What is it?
Ginseng is a term used to describe all species belonging to the Panax genus plant. The name Panax means “all heal” in Greek and the roots of the Panax genus have been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments. It is available in many forms such as teas or tisanes, but it is also available in powders or capsules.
What does it do?
Ginseng is a well-known adaptogen, but can be used for a variety of uses:
- An adaptogen that can help to improve mood, reduce stress and promote generally feelings of wellbeing.
- Ginseng is a popular as an energy booster. It can help to reduce fatigue and increase endurance so can be used as a pre-workout supplement.
- Ginseng also stimulates brain cells so can help to improve brain function memory and concentration. It may help to prevent the symptoms of cognitive decline and dementia.
- Ginseng is also well known for helping to treat erectile dysfunction, enhance performance and boost libido.
- Ginseng can boost the immune system and enhance resistance to illness and infection.
- Thought to be an appetite suppressant, Ginseng may a useful weight-loss aid. It may also boost metabolism and burn fat.
- Ginseng is thought to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity so could be a popular supplement for diabetics.
Why supplement with it?
Erectile dysfunction is something that affects many men and can be psychologically damaging. Many people are opting for chemical and prescriptive drugs to try to treat the problem, but they can have many unpleasant side effects. Opting for a more natural, herbal supplement can often have very positive effects without so many side effects.
Whilst brain health or mental health supplements can’t claim to cure or prevent illnesses studies show that, for some people, they can help to ease symptoms and cope with stress, anxiety and depression.
What type to take?
Panax Korean Ginseng is probably the most popular and well-known form of Ginseng. This is generally taken for mental health, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, immunity and endurance. Korean Ginseng contains the active ingredient of ginsenosides. Ensure that the supplement you are taking contains a high level of Ginsenosides, at least 80%.
American Ginseng is thought to be milder that Korean Ginseng, but is used for depression, blood sugar and immunity. American Ginseng also contains ginsenosides.
Siberian Ginseng, native to Russia, contains eleutherosides rather than ginsenosides, but can beneficial for endurance, fatigue, immunity and mental health.
Indian Ginseng is more commonly known as Ashwagandha, a powerful adaptogen that is used as stress and anxiety relief but can also be beneficial for cognitive function and memory. Can also support adrenal function and reduce cortisol levels. Indian Ginseng is also used to boost stamina and endurance during physical activity. Also commonly used as natural aphrodisiac for both men and women. Indian Ginseng is generally considered safer to take on more of a long-term basis.
- As Ginseng can boost the immune system, it should not be taken by anyone with an auto-immune disorder.
- Apart from Indian Ginseng, it is suggested that Ginseng be taken on a cyclical basis and for up to 3 months at a time as Ginseng can affect hormones.
- High doses may affect sleep.
- It should not be taken if you have a bleeding condition or are on blood thinning medication.
Dosing with Ginseng can be difficult. It is thought that to treat erectile dysfunction up to 3000mg may be required, but for cognitive health as little as 400mg could be effective.
Ginseng is a wonderful plant and can be beneficial for a variety of things but most commonly brain health, mental health and fatigue. However, be sure to follow guidelines and instructions on how to take Ginseng.
Korean Ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction.
The effects of Ginseng on stress and anxiety.
The effects of Ginseng on improving mental and physical performance.
Ginseng and obesity