Characteristics of ginseng / description: It is a plant of the Araliaceae family up to 60 cm tall. Round, soft stems arising from a thick root, that, because of the presence of two appendices,
makes us to remind two legs, giving the whole rood human appearance. Compound
leaves with five leaflets, serrated, in whorls. Little showy green flowers gathered in
umbels, flowering at the age of four. Red fruit in berry.
There are various forms of ginseng which correspond to the same species, according to place of origin, the form of cultivation, plant age, and so on. The main ones are:
- White ginseng: The root of ginseng after picking up.
- Brown Ginseng: It's the same root when dry.
- Red Ginseng: It is the same plant that has been steam roasted and has been placed in the sun to dry. This last form is considered to posses greater medicinal properties than the two first, since cooking stimulates the appearance of a greater proportion of components.
- Acids: ascorbic, citric, fumaric, malic, and oleanolic acid (Root)
- Ginsenosides (Root, leaves and buds)
- Panaxosides (Plant)
- beta carotenes (Root)
- Phytosterols: Beta Sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol (Root)
- Minerals: aluminum, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium and zinc (Root)
- Fiber: Pectin (Root)
- Vitamins: vitamin C, biotin (vitamin B7), niacin (Vitamin B3), Riboflavin (vitamin B2) and Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) (Root)
- Carbohydrates: maltose, fructose, glucose and sucrose (Root)
- proteins (Root)
It is generally believed that the older specimens are best because they have greater amount of active ingredients.
GINSENG HEALING PROPERTIES
A plant to overcome life problems
Ginseng is considered one of the best plants to balance the body. The reason for this property is due to the presence of ginsenosides principles which tend to stabilize the body's balance, which is known in scientific terms as adaptogenic properties. These properties can be exploited in situations like the following:
- Fatigue: When we are exhausted, ginseng can restore our lost energy. Ginseng is considered, in this sense, a stimulant, but unlike other stimulants, it does not produce overstimulation. Traditionally, it was used in the Orient and America to return the strength lost in the battle, to restore the sick, the wounded or those who felt weak after a great effort (In America, American ginseng ( Panax quinquefolius) was generally used for these purposes). Its ability to recover energy has given it a very great importance in the Western world. In general, ginseng is considered as one of the best tonics. (Take 200 or 500 mg a day of some ginseng root preparation divided into two doses)
The use of ginseng in patients with chronic fatigue improves their condition. Equally useful might be to use for the treatment of spring fatigue or insomnia. (Take 200 or 500 mg a day of ginseng extract divided into two doses)
Many athletes say they use ginseng as a steroid hormone with anabolic properties, because they consider that, after taking a ginseng tea, they feel stronger and more eager to compete. Some studies have concluded that ginseng can improve the body's use of energy and can increase oxygenation, allowing greater efficiency and a faster recovery rate. Other studies seem to deduce contradictory results.
- Stress: Another property of ginseng is its ability to neutralize stress. Ginsenosides Rb1 and Rg1, along with beta-carotene, are the main components that give it this competence. Ginseng can help the body to respond better to adversity so as not to become depressed. This plant seems to act on the brain and adrenal glands making them stop producing hormones that will increase the body stress. Besides blocking certain negative hormones, it stimulates the production of endorphins, which increases the feeling of comfort.
The properties mentioned would be responsible for improving the condition of patients with anxiety or depression. (200 to 500 mg daily of panax ginseng extract divided in two doses)
Ginseng to strengthen your brain
Ginseng, for its anti platelet components and its vasodilating properties, improves circulation of blood. by means of keeping your capillaries clean and dilated . This action promotes a better irrigation of the brain with the consequent improvement of mental work. Ingestion of ginseng improves intellectual activity by increasing memory and the capacity of understanding. So, it eases the learning process. Some studies carried out in groups of students demonstrated the performance of tests improved with the use of ginseng.
People who have concentration problems should use this remedy with some frequency. Its ability to keep the brain in a better state makes researchers think about the possible use of this remedy to improve the conditions of Alzheimer's disease. (Decoction of 10% of dried plant. A glass a day)
Ginseng helps to combat some symptoms of schizophrenia by increasing the production of endorphins that have a positive effect on the mind of the schizophrenic. (Decoction of a gram of dried root per glasses of water. One cup a day)
Because it contains antiplatelet and vasodilator properties, it improves blood circulation by keeping your arteries clean and dilating your capillaries. This promotes a better irrigation of the brain with the consequent improvement of mental work. The ingestion of ginseng improves intellectual activity because it increases memory, comprehension ability and ease of learning. Very useful for memory loss ( amnesia)
Ginseng lowers cholesterol and balances the sugar levels in of blood
Ginseng contains over 20 useful principles to lower cholesterol. This property, together with its ability to improve blood circulation, makes the root of this plant a very worthwhile instrument to keep the circulatory system in good condition.
Very interesting is its use to treat diabetes by activating an adequate production of insulin. Studies were conducted in a non-insulin dependent group of people who were treated with 100 to 200 mg daily of ginseng extract . The results showed an increase in insulin levels in their blood and a general improvement in the condition of their body or the their general mood.
Ginseng, immune system
By stimulating the formation of white blood cells, ginseng can strengthen the immune system, which prevents the occurrence of many bacterial or viral diseases . It has been found that tincture of ginseng has anti tumor properties, because it is able to neutralize the growth of some cancer cells.
(Decoction of 10% of dried plant. A glass a day) (40 mg dry extract per day)
The stimulant power of gingseng
Contraindications , toxicity and precautions
Administered in adequate doses, it generally presents no contraindication. A rest should be taken after every two or three weeks of treatment. Exceeding allowable dose or taking it for a long time without interruption can lead to problems of nervousness, inability to sleep, nausea, stomach pain , headache and muscle tension.
Some people not used to it can experience headache or malaise. It is advisable to start taking small doses until to get used to it.
It should not be combined with caffeine (coffee, tea and colas) or other exciting substances to prevent overstimulation. It should not be used during pregnancy and lactation. It should not be mixed it with antidepressants. It is inappropriate to use this plant in the following diseases:
- Thyroid Problems: Because of its high iodine content, should not be taken in case of hyperthyroidism.
- Problems of hypertension.
- Diseases of the heart or arteries.
- Habitual headache. (Migraine)
- Sleep apnea
More information about other ginseng species in the listing above.
The information given is informative. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.