What is Ginseng?
Ginseng root is a nutritious herb that has been used for centuries as an energy tonic as well as to treat a variety of health problems. Scientists believe that Ginseng helps the brain produce more endorphins that help to balance the physical and emotional stress hormones secreted from the adrenal glands.
What are the Benefits of Ginseng?
Ginseng has been used to treat a variety of health problems, such as:
- Reducing mental stress and anxiety
- Increasing mental clarity and alertness
- Stimulating the immune and nervous system
- Treating diabetes
- Preventing the growth of certain types of cancer cells
- Lowering cholesterol levels
- Improving digestion
- Reducing fatigue
- Improving athletic endurance
Some clinical studies have also shown that, in males, Ginseng may facilitate penile erection, and increase testosterone levels and sperm production.
Uses of Ginseng
Ginseng for Improving Cognitive Performance
Take one 100-200mg capsule of Ginseng in the morning three times a week. You will then gradually begin to notice improved mental performance.
Herbal Remedy to Lower Cholesterol
Ginseng is a wonderful cure for high cholesterol levels:
- Take one capsule of Ginseng or a cup of Ginseng tea once every two days.
- To make Ginseng tea simply pour boiling water over 3 to 5 thin slices of Ginseng and let steep for 5 minutes.
- To make tea from Ginseng extract, mix one cup of extract with one cup of boiling water.
- To make tea from Ginseng powder, dissolve 1 teaspoon in one cup of boiling water.
Reduce Physical and Mental Stress Using Ginseng
Ginseng helps improve energy levels, vitality, alertness, and mental clarity, while relieving or eliminating fatigue, mood swings, stress, and even PMS (premenstrual syndrome) in women. Simply take one capsule of Ginseng or a cup of Ginseng tea three times a week if you are feeling down or doing strenuous work. If you are an athlete, you can cycle usage by taking it every day for three weeks and then taking one week off.
Cancer Prevention Using Ginseng
Ginseng contains substances called ginsenosides, chemical compounds believed to have potent properties to prevent cancer. Take one capsule of Ginseng at least five days a week for two months, followed by three weeks off, then resume this cycle. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is important to consult your doctor before you start consuming ginseng regularly.
What are the Side Effects of Ginseng?
Taking 100-400mg of Ginseng each day for two to three weeks and then resuming its consumption after a one week gap is considered safe.
However, it is always best to follow the dosage instruction on your particular package.
While ginseng is a non-toxic herb, excessive and prolonged use of Ginseng can cause insomnia and hypertension. Therefore, using it continuously for periods longer than three months is not recommended. Instead, it is best to cycle the use of ginseng. For example, take ginseng daily for two or three weeks and then take at least one week off.
If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician prior to using Ginseng. If you are taking warfarin, heparin, aspirin, diuretics or are being treated for high blood pressure or any cardiovascular disease, do not take Ginseng because it can conflict with your medication. Do not combine Ginseng with any other herbs or nutrients that are known to increase alertness.
Where and How to Buy Ginseng
Ginseng is sold as a whole dried root or as an extract in capsules, powders, or teas at herbal stores. If you are buying in natural root form, choose a firm Ginseng with no soft spots or discolorations. There is also the option of buying it pre-cut in thin slices. It is safe to buy a ginseng product that has a standardized extract of 3 to 7 percent ginsenosides.