Ginseng is the name of a root whose shape often resembles the human figure. Ginseng’s presumed medicinal powers have been widely publicized. It is frequently marketed as a universal tonic for well-being, a general panacea for numerous ailments, and for its supposed powers as an aphrodisiac.
No conclusive proof is available for its claims, but the commercial value of ginseng continues to grow. It has been brought under cultivation both in Asia (particularly in Korea) and in North America. Ginseng is now being incorporated into soft drinks marketed by natural-food companies. Also is available in the form of liquids and powders (to be used in beverages or as tea) as well as in capsule form to be taken as a supplement.
Ginseng is used to improve thinking, concentration, memory and physical endurance. It’s also used to help with depression, anxiety and as a chronic fatigue natural cure. It’s known to boost the immune system, fight infections and help men with erectile dysfunction.
Proven Ginseng Benefits
Everyone from students to the elderly has turned to ginseng for its cognitive abilities. Consuming it can not only stimulate your cognitive abilities of focus and concentration. But can also stimulate neural activity that can be difficult to achieve in one’s older ages. The activity of antioxidants to stimulate these pathways to prevent the accumulation of plaque and free radicals in the brain, effectively preventing the onset of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive disorders.
One of the most common traditional uses of this root was as an aphrodisiac. Powdered ginseng was believed to increase male sexual performance and boost libido; in modern applications, it is commonly recommended for men suffering from erectile dysfunction as a natural solution.
As a soothing and anti-inflammatory substance, ginseng is often prescribed for women suffering from extreme menstrual discomfort and cramps. It can also help to reduce the mood swings commonly associated with menstruation and the menopausal change in middle-aged women.
Ginseng affects the body’s nervous system in various ways, including stimulating the metabolism and boosting energy levels. Both of these effects can help to reduce stress and anxiety in the body. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the adaptogens found within ginseng have been shown to alter the hormonal levels of the body, which can also help to lower stress hormone levels and achieve a better balance of mood in the body.
By stimulating blood flow throughout the body, particularly to the skin cells, ginseng is able to keep the skin looking young and hydrated. This falls under the category of anti-aging properties, but it is also linked to detoxifying the skin and boosting the immune response in the body’s largest organ.
One of the natural carbohydrates found in ginseng has been directly connected with the prevention of alopecia and male pattern baldness. By applying ginseng salve or consuming the spice directly to the scalp can increase the health of the hair follicle beds, prevent dandruff, and reduce hair loss significantly.
Weight Loss Efforts
The powerful combination of chemicals found within ginseng has a wide range of effects, including the suppression of appetite. When consuming ginseng (dry or powder), it can quickly suppress the “hunger hormones” from triggering any cravings; thereby helping people in their weight loss efforts from cheating or snacking in between meals, while delivering a range of other health benefits at the same time.
There is a wide body of research on diabetes management and prevention. One of the most promising herbal remedies for this veritable epidemic of diabetes in recent years is the use of ginseng. It reduces blood sugar levels in terms of fasting blood sugar levels and post-prandial (after eating) levels. By regulating the intake or absorption of glucose, ginseng is able to protect the body from the sudden spikes and drops in blood sugar that can make diabetes so dangerous, or that can lead to the development of the disease.
Although extensive research is ongoing in other cancers, the most promising oncological area for ginseng is in colorectal cancer; research has shown a direct decrease in colorectal cancer spread and symptoms with the regular inclusion of it in one’s diet. Early research on other types of cancer show anti-tumor properties, but these studies are still in the early stages and debate still exists on the true medicinal benefit of this herb in terms of cancer.
How to Make Ginseng Tea
Want to add ginseng to your daily diet? Try making your own ginseng tea.
In China, people have been drinking this tea for 5,000 years. In Chinese herbal medicine, practitioners recommend that adults over 40 drink one cup of ginseng tea every day.
Ginseng tea, just like its supplements and extracts, improves your mental power and memory. When making tea, first choose the type of ginseng you want to use: American (which is better during hotter months) or Korean (better during colder months). You can buy tea bags from your local food store. But making it yourself from the root of the plant is the most beneficial form.
You can use the fresh root, but this may be hard to find; so using the powdered or dried root works too.
Start by peeling the root if you are using it. Then take 1 tablespoon of root shavings or the powdered root, and put it into a metal tea ball or filter.
Bring water to a boil, and then turn it off — letting the water cool for 2–3 minutes. Pour the water into a tea cup, and sink the tea ball or filter into the cup; Let it steep for 5 minutes or longer.
After drinking the tea, you can even eat the root shavings to optimize the health benefits.
Ginseng is a very powerful spice, and as such, can cause negative reactions in the body. These most commonly take the form of upset stomachs, headaches, sleep issues, and allergic reactions. While these are usually mild, you should still consult a medical professional before adding it to your regular diet or supplement regimen.
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