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9 Health Benefits of Ginseng Root

Updated on January 14, 2018
Chuck Bluestein profile image

At age 16 I was a volunteer at a hospital bacteriology lab. I became a chemist for U.S. government. Then I studied health & related fields.

Ginseng Root and Ginseng Plant

Ginseng root.
Ginseng root. | Source
Ginseng root.
Ginseng root. | Source
Ginseng plant.
Ginseng plant. | Source

Ginseng Health Benefits

The root of the ginseng plant is used for health. Asian ginseng is also called panax ginseng. American ginseng is called Panax quinquefolius. Panax means cure-all.

Ginseng means man root. If you look at the pictures of the root, you can see why it is called man root (the root looks like a person). This is a popular example of the doctrine of signatures. Wikipedia says:

The d that a dog, cat or raccoon may rape her? No. You are concerned that a person may rape her. What about her getting bullied? Will it be a plant or tree that bullies her? Will it be a dog or cat that bullies her? It will be a person. The same applies to getting robbed or beat up. What about pollution. Who pollutes the planet? People do.

Ginseng root has been used for health for about 5,000 years. At one time ginseng costs more than its weight in gold. Now here is a PubMed study to find the toxic level of ginseng in rats. The above study was only done for 28 days. They could not find one.

Now many years ago I read about a study done unlike the above where they wanted to find the toxic level of ginseng on rats. They found one where all the rats died from ginseng toxicity. The only thing is that when the rats died from ginseng toxicity, they were about twice the age that they normally live!

Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb. This means that it helps the body to adapt to stress and other challenges in the environment. Here is what webmd.com says about ginseng:

There is some early evidence that ginseng might temporarily -- and modestly -- improve concentration and learning. In some studies of mental performance, ginseng has been combined with ginkgo. While these studies are intriguing, many experts feel that we need more evidence.

Ginseng has also been studied as a way to improve mood and boost endurance as well as treat cancer, heart disease, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, hepatitis C, high blood pressure, menopausal symptoms, and other conditions.

The U.S. government has a website called MedLine Plus that is part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that is one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It says about American ginseng:

Some people use Panax ginseng to treat breast cancer and prevent ovarian cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, and skin cancer.

Other uses include treatment of anemia, diabetes, inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis), fever, hangover, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma.

Panax ginseng is also used for bleeding disorders, loss of appetite, vomiting, intestinal problems, fibromyalgia, sleeping problems (insomnia), nerve pain, joint pain, dizziness, headache, convulsions, disorders of pregnancy and childbirth, hot flashes due to menopause, and to slow the aging process.

Here is a University of Maryland Medical webpage that says that Asian ginseng is used for many things like cold and flu, heart health, type 2 diabetes, mental performance, physical endurance, stress and well-being, cancer, fertility/erectile dysfunction and menopausal symptoms.

9 Health Benefits of Ginseng

1. Ginseng is Anti-Aging

The above example with a study done with rats shows the anti-aging potential of this herb. Please note that the Chinese have been using herbs for healing for over 5,000 years and herbs are still used in the hospitals there. Herbs are not nearly as profitable as drugs (medications) since herbs cannot be patented. Drugs are sometimes marked up over thousand times. But in China they are not concerned with that since it is not a capitalistic country.

Anti-aging means that diseases that affect people later in life, will affect them even much later by consuming ginseng. The Vanderbilt University website says about ginseng:

Scientists at the Beijing Institute of Geriatrics conducted a study on the direct effects of Rg1, extracted from Panax ginseng, on lymphocytes of aged people. The study concluded that the Rg1 saponin used could stimulate and enhance the function of lymphocytes, restoring it to normal (Liu J. et al., 1995).

Please note that geriatrics is the study of aging. That above webpage mentions many studies done on ginseng root.

2. Ginseng is Anti-Inflammatory

This benefit may be the main reason for the first benefit listed above. Aging is inflammation carried out over time and the more inflammation, the faster that someone ages. A group of phytochemicals that are plant medicines in ginseng are ginsenosides (or panaxosides). They are at least partially responsible for fighting inflammation.

I also have an article that what causes people to become overweight is not the calories but the inflammation.

3. Weight Control

The above benefits lead into this benefit of losing weight or weight loss when overweight. People have a tendency to gain weight as they get older and you can see this with some famous actors on TV or in movies. So this is another benefit of consuming ginseng root..

4. Ginseng Helps Blood Sugar Regulation

This is why it helps people with type 2 diabetes.

5. Relieves Stress

By definition an adaptogen or adaptogenic herb relieves stress.

6. Helps Cognitive Function

The above deals with the different causes of problems with the brain that comes from aging like dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD). For example they have found that this is tied into diabetes.

7. Good for Cancer Protection

Cancer rates increase as people as people get older and aging is also affected by inflammation. Also extra weight on the body increases the chances of getting cancer.

8. Helps with ED (Erectile Dysfunction)

A 2002 Korean study showed that 60 percent of men who took ginseng noticed an improvement in their symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

9. Ginseng Increases Immune System Strength

This is how it helps to prevent colds and the flu. In fact people think that these are caused by coming in contact with a virus. But this only happens if the immune system is weak. This means that it does not happen if the immune system is strong. This is why I never get cold or the flu.

The human being is the most advanced, evolved organism on the planet. So a healthy immune system can easily handle almost anything that comes its way.

Ginseng Used For - Top 5 Benefits Ginseng is Used For

Ginseng Health Effects and Risks by Dr. James Meschino

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    • TurtleDog profile image

      TurtleDog 

      4 years ago

      Sounds like something we all should be eating. I could use help with my cognitive functioning in particular :-) man, is my memory bad

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