red Ginseng or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Then the antioxidant activity and oxidative stress markers were measured. The researchers concluded that red ginseng can help reduce oxidative stress by increasing the activities of antioxidant enzymes. Ginseng has antioxidant properties
2.It can benefit brain function
The Ginseng may help improve brain functions such as memory, behavior and mood. Some studies in test tubes and animals show that Ginseng components, such as ginsenosides and compound K, could protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals.
One study examined how single doses of 200 or 400 mg of Panax ginseng affected mental performance, mental fatigue and blood sugar levels in 30 healthy adults before and after a 10-minute mental test. The 200 mg dose, unlike the 400 mg dose, was more effective in improving mental performance and fatigue during the test.
It is possible that Ginseng has helped the absorption of blood sugar by the cells, which could have improved performance and reduced mental fatigue; however, it is not clear why the lower dose was more effective than the higher dose. In addition, other studies found positive effects on brain function and behavior in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Ginseng improves brain function
3.Could improve erectile dysfunction
Research has shown that Ginseng can be a useful treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. It seems that the compounds it contains can protect against oxidative stress in the blood vessels and tissues in the penis and help restore normal function.
In addition, studies have shown that it can promote the production of nitric oxide, a compound that improves muscle relaxation in the penis and increases blood circulation. However, more studies are needed to draw definitive conclusions about the effects of ginseng on erectile dysfunction .
4.Can strengthen the immune system
Some studies exploring the effects of Ginseng on the immune system have focused on cancer patients undergoing surgery or chemotherapy treatment.
One study followed 39 people with stomach cancer after surgical procedures, treating them with 5,400 mg of Ginseng daily for two years. Interestingly, these people had significant improvements in immune functions and less recurrence of symptoms. Another study suggested that people who take Ginseng could be up to 35% more likely to live disease-free for five years after curative surgery and up to 38% more survival than those who do not.
Although these studies show improvements in markers of the immune system in people with cancer, more research is needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of Ginseng in increasing resistance to infections in healthy people. Ginseng strengthens the immune system
5.May have potential benefits against cancer
This plant can be useful to reduce the risk of certain cancers. It has been shown that ginsenosides help reduce inflammation and provide antioxidant protection. This could be because ginsenosides could prevent abnormal cell growth and production.
A review of several studies indicated that people who took Ginseng had a 16% lower risk of developing cancer. In addition, an observational study suggested that people who take Ginseng may be less likely to develop certain cancers, such as lip, mouth, esophagus, stomach, colon, liver and lung, than those who do not.
Ginseng can also help improve the health of patients undergoing chemotherapy, reduce side effects and improve the effect of some treatment medications. Ginseng has benefits on cancer
6.Could lower blood sugar
The Ginseng is beneficial for glycemic control in people with and without diabetes. It has been shown that American and Asian Ginseng improves the function of pancreatic cells, increases insulin production and improves the absorption of blood sugar in tissues. In addition, studies show that extracts of this plant provide antioxidant protection that reduces free radicals in the cells of those with diabetes . Ginseng has benefits in people with diabetes
7.It is easy to add to your diet
Ginseng root can be consumed in many ways. You can eat it raw or cook it lightly to soften it. You can also stew it in water to make a tea. To do this, simply add hot water to the freshly sliced ginseng and let it sit for several minutes.
The extract can be found in the form of powder, tablet, capsule and oil. The amount you will have to take depends on the condition you want to improve. In general, daily doses of 1 to 2 grams of raw Ginseng root or 200 to 400 mg of extract are suggested.
It is best to start with lower doses and increase with time. Look for a standard Ginseng extract that contains 2-3% of total ginsenosides, and consume before meals to increase absorption and get all the benefits.
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