In this age of ever increasing pollution and diseases, people have lost faith on modern medicines. They harm more than they curb.  Therefore, people these days are more inclined towards natural, medicinal herbs. And one such, rare yet the most effective herb is Ginseng. People in the western countries use the herb only in its traces and hence, aren’t able to benefit from it completely. But on the other hand, the eastern countries value ginseng amongst all the other herbs for its healing and energizing properties.

Importance of Ginseng

A Little Precap

Its name is based after the Chinese term ‘rénshén’, which basically means, ‘man root’.  It is a slow growing plant with fresh roots that often look like a man’s legs. The roots are the most important part of the herb, which are a little light coloured and shaped in form of a fork, topped with fresh green leaves. There are two types of ginseng’s in the world, namely: Asian((Panax ginseng) and American (Panax quinquefolius). Both of them have different health capabilities. While Asian ginseng is beneficial for health benefits, American ginseng is utilized more for stress relief.

 

The Story of Ginseng in China

In the mountains of Manchuria, some five thousand years ago, the Chinese found out about the power of ginseng. The herb there is taken to be a ‘symbol of divine harmony’ and has been praised for its reviving and rejuvenating capabilities.

It was during Liang Dynasty that the benefits of ginseng were first recorded. The Chinese Emperors put it to various uses right from their tea to their soaps and creams. By the third century, the Chinese demand for ginseng had grown to the extent that it was imported from other countries in exchange of silk.

Ginseng and North America

The news of benefits of ginseng reached North America in 1716, via a Jersuit priest who had heard tales from the east. Once he was able to discover the American Ginseng in the city of Montreal, which was so popular in the east, export of it flourished. However, close to 1970s, the herb was over-harvested and soon became close to endangered species. Since then a close watch and careful cultivation have helped in the progress of the herb and the international trade have also succeeded.    

 

Benefits 

  1. It is an energy provider; it stimulates physical and mental energy amongst those who are a bit weak.
  2. The roots of Ginseng can be seeped into tea, taken as an additional natural supplement to pills, vitamins, sports drinks and protein drinks.
  3. There are seven constituents, ginsenosides, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
  4. It helps to bring down blood sugar levels, treat diabetes, reduce stress levels and increase relaxation, and reduce sexual dysfunction in men.

 

Complications

  1. It shouldn’t be mixed up with a set of antidepressants called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), as it can cause maniac episodes and tremors.
  2. Without the consultation of your doctor, never mix heart medications and ginseng as it can alter the effects of blood pressure and heart medicines.
  3.  If mixed with medicines that affect blood clotting, like warfarin or asprin, can increase the risk of bleeding.