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Immune system, fatigue and infections Features

Ginseng: the amazing root that helps to support immunity and cognition

We’ve all heard of ginseng, the no. 1 ingredient in the Asian pharmacopoeia. But how is the word pronounced, what are the many health benefits associated with this plant and what accounts for them?
Ginseng root for boosting the immune system
Ginseng root is the ultimate plant of Chinese medicine.
Rédaction Supersmart.
2020-12-08Comments (0)

Ginseng, also known as Panax ginseng (or the ‘universal remedy’)

Ginseng is a perennial plant from the Araliaceae family, native to China and Korea. It is usually between 30 and 50 cms in length and is recognisable by its whiteish flowers and small red berries.

Its scientific name is Panax ginseng, Panax meaning “all-healing” in Greek. Ginseng (which means “man-root” in Mandarin) is pronounced with a ‘soft g’ as in ‘jinseng’.

In Korea, it is usually known as insam, meaning “man-shaped root“. After a few years’ growth, ginseng root can indeed come to resemble a human body with two arms and legs ...

The favourite plant of Chinese emperors

An essential ingredient of the Asian pharmacopoeia, ginseng root (or rhizome) has a very long history of use - as much as 4000+ years. Practitioners of Chinese medicine have always considered ginseng to be a Qi tonic (“vital energy»).

Chinese emperors, noblemen and the Imperial guards in particular, benefited from its many medicinal properties. From the 18th century onwards, ginseng root was also available in the West, where it was used as a pick-me-up, aphrodisiac and stimulant.

Ginseng’s benefits for immunity, cognition and vitality

A plant recognised for its multiple benefits, ginseng helps to maintain:

Its exceptional properties have made ginseng root a natural choice for formulation into a dietary supplement. Ideally, opt for a supplement such as Ginseng 30%, known for its high content of active ingredients (30% ginsenosides).

What is responsible for ginseng root’s medicinal properties?

Ginseng’s diverse benefits are the result of its content in:

How to obtain maximum benefit from ginseng

Ginseng is best taken in the morning because of its stimulant effect. You should not exceed 2g (2000mg) a day. We recommend taking ginseng for no longer than 3 months in succession. If you want to extend the supplementation period, take a one-week break every 3 weeks.

If you suffer fromhypertension, heart problems or are taking anticoagulants, please consult your doctor before starting a course of ginseng supplements.

Some synergistic supplements

Other dietary supplements that can be taken in combination with ginseng include:

References

  1. Wee JJ, Mee Park K, Chung AS. Biological Activities of Ginseng and Its Application to Human Health. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 8. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92776/
  2. Kang S, Min H. Ginseng, the 'Immunity Boost': The Effects of Panax ginseng on Immune System. J Ginseng Res. 2012;36(4):354-368. doi:10.5142/jgr.2012.36.4.354
  3. Kim HJ, Kim P, Shin CY. A comprehensive review of the therapeutic and pharmacological effects of ginseng and ginsenosides in central nervous system. J Ginseng Res. 2013;37(1):8-29. doi:10.5142/jgr.2013.37.8
  4. Park KC, Jin H, Zheng R, et al. Cognition enhancing effect of panax ginseng in Korean volunteers with mild cognitive impairment: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Transl Clin Pharmacol. 2019;27(3):92-97. doi:10.12793/tcp.2019.27.3.92
  5. Chen W, Balan P, Popovich DG. Review of Ginseng Anti-Diabetic Studies. Molecules. 2019;24(24):4501. Published 2019 Dec 9. doi:10.3390/molecules24244501
  6. Leung KW, Wong AS. Ginseng and male reproductive function. Spermatogenesis. 2013;3(3):e26391. doi:10.4161/spmg.26391
  7. Wee JJ, Mee Park K, Chung AS. Biological Activities of Ginseng and Its Application to Human Health. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 8. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92776/
  8. EFSA Register of Questions - Europa EU
  9. Kiefer D, Pantuso T. Panax ginseng. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Oct 15;68(8):1539-42. PMID: 14596440.
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