Ginseng - A Great Remedy For All Diseases
The word “Ginseng” has Chinese origins and derives from the term “rénshēn”, which means "human root", probably because it reminds people of the human foot.
The Botanical word Panax, which identifies the genus, comes from the Greek word "panacea" that means “a cure-all”, and it is attributed to the Swedish botanist Carl von Linné.
The common names of Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) are Ginseng root, Ren-shen, X-yang-shen, American Ginseng, Asian Ginseng, Korean Ginseng, and the family name of the plant is Araliaceae.
Ginseng has been used for over 2000 years in traditional Chinese medicine, and many people, including the ancient Greeks and Egyptians who considered it a remedy for all diseases.
The Russians used it for astronauts, in order to avoid body infections during space travels.
In the early 17th century, the demand for ginseng had reached such a level that Asia started intensive and systematic cultivation. In America, the progress of ginseng followed the same "crazy" way.
In 1716, a priest, having learned about the huge demand for ginseng in China, began to seek the plant in the American Continent. The root was found in Canada, and until the end of the 19th century, all the natural reserves of ginseng had been exhausted.
The result was to start a systematic cultivation of the plant in the American continent too. Old sources said that wild Ginseng reappeared at its disappearance level both in Asia and America.
Ginseng is regarded as probably one of the most popular herbs in the world since its tonic and healing properties classify it as one of the most important physical aids to stimulate the human body.
Ginseng is one of the best natural ways to boost body and spirit, and it is thought to offer wellness and longevity. It seems that using ginseng regularly removes toxins from the body, helps in the body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals, and also stimulates the immune system.
The three most traded species of ginseng are the American, Asian and that of Siberia.
However, we need to distinguish the properties of each species.
For example, American ginseng helps in some cases of diabetes; Siberian ginseng relieves severe symptoms of herpes, and Asian ginseng enhances cognitive ability, lowers blood glucose and helps with erectile dysfunction.
The best months to gather the ginseng are from August to September (wild species).
Cultivated ginseng is gathered between September and October, and when the plant matures, during the 6th, 7th, or 8th autumn sowing.
Medicinal Use of Ginseng
- Ginseng provides significant beneficial effects to the brain in general and especially in the management of depression, anxiety, and stress.
- Ginseng helps severe anxiety and depression, and helps to restore the nervous system. Ginseng is considered to be ideal for nervous exhaustion, intense emotional stress, as well as mental stress. It has analgesic, antipyretic, stimulating, tonic, and anti-inflammatory activities.
- Ginseng increases oxygen intake in the body, relieves exhaustion, fatigue, and helps to soothe headaches and cognitive function.
- Ginseng protects cell membranes, regulates blood pressure, helps to prevent diabetes, improves memory and also strengthens the immune system.
- Ginseng is used to enhance sexual activity, particularly in men, while it also contributes to muscle recovery after a workout and helps with liver disease.
Side Effects and Recommendations
Ginseng raises the blood pressure and brings it back to normal, and people with hypertensive disorders should avoid using it.
If the ginseng is consumed in large amounts, it may result in temporary nervousness, irritability, excitability, or insomnia. It can also cause nausea, swelling, headaches, skin problems (hives, itching), diarrhea, and blood pressure disorders.
It is best to avoid taking ginseng with other stimulants such as caffeine. Do not combine ginseng with hormones, stimulants, or pills.
Do not take ginseng if you have nervous system dysfunctions, cardiovascular problems, or if you have diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, or if you are taking any antithrombotic treatment.
If you have any health problems, follow any other treatment or take other herbs and supplements, it is best to ask your physician before you begin taking ginseng.
Ginseng should also be avoided by nursing mothers, children, and pregnant women.
Preparation Methods of Ginseng
Infusion: Pour warm water in a cup with 2-3 grams of chopped ginseng root, one teaspoon powdered ginseng or 5-6 ginseng slices. Leave this mixture to sit for 5-6 minutes, strain and then drink (see: Infusions).
Fresh root: Chop fresh ginseng root into a salad, soup, sauces, and in any other dish that you choose.
The extracts of ginseng are excellent plant substances that help the body to adapt to new conditions, such as environmental pollution, toxins, and aging.
It is useful to know that when using ginseng as cooked food, the preparation requires prolonged heating, meaning that many of the good ingredients of ginseng are destroyed.
Scientists consider ginseng as a highly adaptogen substance. Adaptogenic is the word used to describe substances that restore the body to its normal operation, when for some reason, the body balance is disturbed.
In today's life, such a factor is necessary to help us cope with all the health risks which face the body and spirit due to leading unnatural daily lives.
I wish for you to be always healthy.