How Ginseng Works
Medicinal Uses of Ginseng
For thousands of years, ginseng root has been widely used for its medicinal properties, mainly to promote overall health and boost the immune system. Traditional and modern health benefits of ginseng have been reported to include:
- Boosting the body’s resistance to illness and hastening recovery from illness
- Combating stress and fatigue
- Increasing energy, stamina, and a general sense of well-being
- Improving both mental and physical performance
- Aiding metabolism and digestion
- Promoting relaxation and calmness
- Treating erectile dysfunction and enhancing sexual libido
- Eliminating menopause symptoms
- Lowering blood glucose and controlling blood pressure
Most users get their ginseng intake via oral consumption in the forms of pills, powders, teas, and drinks. Ginseng can be found as a main ingredient in popular energy drinks today.
How Ginseng Works
There are two forms of Panax Ginseng: white ginseng and red ginseng.
White ginseng requires four to six years to mature before it is harvested, peeled, and then sun-dried.
Red ginseng is typically cultivated in China or Korea and harvested after six years or longer. Red ginseng root is not peeled and undergoes a special process of washing and steaming in an herbal brew to retain its active ingredients and achieve greater potency. Red ginseng is more often associated with enhancing energy and sexual virility.
After drying, both forms of ginseng can be prepared into tablets/capsules, powders, extracts, drinks, teas, or other easily consumable product forms.
Ginseng root contains active chemical components called ginsenosides (also known as panaxosides or saponins) assumed to be responsible for the herb's medicinal properties. Ginsenosides are natural adaptogens that help the body deal with stress, disease, and fatigue. Ginsenosides demonstrate some anti-oxidant and anticarcinogenic properties.
Ginseng also contains steroid compounds, including panaxtriol, which is why it is sometimes used to treat post-menopause symptoms in women.