Herbs are generally used in conversations around cooking and gardening. But, their health benefits have been tapped into only recently.
One such herb is ginseng, which is a vital part of most medicinal practices in East Asia and North America. Here are a few benefits of the herb
1. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Research states that Korean red ginseng (KRG) might help in regulating glucose and insulin levels for those with type 2 diabetes. So, if you do suffer from this disorder, you could try incorporating ginseng in your diet.1
2. Boosts Brain Function
Ginseng might boost your brain health. Studies state that ginsenosides, a constituent in ginseng can modulate stress, fatigue, and learning. It hence modulates cerebroelectrical (EEG) activity and significantly improves memory.2
3. Improves Mental Health
Apart from boosting your mood, research states that panax ginseng might be useful in the treatment of stress-induced disorders. However, it’s important to remember that the research regarding this is still fairly new and scattered.3
4. Relieves Symptoms Of Allergies
It is believed that ginsenoside Rh1, a constituent in ginseng, possesses anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammations caused by allergies.4
In fact, fermented red ginseng in particular, is believed to improve nasal congestion symptoms caused due to allergic rhinitis. So, if you do tend to pop anti-allergy pills each time the season changes, do give ginseng a shot.5
5. Treats Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction affects 5 percent of men around the age of 40.6 Recent research concludes that red ginseng helps sexual function in men without any adverse effects to their hormones or lipid blood levels.
It did this by releasing endothelial nitric oxide which increases penile hardness. This made it easier for men to engage in sexual intercourse.
Besides this, ginseng has the potential to improve disorders hypertension, hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia, which are believed to be important risk factors for Erectile Dysfunction.7
6. Fights Cancer
Several studies state that ginseng, when used in combination with anticancer drugs, enhances the effects of chemotherapy.8 Besides this, it combats tumor growth, prevents oxidative stress, and protects cells.9
7. Improves Lung Function
Ginseng is believed to improve lung function for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) when administered with doses of ginseng for 3 months. It does this by improving pulmonary function, respiratory endurance, and oxygen consumption in patients.10 Although this treatment is believed to have no side effects, be sure to consult a professional before consuming ginseng.
Besides this, ginseng might reduce obesity and improve metabolic health.11 It might also improve one’s immune function and slow down the aging process.12 And, although its consumption is generally considered safe, infants, children, and pregnant or breastfeeding women might be better off avoiding it.13
In general, ginseng is an excellent supplement to add to your routine. However, before you take any supplement, you should definitely consult a doctor.
|↑1||Vuksan, Vladimir, Mi-Kyung Sung, John L. Sievenpiper, P. Mark Stavro, Alexandra L. Jenkins, Marco Di Buono, Kwang-Seung Lee et al. “Korean red ginseng (Panax ginseng) improves glucose and insulin regulation in well-controlled, type 2 diabetes: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of efficacy and safety.” Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 18, no. 1 (2008): 46-56.|
|↑2||Kennedy, David O., and Andrew B. Scholey. “Ginseng: potential for the enhancement of cognitive performance and mood.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 75, no. 3 (2003): 687-700.|
|↑3||Rai, Deepak, Gitika Bhatia, Tuhinadri Sen, and Gautam Palit. “Anti-stress effects of Ginkgo biloba and Panax ginseng: a comparative study.” Journal of pharmacological sciences 93, no. 4 (2003): 458-464.|
|↑4||Park, Eun-Kyung, Min-Kyung Choo, Myung Joo Han, and Dong-Hyun Kim. “Ginsenoside Rh1 possesses antiallergic and anti-inflammatory activities.” International archives of allergy and immunology 133, no. 2 (2004): 113-120.|
|↑5||Jung, Jae-Woo, Hye-Ryun Kang, Geun-Eog Ji, Myeong-Soo Park, Woo-Jung Song, Min-Hye Kim, Jae-Woo Kwon et al. “Therapeutic effects of fermented red ginseng in allergic rhinitis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Allergy, asthma & immunology research 3, no. 2 (2011): 103-110.|
|↑6||Erectile Dysfunction (ED). UW Health, University of Wisconsin.|
|↑7||Hong, Bumsik, Young Hwan Ji, Jun Hyuk Hong, Ki Yeul Nam, and Tai Young Ahn. “A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of Korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report.” The Journal of urology 168, no. 5 (2002): 2070-2073.|
|↑8||Chen, Shihong, Zhijun Wang, Ying Huang, Stephen A. O’Barr, Rebecca A. Wong, Steven Yeung, and Moses Sing Sum Chow. “Ginseng and anticancer drug combination to improve cancer chemotherapy: a critical review.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014 (2014).|
|↑9||American ginseng. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑10||Gross, D., Z. Shenkman, B. Bleiberg, M. Dayan, M. Gittelson, and R. Efrat. “Ginseng improves pulmonary functions and exercise capacity in patients with COPD.” Monaldi archives for chest disease 57, no. 5/6 (2002): 242-246.|
|↑11||Jung, Dong-Hyuk, Yong-Jae Lee, Chun-Bae Kim, Jang-Young Kim, Seung-Hun Shin, and Jong-Ku Park. “Effects of ginseng on peripheral blood mitochondrial DNA copy number and hormones in men with metabolic syndrome: A randomized clinical and pilot study.” Complementary therapies in medicine 24 (2016): 40-46.|
|↑12||Asian Ginseng. national Center For Complementary And Integrative Health.|
|↑13||Chang-Xiao, Liu, and Xiao Pei-Gen. “Recent advances on ginseng research in China.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 36, no. 1 (1992): 27-38.|