Ginseng is an herb – one of the most popular in herbal medicine, one of the oldest herbs, one used to treat a wide variety of ailments around the world.
Here are five of our favorite benefits of ginseng...
Alertness, memory, behavior, mood, and other benefits of a healthy brain–even the treatment of Alzheimer’s–are all some of the ways in which ginseng has been used.
Considering the long list of frightening side effects associated with brain-related medications on the market, it’s no wonder that many people would rather try a natural solution, such as ginseng.
While the exact mechanism is unknown, ginseng may help brain function by:
- Protecting the brain from the damage of free radicals - Ginseng is an antioxidant. That means that it helps at a cellular level to ward off the impact of toxins and stressors in the environment that affect the body.
- Improving focus, memory and mood - Ginseng appears to assist with the absorption of both blood sugar and oxygen in the body, which may be why, in some studies, ginseng seems to help test performance, concentration, memory and self-reported mood of study participants.
- Increasing mental stamina - Fatigue can sometimes feel like “brain fatigue,” where you are so tired you cannot focus. Ginseng’s energy boosting properties also help in the boosting of mental stamina.
So whether you are proactively protecting the central hub of your nervous system, or actively improving brain health, adding ginseng to your diet may help.
Many products on the market say they boost energy. Most use caffeine and/or other stimulants to help temporarily boost energy.
Even sugar, which is added in high doses to so-called “energy” drinks, can temporarily increase energy.
All of these energy boosters, however, are also energy crashers–and not just in the short term!
Quick energy that leads to a crash can also lead to adrenal problems. If you “need” stimulants to get going, it will usually take more and more of the stimulant to create the same effect, over time. It’s a form of dependency, but it is also a slow weakening of your body’s own energy systems.
So skip the crash and go for a natural energy booster.
Another problem with the energy boost/crash cycle of a stimulant trap is the damage it does to one’s metabolism function.
Ginseng helps stabilize blood sugar in both diabetic and non-diabetic people. It may also help improve pancreatic function. In assisting energy levels, it may improve adrenal function.
For these reasons, and perhaps other unknown reasons, ginseng (especially Siberian ginseng) may help boost and stabilize metabolism.
Regular exercise is also an important part of health, energy production, immune function, sleep, and many other vital body health indicators.
But when you end up sore for days, are having a hard time meeting your goals for your next PR (personal record), or would just like to speed up your muscle recovery, ginseng can help.
As an immune booster and adaptogen, ginseng has been shown to help fight illnesses such as the common flu, but also assist in illness recovery, such as in cancer patients.
Giving the immune system a boost can impact every aspect of life.
In a study of patients seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED), ginseng proved twice as effective as medication.
For many health conditions ranging from heart disease to kidney disease to arthritis, taking ginseng is a simple thing that can make a big difference.
Any Side Effects?
While there are no specific known side effects to taking Ginseng, whenever you take a supplement that may improve health function, it’s important to also take a look at any medications you are taking.
For example, if ginseng may improve your high blood pressure, and you take blood pressure medication, you may risk your blood sugar going too low.
So talk to your doctor about possible side effects for any herbal supplement you take.