The Healing Powers of Ginseng
Ginseng is one of the most popular herbs used since ages in traditional medicine. There are three main varieties ¬of ginseng. Korean or oriental ginseng is most widely used in the world. American ginseng (P. quinquefolius) is popular in both, Asia and Western countries. The Chinese ginseng (Panax ginseng) is also becoming increasingly well known for its therapeutic properties. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 7000 years.
Ginseng contains many essential nutrients like vitamin A, B-complex, and zinc. The main active components in this herb are saponin triterpenoid glycosides called "ginsenosides." Ginseng is traditionally used to build up the body’s resistance against viral infections and environmental toxins. It normalizes thyroid functioning, cleanses the body and acts as a natural detoxifier. It is used to treat the common cold, allergy, rash, diarrhea, upset stomach, and fatigue.
This herb stimulates the endocrine system and enhances protein synthesis. It also improves the activity of certain neurotransmitters and thus enables one to combat physical and mental stress. By increasing the blood circulation, ginseng increases stamina, improves performance, enhances cognitive abilities, boosts energy levels, and improves memory. It also helps to maintain body functions by supporting the central nervous system, respiratory system, and circulatory system, thereby bringing the body to a state of equilibrium.
It is believed that ginseng can prevent certain cancers. There are evidences which prove that regular consumption of ginseng can decrease the likelihood of developing lung cancer. Studies have also suggested that ginsan and polyacetylinic alcohol present in ginseng assist in the destruction of cancer cells and hinder tumor growth. Further, this herb seems to enhance the effects of both, radiation and chemotherapy. Ginseng is also heart friendly. It is shown to control blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and total cholesterol levels.
It triggers a mild increase in the metabolic rate of the body and strengthens the heart muscles. Additionally, ginseng acts as an aphrodisiac by stimulating the production of sex hormones. Ginseng in particular, helps men with erectile dysfunction and increases testosterone levels. In women, it stimulates the production of estrogen and relieves hot flushes during menopause. Although it has various benefits, no RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) has been determined till date. It is normally considered safe for use in the young as well as the old.
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