- Alternative & Natural Medicine
9 Health Benefits of Ginseng Root
Ginseng Root and Ginseng Plant
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 doctrine of signatures is a philosophy shared by herbalists from the time of Dioscurides and Galen. This doctrine states that herbs that resemble various parts of the body can be used to treat ailments of that part of the body. A theological justification was made for this philosophy: "It was reasoned that the Almighty must have set his sign upon the various means of curing disease which he provided."
Of course this idea is not that popular among atheists. Here is an example of how you can determine what is good for health. Say that you have a daughter that walks to school and you are concerned about her getting raped. Are you concerned that a tree or bush may rape her?
Are you concerned 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.
So this is why many people do not believe in medications (even great ones like Vioxx), vaccines, processed foods, pesticides, GMO foods and many creations of man to help health. Whereas herbs have been created by nature or God, whichever you like better.
Please note that the heart medicine (blood thinner) called Warfarin is also a rat poison. Also the fluoride that they put in water is also used as a rat poison.
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.
Ginkgo refers to the herb ginkgo biloba. See 15 Health Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba. 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. Also 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 have an article that what causes people to become overweight is not the calories but the inflammation. This is explained in this article: Latest Science on Losing Weight | Calories Not Important. It lists 70 anti-inflammatory foods.
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. This U.S. National Library of Medicine article is called Alzheimer's Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes–Evidence Reviewed. Also see this article: 7 Ways to Prevent Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease and Type 3 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 body increases chance of getting cancer. In fact cancer is now being called type 5 diabetes. Actually I am just kidding with that one. There is a book out called Type 4 Diabetes.
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 dysfuntion.
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. See this article on How to Avoid the Flu for more on this.