Wellness

The 6 health benefits of ginseng

Ginseng refers to 11 different varieties of a short, slow-growing plant with fleshy roots. Ginseng can restore and improve well-being. The plant has a light-colored forked root, a relatively long stem and oval-shaped green leaves. Asian Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) may boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, promote relaxation, treat diabetes, and manage sexual dysfunction in men.

6 Benefits of Ginseng

Men have traditionally taken ginseng to help treat a range of medical conditions. Researchers believe that ginsenosides, chemicals found in ginseng, are responsible for the clinical effects of this herb. The quality and potential medicinal properties of ginseng products may vary. It is advisable to check the ingredients of any ginseng product before buying it. A small or negligible amount of ginseng could actually hide other substances.

Research shows that ginseng may have the following health benefits:

1 Energy Boost

Ginseng can help stimulate physical and mental activity in people who feel weak and tired. A study of 21 men and 69 women found that ginseng showed good results in helping people with chronic fatigue.
A 2014 study of people receiving cancer treatment found that ginseng helped reduce cancer-related fatigue. However, researchers have only documented the energy-boosting effects of ginseng in people who are currently undergoing treatment.

2 Sharper cognitive function

Ginseng can improve thinking processes and cognition. A 2018 report examined the accuracy of this claim. This report concluded that, based on human and animal studies, components of ginseng have the potential to treat certain cognitive deficits. These studies have shown that ginseng may reduce oxidative stress, which may lead to improved cognitive function. A 2016 study on the effects of Korean red ginseng on cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease also showed promise. The study involved 14 people, three men and 11 women, whose median age was 74.93 years. Patients received 4.5 grams of Korean red ginseng for 12 weeks. The study concluded that Korean red ginseng helped improve the function of the frontal lobe of the brain.

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3 Anti-inflammatory effects

Ginseng can reduce inflammation. According to a 2020 study, ginsenosides, the active components of ginseng, may target immune system pathways that may reduce inflammation.

4 Treatment of erectile dysfunction

Men can take ginseng to treat erectile dysfunction.
A systematic review tested the effects of red ginseng on erectile dysfunction. The review demonstrated that the number of trials, total sample size, and quality of experimental methods were not sufficient to demonstrate continued clinical benefit. A 2012 study in 119 men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction found that ginseng berry extract improved overall sexual function. The study lasted 8 weeks, during which part of the group received Korean ginseng berry extract, and others received a placebo.

5 Flu prevention

Research on the effects of ginseng on mice suggests a possible link between ginseng and the treatment and prevention of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
The results of another study suggest that an extract of red ginseng may improve the survival of human lung epithelial cells infected with influenza virus.

6 Decreased blood sugar

A 2014 study suggests that ginseng may help lower blood sugar and treat diabetes. Ginsenosides may affect insulin production in the pancreas and improve insulin resistance using other mechanisms.
Another 2014 study showed similar benefits of ginseng in lowering blood sugar. Some participants took 2.7 grams of fermented red ginseng each day, while others took a placebo. Researchers found that ginseng was effective in lowering blood sugar and increasing insulin levels after a meal, compared to placebo.

Sources

Choi, YD, et al. (2012). Effects of Korean ginseng berry extract on sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction: A multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study.

Ha, K.-C., et al. (2012). A placebo-controlled trial of Korean red ginseng extract for preventing influenza-like illness in healthy adults.

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Heo, J.-H., et al. (2016). Effect of Korean red ginseng on cognitive function and quantitative EEG in patients with Alzheimer’s disease: A preliminary study.

Im, D.-S. (2020). Pro-resolving effect of ginsenosides as an anti-inflammatory mechanism of Panax ginseng.

Jang, D.-J., et al. (2008). Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: A systematic review.

Jakaria, M., et al. (2018). Active ginseng components in cognitive impairment: Therapeutic potential and prospects for delivery and clinical study.

Kim, H.-G., et al. (2013). Antifatigue effects of Panax ginseng CA Meyer: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Lee, JS, et al. (2014). Antiviral activity of ginseng extract against respiratory syncytial virus infection.

Oh, M.-R., et al. (2014). Postprandial glucose-lowering effects of fermented red ginseng in subjects with impaired fasting glucose or type 2 diabetes: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Shishtar, E., et al. (2014). The effect of ginseng (the genus Panax) on glycemic control: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials.

Thomas, GB, et al. PURLs: Finally, a way to relieve cancer-related fatigue.

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