The use of natural ingredients in supplements and for food has seen a huge increase in the last few years. However, though such ingredients have seen their application on a widespread scale recently, the ingredients in itself have been used extensively in ancient medicine. Roots are some of the most potent plant based ingredients that come with many impressive properties which make them absolutely amazing for attaining good health. Among the many root based ingredients available, Panax Ginseng is one of the most widely used and popular ones.
While there are many varieties of Ginseng out there, the Korean Red Ginseng is considered to be the most powerful among them all. Like all varieties of Ginseng, the root is fleshy and is marked for its energizing effect on the body. But, unlike the others, the amount of harvesting dome for the Red Ginseng is longer (more than 6 years). This is a plant that grows slowly. To put it into perspective, it takes 2 whole years just for the seed to germinate and a full 6 years for the plant to just grow. In other words, it takes a duration of 8 years to just grow one Ginseng plant.
Regardless of the type of Ginseng, the active ingredients present in this root are ginsenosides and gintonin. These two chemical compounds can be isolated from Ginseng, and are the ones responsible for the potency and properties of the Ginseng root. Ginsenosides come under the category of saponins and glycosides both. On the other hand, the non-saponin part is known as gintonin and is named for its tonic like effects.
How should Ginseng be consumed?
There are a variety of ways in which Ginseng is available. One of the most common means that most people are aware of is energy drinks. While they do contain this herbal root, it is just in traces. Because of the extremely long duration of harvesting, Ginseng is not widely found.
Ginseng is available in the form of tea. Known as Insam Cha, it comes in the form of herbal Ginseng powder that can be brewed into a warm cup of tea. The caffeine levels in a cup of Ginseng tea is equal to a typical cup or coffee.
Another popular way to have Ginseng is by directly immersing the Ginseng root into edible alcohol, like vodka or gin. One may take a few drops of this solution everyday for the period of a month. After that, you should pause your intake for sometime (maybe a couple of weeks) before resuming it. Few drops are potent enough to give your body a whole range of health benefits. However, as we shall see later on, too much of Ginseng has its own set of side effects.
At end of it all, it is best to consume Ginseng through supplements as they contain the right amount of concentration to give you the required health benefits and not cause any harm to the body.
What are the benefits of Ginseng on your body?
Herbal ingredients are always healthy. Being created by nature itself, it comes with natural goodness for the human body to benefit from. Here are some of the various benefits that Ginseng offers:
- For the immune system: The boost of the immunity system is one of the most important benefits of this root. The composition of ginsenosides and gintonin help in reinforcing the immune system with more shielding power. Basically, the white blood cells (WBCs) are triggered to function more effectively and have more potency in killing harmful microorganisms. People consuming Ginseng report lesser occurrences of common cold and fever (link)
- Nootropic functions: Low doses of Ginseng powder is more than effective in improving the alertness of your brain and boost your memory. Additionally, it also safeguards your brain against damage by oxidative stresses generated with time. Students can benefit a lot from this in their academic curriculum (link)
- Good for sex: Ginseng is a powerful aphrodisiac and sexual performance enhancer. To begin with, it triggers your brain to make you feel more aroused often and heighten your sex drive. Also, it works as a vasodilator. It expands your blood vessels by producing nitric oxide (NO). This leads to a higher blood supply to your penis. Obviously this gives you better erections and stronger orgasms (link)
- Supply of energy: We have stated that Ginseng has been used in energy drinks. This is because this ingredient contains various chemical compounds that helps to energize the activity of cells. This automatically leads to generation of more ATP, and as a result, your body gives out more energy for you to use. This also helps in avoiding fatigue as the body will have enough surplus of energy to compensate for the effects of fatigue (link)
- Lowers blood sugar and helps to manage diabetes:This is one of the prime applications of Ginseng powder. It provides multiple benefits such as the enhanced production of insulin and management of net concentration of sugar in the blood. It also helps in maintaining optimal health conditions in people with diabetes (link)
- It has the properties of an antioxidant: Ginseng powder is also a herbal ingredient with remarkable properties of being an antioxidant. It reduces the stresses that are caused on the body and helps in relaxing the entire composition of the body (link)
For energy drinks, a typical 300ml bottle is sufficient.
For a solution, 2-3 drops would be enough.
For the tea, 2 cups per day is suggested.
In the case of supplements, the pills should contain up to 2 grams of Ginseng powder.
If eaten raw, about 0.02 kg is sufficient.
One should not take Ginseng in the night as it contains caffeine.
If you are taking Ginseng as per the recommended dosage, there should not be any side effects as such.
On overdosing, there are several side effects that may come out of it, including diarrhea, heart palpitations, headaches, fluctuating blood pressure etc.
By all means, you should approach your doctor before you attempt to consume this product. Ginseng dosage may differ for people with different conditions. So accordingly, follow the doctor’s advice and take as directed by him/her.
Ginseng is hard to cultivate, but it is totally worth it. This remarkable root is increasingly seeing applications in so many supplements. This is justified by the many beneficial features of this herbal ingredient. Consume it as per the dosage recommended by the doctor and enjoy the various benefits it offers to your body. Good health is sure to be attained by the usage of Ginseng in any form.
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