Health Benefits and Uses of Ginseng

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Health Benefits and Uses of Ginseng

Ginseng has become a very popular home remedy ingredient across the world.It is a perennial plant with fleshy roots. It grows abundantly in North America and Eastern Asia. It is being cultivated in other parts of the world as well. Ginseng belongs to the genus Panax of the family Araliaceae.
 There are 11 species of Ginseng and 3 major varieties:
  •  Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng): It contains ginsenosides. Ginsenosides are the chemicals that are responsible for the wide range medicinal properties of ginseng.
  •  American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius): It also contains ginsenosides.
  • Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus): It is not considered a true ginseng because it does not contain ginsenosides. Its active components are called eleutherosides, which stimulates the immune system. 
Ginseng root is highly consumed and is mostly sold in its dried form (sliced or powdered). The leaves are sometimes used as well.

1) Promotes Hair Growth
 A research that was conducted by Kim et al in 2015 revealed that a chemical(ginsenosides) which is found in the panax species of ginseng can promote hair growth in the same way monoxidil does.
Minoxidil is a topical medication that is used for the treatment of hair loss

2 Increases Sex Drive
Folk medicine has used Ginseng for centuries as an Aphrodisiac. The Ginseng root is consumed by both men and women when they have low libido.

3 Helps in controlling Diabetes
Studies that were conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) on mice revealed that the consumption of American ginseng roots led to a decrease in the blood-sugar levels of mice with type 2 diabetes. It also increases insulin sensitivity.

4 Anti Cancer benefits
Ginseng has properties that may help in supressing tumour growth. It may also help in treating colorectal cancer as published in  the NCBI journal.

5 Post Menopausal Syndrome(PMS)
Women who have udergone menopause may experience depression and mood swings. Some studies have showed that consuming Ginseng may help in relieving PMS

6 Good Mental Health 
 Asian Ginseng may help in improving our memory, concerntration, thinking and learning process. 

7 Erectile Dysfunction
According to a study conducted bJanq DJ et al, Asian giseng can help in treating erectile dysfunction. In addition, it can improve sexual drive and sexual performance.

8 colds and flu
Ginseng is able to boost our immune system.Therefore it can help in preventing colds and flu. It can also help in decreasing the duration of these illnesses.

9 Healthy heart
Ginseng has anti-hypertensive properties that may help in preventing hypertension as well as regulating high blood pressure. 

10 Helps in weight loss
Ginseng is able to supress your appetite and so you don't feel hungry. Unecessary eating will therefore be avoided.

how much Ginseng can i take ?
Taking ginseng for a few weeks (like 2-4) is considered safe for adults. Taking 1-2 teaspoons daily in any form is considered safe. However, if you want to take it for long, you should consult your health care provider if you are on diabetic medications, blood thinning medication or on antihypertensives .

Since ginseng is expensive, you may want to buy from a trusted source because most at times, it is alduterated with other substances to give it a larger volume/quantity.

Side effects
Nausea, diarrhoea and breastpain are side effects associated with the consumption of Ginseng

 An overdose of Ginseng can also cause nose bleeding.

Journal of Dermatological Science Kim, Su Na; Kim, Sehyun; Hong, Yong Deog; Park, Hyeokgon; Shin, Seung Hyun; Kim, Ah Reum; Park, Byung Cheol; Shin, Song Seok; Park, Jun-Seong; Park, Miyoung; Park, Young Ho; Lee, Hae Kwang; Lee, John Hwan; Park, Won Seok (February 2015). "The ginsenosides of Panax ginseng promote hair growth via similar mechanism of minoxidil". Journal of Dermatological Science. 77 (2): 132–134. 

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)  North American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) prevents hyperglycemia and associated pancreatic abnormalities in diabeties

NCBI,  Potential role of ginseng in the treatment of colorectal cancer. Health benefits of Ginseng

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