Ginseng - The Herb to Take For a Long and Healthy Life
Ginseng has been in use as a dietary supplement for up to 7,000 years. It has proven to be effective for a number of different purposes: to stimulate the immune system, treat male impotence, improve memory, enhance athletic performance, strengthen the adrenal glands, improve the circulation of blood, ease withdrawal from cocaine, aid recovery from stress, protect against the dangers of radiation exposure and increase longevity.
Throughout Asia it has been used for centuries to combat weakness and provide the body with extra energy. Native American Indians considered Ginseng to be one of their most sacred herbs. They used it to treat stomach and bronchial disorders as well as asthma. The Indians also used Ginseng as an added ingredient in other herbal remedies in order to gain a more potent effect from them.
There are many different species of the Ginseng plant and they all belong to the Genus known as Panax. These various species are native to many different parts of the world including China , Russia , North Korea , Japan , and some areas of North America . Of these different types of Ginseng it is the American Ginseng that is most widely in use. There are a number of other substances that are often referred to as Ginseng but they are actually from a different taxonomic Family or Genus. Some of those substances are Siberian Ginseng, Prince Ginseng, Female Ginseng, Indian Ginseng, and Brazilian Ginseng.
All of the medicinal value resides in the root of the Ginseng plant. What are some of the active ingredients of the Ginseng root that enable it to accomplish so much good for the human body? Ginseng root contains a number of ginsenocides that are analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsant. They also act as regulators of blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The ginsenocides contain a strong anti-oxidant component that is effective in combating the signs of aging. Studies done in China have shown that the ginsenocides increase protein synthesis and the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. Ginseng root also contains a number of steroid compounds; one such being panaxtriol. These compounds are similar to the anabolic steroids that are found naturally in the human body. That makes the use of Ginseng by athletes a safe alternative to the use of anabolic steroids. Germanium has also been discovered to be a component in Ginseng root; it is known to aid in the proper functioning of such vital organs as the liver. There are a number of vitamins and minerals present in Ginseng: vitamins A, B-6 and the mineral Zinc. All of these assist in the production of thymic hormones that are necessary for the body's immune system to work correctly.
Ginseng root is made available in many different forms. Sometimes it is sold as a whole root or it is offered in root pieces. It is also available as a powder, a liquid extract, a tea, a tincture and in tablets or capsules. Insure that all such products are made with pure Ginseng.
Some care may need to be shown in regards to the length of time in which an individual regularly ingests Ginseng. Phyllis and James Balch, in their book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," advise that Ginseng should be taken for fifteen to twenty days but then avoided after that for a period of two weeks. Long-term use of high doses, they advise, should be avoided.