For more than centuries now, ginseng has been used in various regions in North America and Asia. A lot of people use it in improving their physical endurance, memory, concentration, as well as thinking or cognition. Not just that, it is also beneficial in aiding anxiety and depression. Some also use it as a treatment for chronic fatigue. It is well-known for its ability to boost the immunity, help aid erectile dysfunction, and fight infections. There is no doubt there are lots and lots of health benefits of ginseng. If you want to know more facts about ginseng, feel free to give this article a read.
Ginseng: What is this?
Ginseng is actually a temperate, perennial, flowering herb that is native to various Northeastern woodlands of Manchuria and China. Both of the American and Asian ginsengs grow best in places that are well drained and has sandy loam soils as well as woodland shadow coverings.
Moreover, ginseng bears light green-white, small flowers, and red berries. The flowering of ginseng usually starts in the 2nd or in the 3rd year and may last up to about 2-3 weeks in every season from the month of June up until September. Nevertheless, in various cultivated farms, farmers trim the flora for the root to grow much bigger. Moreover, the rhizome is harvested through pulling the plant, just like the carrots after 6 years of sapling when its berries start to become ripe.
The roots of the ginseng are then washed in clean water, separated in accordance with the size and processed in order to obtain either the red ginseng or the white ginseng.
Furthermore, the ginseng has about 11 species, which all belong to the Panax genus on the plant family Araliaceae. Botanically, they call it the Panax, which means all heal in the Greek term. In the actual fact, the term ginseng denotes both the Asian and the American ginseng. Moreover, the real ginseng plant actually belongs to the Panax genus. Thus, the other species like the crown prince ginseng and the Siberian ginseng, have characteristically different functions.
The exceptional compounds in the Panax species are popular as ginsenosides, which are currently under the clinical research to investigate their own potential for the medical use. Both the Americana and the Asian ginseng has ginsenosides, yet they include some other types in different quantities.
Nutritional Value of Ginseng
The American ginseng is not ready for use, not until it is grown for approximately 6 years. It is now endangered in the wild. Therefore, it is now grown in farms in order to protect it against overharvesting. Furthermore, the American ginseng plant has leaves in it, which grow in a shape of a circle. The flowers of it are yellow-green in color and has the same shape with umbrella. They usually grow in the plant’s center, and produce red berries. Furthermore, the plant gets wrinkles all over the neck as it age. The older the plant, the more valuable it becomes and the more expensive it costs as the health benefits of ginseng are more profuse I the aged roots.
Ginseng actually contains a lot of pharmacological components, including the tetracyclic triterpenoid saponins, polyphenolic compounds, polyacetylenes, and acidic polysaccharides. All of which are essential for the health. Continue reading on to know the different health benefits of ginseng.
Health Benefits of Ginseng
Here are some of the most astounding health benefits of ginseng:
- Helps in boosting the immunity. Research suggests that ginseng is beneficial in boosting the immune system, thus helping the body in fighting off infections and diseases. The roots, the leaves, and the stems of ginseng are beneficial in maintaining the immune homeostasis and enhancing the body’s resistance to infection or illnesses.
- Helps in preventing cancer. Research shows that ginseng has the ability to prevent cancer as it can inhibit tumor growth. This is probably the best among all the health benefits of ginseng.
- Helps in lowering blood sugar levels. Various studies suggest that the American ginseng is beneficial in lowering the blood sugar levels in people who have type 2 diabetes.
- Helps in improving lung function. Ginseng has the ability to reduce lung bacteria. Not just that, studies also show that it may help in stopping the growth of cystic fibrosis –a lung infection.
- Helps in treating sexual dysfunction. Ginseng, specifically the red ginseng is beneficial in improving the sexual arousal and treat men’s erectile dysfunction.
- Helps in losing weight. Ginseng has the ability to act as a natural appetite suppressant. Not just that, it also helps in boosting the metabolism and help in burning fat much faster.
- Possess anti-inflammatory properties. The Korean ginseng has the ability to stabilize the effects of inflammatory cytokines in those who have cancer after therapy.
- Helps in improving brain function. The ginseng is beneficial in stimulating the brain cells and improving the concentration as well as the cognitive activities.
- Helps in improving the mood and reduce stress. Various studies suggest that adding high amounts of ginseng to the diet may improve calmness and mental arithmetic. It also has essential anti-stress properties.