Asian ginseng, also known as Panax ginseng, is a flowering plant. Its root has been used for its medicinal properties in Asia for thousands of years.
Other parts of the plants are also used as medicine, but the root is the most commonly used ingredient in Chinese medicine.
Here is a complete guide on Asian ginseng and its health benefits:
- What Is Asian Ginseng?
- Benefits Of Asian Ginseng
- Daily Recommended Dose Of Asian Ginseng
- How To Take Asian Ginseng
- Side Effects Of Asian Ginseng
- Asian Ginseng Health Benefits: Parting Thoughts
What Is Asian Ginseng?
Asian ginseng is a type of plant traditionally used in Chinese medicine. There are 3 kinds of Asian ginseng—red, white and fresh. They are differentiated on the basis of how old the plant was at the time of harvest.
Fresh ginseng comes from 4 year old plants, white ginseng from plants between 4 to 6 years old whereas red ginseng is harvested from plants more than 6 years old.
Ginseng contains ginsenosides, which are being studied for their potential to treat various health conditions.
Benefits Of Asian Ginseng
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the use of Asian ginseng for different health conditions, but we need more research to understand its exact effects.
Existing research shows that Asian ginseng could have the following health benefits:
Can Improve Brain Function
Consumption of Asian ginseng has been found to improve cognitive function and quality of life. The ginsenosides in Asian ginseng could be effective in protecting the brain from harm caused by free radicals.
No side effects were found in any of the studies involving Asian ginseng, suggesting that it is safe to use and showed promising results for improving brain function.
May Help Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Asian ginseng is most popular for its usage for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in alternative medicine.
It is possible that compounds in Asian ginseng reduce the oxidative pressure on tissue and blood vessels in the penis, helping promote normal function. Asian ginseng could be a good non-invasive method for treating erectile dysfunction.
It is also associated with increased production of nitric oxide, which improves blood circulation in the male reproductive system.
Could Strengthen Immune System
Asian ginseng or Panax ginseng could help strengthen our body’s natural immune response.
Studies conducted on patients recovering from cancer showed promising signs of strengthening the immune system.
A study on patients recovering from stomach cancer suggests that long-term daily consumption of Asian ginseng improved immunity and showed a reduction in recurring symptoms.
Studies also suggest that Asian ginseng could improve the efficacy of the influenza vaccine.
Lowers Blood Sugar
A study conducted in 2014 found that Asian ginseng has the potential to lower blood sugar, making it a promising component in the treatment of diabetes.
Another study found that daily consumption of Asian ginseng was effective in lowering blood sugar as compared to a placebo. More research is needed to determine the exact dose and concentration of ginseng that can be used to effectively manage diabetes.
Could Help Fight Fatigue
Asian ginseng has also been found to reduce fatigue and increase energy levels. Studies have found that people suffering from chronic fatigue responded positively to Asian ginseng.
People fighting cancer experience a lot of mental and physical fatigue. A study on cancer survivors compared the effects of Asian ginseng against a placebo. Participants who took ginseng showed significant improvement.
May Reduce Risk Of Cancer
The ginsenosides in Asian red ginseng could be useful in protecting against cancer. Further research is needed on the subject to determine the exact ways to utilize Asian ginseng in anticancer medications.
After reviewing several different cancer studies, it was found that people who regularly consume Asian ginseng had a 16% less chance of contracting cancer.
Additionally, patients suffering from cancer could benefit from Asian ginseng as it helps with fatigue and reduces the side effects faced after chemotherapy.
Daily Recommended Dose Of Asian Ginseng
When consumed orally, Asian ginseng is safe when 200mg to 3 gm is consumed every day for a period of 8 weeks. Contact your healthcare provider for the exact dosage for your individual circumstances.
If you are using raw ginseng, you can use between 2-4 gm whereas supplements or exacts should be consumed in much lower doses as they are already concentrated.
How To Take Asian Ginseng
There are plenty of ways to consume Asian ginseng. Raw ginseng can be eaten as it is or steamed to make it softer. You can also make a ginseng tea by letting it steep in hot water for a few minutes.
It is a versatile ingredient and can be easily added to soups or stir frys. If you are looking for a supplement, ginseng extract is commercially available in various forms like capsules and powders. Consume them before meals to improve absorption.
Side Effects Of Asian Ginseng
So far, Asian ginseng does not have any serious side effects. It does interact with other conditions and medications, so always consult your doctor before consuming Asian ginseng or its supplements.
If you are on anticoagulants or medication for diabetes, you need to monitor your conditions and seek medical advice before taking any supplements.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also advised not to take ginseng supplements as there is not enough research to guarantee their safety.
Studies also show that prolonged consumption reduces the benefits of Asian ginseng, so it is best to take a gap after every few weeks of daily consumption.
Asian Ginseng Health Benefits: Parting Thoughts
Asian ginseng has been hailed as a potent medicinal plant for centuries in Asia. It was used for treating a plethora of diseases and was believed to boost energy levels.
Recent studies have shown that it does show promise in fighting some types of cancers, reducing blood pressure, fighting fatigue, treating erectile dysfunction and strengthening the immune system.
While we need more research and standardization of Asian ginseng extract to determine its exact capabilities and their best use, there is no doubt that it does provide a host of medical benefits.