Ginseng is a legendary herb known for its amazing properties. Do you know that once in China it was considered more precious than even Gold? Well, it may surprise you now, but after learning about the Ginseng benefits, you will agree to it being regarded as one of the most precious things on the earth. From being an energy booster to improving the functioning of the brain and increasing your immunity, the powerful herb can do wonders for you. Read this article to know everything about the plant.
What is Ginseng?
Ginseng(1) is a powerful herb with fleshy roots, belonging to the Araliaceae family and genus Panax. It was discovered about 5000 years ago in the northern mountains of Manchurian China and became instantly popular for the wide array of benefits it provided. At present, 11 species of the herb are known with five important varieties namely Asian Ginseng, Indian Ginseng, American Ginseng, Siberian Ginseng and Brazilian Ginseng.
Nutritional Facts of Ginseng
The bitter-spicy root of ginseng is a powerful herbal remedy and is consumed widely around the world. It significantly affects your health in a positive manner, owing to its healthy nutritional profile. Ginseng is a rich source of antioxidants that keep you young and active. Other important constituents of ginseng are ginsenosides and compound K that fight off the harmful free radicals. Further, ginseng vitamins and minerals present in adequate amounts make it a great food that improves your overall immunity.
Thus, owing to its healthy nutritional profile with a significant amount of bioactive compounds, other beneficial chemical substances along with vitamins, minerals, ginseng is an excellent herb that boosts overall health. Also, please note that the plant has an almost negligible presence of sugar, carbohydrates and unhealthy fats which make it safe for consumption.
Health Benefits of Ginseng
Ginseng root has been used in ancient Chinese medicine owing to its potent properties. It works to elevate your physical and mental health. The presence of active compounds like ginsenosides and saponins provide it with miraculous properties that have a fantastic effect on your body. Here are some of the Ginseng benefits that make it widely popular:
1. Boosts your Immunity
Living a healthy life in a polluted and stressful environment isn’t that easy. But there is something to help you out. Studies have shown that consuming Ginseng extract can significantly boost your immunity. Ginseng regulates the different immune cells present in the human body like dendritic cells, B Cells, T Cells, macrophages. Further, it has an anti-inflammatory effect that treats various health conditions. Consuming ginseng over a period helps in preventing chronic diseases and significantly increases the life expectancy of a person.
2. Improves Energy Levels
Ginseng is known to have a substantial effect on your mental and physical activity. It works as an energy booster and stimulates the functioning of your mind and body. Regular consumption of Ginseng reduces fatigue and tiredness. Studies have shown that ginseng effectively helps cancer patients in fighting fatigue.
Thus those who feel tired and at loss of energy must include ginseng supplements in their diet. Or one can also try green tea with ginseng. It will significantly improve their energy levels and make them much more active.
3. Weight Loss Regime
Trying to lose weight? Even after so much of hard work you cannot see positive results? Try drinking ginseng tea. It is highly beneficial for those who wish to lose weight. Consuming ginseng increases body metabolism and thus contributes to weight loss.
Ginseng energizes your body and ensures that all the systems function at their optimal level. It also improves your body metabolism. Increased metabolism makes sure that the macronutrients in your body like sugars, fats, and carbohydrates get adequately digested. It reduces the amount of fat storage in your body thus aiding you in losing weight.
[Read: Natural Tips To Lose Weight ]
4. Lowers Blood Sugar Level
People who have type-2 diabetes can significantly benefit from Ginseng. They can consume ginseng seeds to reduce their blood sugar and keep it under safer levels. Ginseng is known to improve the functioning of the pancreatic cells, thus boosting the production of insulin, an enzyme that helps in proper absorption of blood sugar by different tissues.
Further, the antioxidants present in ginseng kill the damaging free radicals present in the diabetic patients. Hence, Ginseng serves to be an excellent herb for those who are under increased risk of diabetes and wish to prevent it. Try using fermented red ginseng produced with live bacteria. It is more potent in controlling blood sugar.
5. Benefits for Men
Ginseng is highly beneficial for men and improves their sexual health. The problem of erectile dysfunction in men can be solved with ginseng which is regarded as the herbal Viagra. It increases the production of nitric oxide that promotes blood flow in the penis. Thus, it effectively treats erectile dysfunction and also enhances libido. For increased sexual health and pleasure, men may consume ginseng extract. It is also known to boost testosterone levels in men.
6. Improving Brain Functioning
For improved mental performance and brain functioning, one must resort to the legendary herb ginseng. Studies have shown that consuming ginseng roots have positive effects on memory. It improves memory retention, learning and reaction speed.
If you wish to improve your alertness and brain functioning then besides solving those puzzles and crosswords, add ginseng to your diet. Ginseng benefits your brain health by improving cognitive function. It also provides neuroprotection to your brain and prevents cognitive decline due to age. Thus effectively preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s.
7. Calming Properties
In the ever-demanding life where one finds it hard to get peace for even two minutes, stress is a common issue. Your brain which is burdened with so many responsibilities is on continuous work. Hence you feel stressed-out most of the time. Your work cannot be put on hold, but you can certainly work towards alleviating your stress.
Studies show that ginseng has a calming effect on your mind and body. It significantly reduces your stress levels and gives you mental peace which is hard to find in the robust life of today. Unlike other plants or supplements that make you feel drowsy, ginseng does not affect your mental alertness.
Ginseng keeps you on your toes while calming your anxiety and stress levels so that you can concentrate better on your tasks. Thus, if you wish to improve your productivity and alertness, include ginseng in your diet.
8. Fight Cancer
Ginseng ensures longevity by preventing fatal disease like cancer. Gensing benefits you by preventing cancer. The ginsenosides present in it help reduce inflammation and combat oxidative stress. These active compounds benefit you by countering the production and growth of abnormal cells. Thus ginseng ensures that there are no abnormal cells in the body that could turn into cancer or a tumor.
It promotes the death of cancer cells. Studies have shown that consuming ginseng prevents cancer in mouth, esophagus, lip, kidneys, lungs, ovaries, etc. also goes undergoing chemotherapy can include ginseng in their diet for better health and quick recovery.
[Read: Natural Tips To Fight Cancer]
9. Benefits For Skin
No food can match the fantastic herb ginseng that has so many benefits. Besides being great for your inner health, immunity, brain functioning, Ginseng also promotes healthy and beautiful skin. It is because ginseng has strong anti-inflammatory properties that keep various health conditions like rosacea, eczema, and the like at bay.
Further, the presence of antioxidants makes it great for your skin. Consumption of ginseng supplies your body with an abundant amount of antioxidants that promote cell regeneration and repair. Its anti-aging properties ward off the symptoms of aging like wrinkles, pigmentation, and dryness keeping you young and beautiful. Drink ginseng tea to enjoy improved health with soft, supple and glowing skin.
10. Hair Growth
Yes, one of the significant ginseng benefits is that it promotes hair growth. Those suffering from excessive hair loss must include ginseng in their diet to prevent weak strands and excessive loss of hair. The ginseng extract strengthens the hair follicles, thus preventing the hair loss. Further, its immunity increasing components better scalp health and resolve various hair troubles. Also, the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals present in it promote the health of your hair.
How to use Ginseng to Reap its Benefits?
Ginseng is an amazing herb, but how can you reap its benefits? The fresh root of ginseng is indeed more nutritious than the dried roots or the powder available in the market. If possible try getting fresh ginseng root to get maximum results.
Here are some of how you can enjoy ginseng benefits:
Brew a Healthy Ginseng Tea
Start your eventful day by consuming ginseng tea which is easy to prepare.
How to Prepare Ginseng Tea?
- Take a fresh ginseng root and peel it. If the fresh root is not available, then you can use dried root or ginseng powder.
- Put the thin root shavings or the powder of ginseng in a pan along with water.
- Boil it and then turn the stove off.
- After that strain the tea.
- Put the thin shavings or powder over a metal strainer.
- Pour boiled water over the strainer
- Let it steep for five minutes.
- Remove ginseng and enjoy your tea.
- Ginseng tea bags can also do the trick.
- To the cup of ginseng tea, you can also add a little honey to enhance the taste.
Savor Dried Ginseng Root
To keep your energy levels high through the day try eating ginseng root.
How to use?
- Take a small piece (not more than the width of your pinkie finger) of dried ginseng root
- Tuck it between your molars or keep it on your tongue
- Do not chew it, instead savor the juice slowly all through the day.
- Once it loses flavor toss it out.
Take Ginseng Supplements
Another easy way to enjoy ginseng benefits is by taking ginseng supplements. The ginseng roots extract readily available in the form of pills that you can easily get from grocery stores and health food stores. Your daily dosage of ginseng must not exceed 3000 mg. Also, please note that you must take ginseng supplements early in the day along with the meal. Taking it in the evening might make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
Besides consuming ginseng tea, you can enjoy some delicious ginseng recipes that pamper your taste buds while simultaneously providing you with numerous health benefits.
Tropical Ginseng Smoothie
It is a delicious recipe filled with the goodness of ginseng along with the benefits of coconut water, mango, and pineapple.
What will you Need?
- Eight ounces of coconut water
- Half a teaspoon of Ginseng Powder
- Half a cup of freshly chopped mango
- Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
- A pinch of nutmeg
How to Prepare?
Take a blender and add to it coconut water
- After that, toss in all the other ingredients
- Blend the ingredients to get a smooth, creamy mixture
- Pour the contents in the glass and savor your delicious smoothie.
Chicken Ginseng Soup
Chicken Ginseng soup is another flavorsome and healthy dish made using ginseng and is a must try.
What will you Need?
- Chicken breast
- 100 grams of ginseng
- Six honey dates
- 900 milliliters of water
How to Prepare?
- Blanch the chicken breast and keep it for some time
- Till then, put a pot on the stove.
- Add water and ginseng to the pot and boil it.
- To the boiled water add blanched chicken breast and the honey dates.
- Put it on simmer for about two hours.
- Your delicious chicken ginseng soup is ready.
Side-effects of Ginseng
While Ginseng is known to have numerous positive effects on your health, it has its fair share of side-effects too. Some of the side-effects of the herb are:
- Severe headaches
- Sleep disorders and irritability
- Fluctuations in blood pressure and blood sugar level
- Blurred vision
- Allergic reaction
- Convulsions and seizures
- Vaginal bleeding
- Slower heart rate
Following people should avoid taking ginseng:
- Ginseng is probably considered unsafe for children.
- Expecting mothers should avoid consuming ginseng as it may cause miscarriage.
- Nursing mothers should also avoid ginseng.
- Diabetic people should also avoid ginseng as it may lower blood sugar level too much.
Ginseng vs. Ginger
Ginseng and ginger both have fleshy roots with rich nutritional value. However, besides it, both of them are quite distinct from each other.
- While ginseng is known to be rich in active compounds that boost the immune system and improve mental health, ginger is known to be rich in vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6 along with minerals like manganese, iron, and zinc which are excellent for digestive health.
- Ginger is widely used in cooking. It can be candied, pickled or crystallized. It is also used as a spice and flavoring agent. Whereas ginseng is mostly consumed in the form of tea. It is also used for flavoring wine and soft drinks.
- Ginseng is the legendary herb known to improve overall physical and mental health whereas Ginger has antiviral and antibacterial properties which makes it a great remedy for upset stomach, arthritis, nausea, and diarrhea.
To sum it up, Ginseng that once used to be consumed by Chinese royals is now again becoming popular. Its strong rejuvenating and strengthening properties make it a great herbal remedy for treating various health conditions. From boosting your immunity to improving your mental health, alleviating stress, fighting cancer and promoting healthy hair and skin, the ginseng benefits are many.
You can enjoy its numerous benefits by taking in the supplements or enjoying a cup of healthy ginseng tea. You can also use it in various recipes to enhance their flavors and enjoy better health. Thus, if you seek a healthy living, then include ginseng in your diet. However, you must take it in moderation to reap its positive effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is It Safe to Take Ginseng With High Blood Pressure?
People with high blood pressure can take ginseng in moderate amount as it is known to lower blood pressure. However, if they are on medications, then they must consult with their doctor before including ginseng supplements in their diet. A high amount of ginseng intake is also associated with raised blood pressure. Hence, it is wise to consult a doctor first.
2. Why Is Ginseng so Valuable?
Ginseng is a powerful herb with numerous health benefits. It can treat diverse issues related to your physical and mental health. Those who wish to enjoy improved health with better concentration and cognitive function will find the herb highly valuable.
3. How Long Does Ginseng Take to Grow?
Ginseng is no doubt a valuable herb and this precious herb takes time to grow. Ginseng plant takes anywhere between five to ten years to completely mature.