Dr. Nada Milosavljevic
LESSER KNOWN BENEFITS OF GINSENG
Several studies support ginseng’s ability to promote mental sharpness and improve focus, Ginseng has gained popularity amongst millennials and working professionals looking to have an extra edge in the workplace. While study results have been mixed, this herbal remedy has become notorious for enhanced performance. Its potential benefits go beyond the workout room and ginseng may also pack a punch with other health perks that will have you reaching for it outside of your office. Read the top five benefits of this age-old remedy below.
While some levels of stress are good to push you to optimal alertness and cognitive performance, chronic stress can do quite the opposite. Much research has demonstrated that chronic stress elevates levels of glucocorticoid stress hormones, which suppresses the production of new neurons in the hippocampus, impairing memory and increasing the risk of depression. After incorporating into a regular schedule, American and Asian (or Korean) ginseng have both been credited with aiding in relief from stress and promoting well-being. Several studies have measured the impact ginseng’s effect by measuring self-reported quality of life, and found that those who took the supplement as a part of their daily routine reported a higher quality of life compared to those who did not.
The advantages and benefits of ginseng for women cannot be ignored. From helping mitigate pain from menstrual cramps, to improvements in symptoms for women going through menopause, there are clear indications that ginseng may offer significant benefits to the fairer sex. In a recent study, red (Korean) ginseng was shown to cause significant improvements in the Kupperman index and in the menopause rating scale in women aged 45 to 60. Ginseng in tea form is widely known for its calming effect, especially in women. By relaxing the abdominal area, the tea can help with the pain and bloating caused by menstruation, and make that time of the month that much more bearable.
No one likes getting sick, and ginseng offers a natural remedy to help maintain a healthy immune system and keep away the sniffles during cold and flu season. By enhancing resistance to illnesses, the extract from ginseng roots, stems and leaves, provide a defense against various infections. A clinical study conducted in 1996 revealed that patients who received ginseng had a lower incidence of influenza and colds, higher antibody titers, and higher natural killer cell activity levels. In addition, as a well-known herbal immune stimulant, a growing number of studies have reported the cancer risk reduction effects of ginseng and its robust correlation between consumption and non-organ specific preventative effects. While more research is needed in this area the results thus far are promising.
If blood-sugar levels are too high, your body cannot break down fat and decidedly stores it instead, making weight gain imminent. American ginseng has been shown as an effective blood-glucose modulator and has established its ability to lower blood sugar levels in diabetic and non-diabetic patients, helping people expedite their weight loss in a healthy way. Furthermore, ginseng has rejuvenating qualities and has been proven to increase energy giving you the extra boost of vigor needed to get off your couch and into the gym.
Ginseng and Blood Pressure
Direct correlations between hypertension and stroke, kidney disease, and the development of heart failure, illustrate the importance of regulating your blood pressure, and some physicians hold strong preferences for doing so naturally. In clinical trials, at normal doses of about 3-4 grams a day, American ginseng has demonstrated its ability to have a neutral effect on blood pressure.
Why is this important? Well, specifically in individuals with history of hypertension, there is a distinction between American and Asian (or Korean) ginseng. While American ginseng has been associated with a neutral effect on blood pressure, Asian ginseng, in some cases, has been found to increase blood pressure. So, persons with underlying hypertension should consult with their healthcare provider before adding this herb to their diet.
Overall, ginseng’s herbal properties and nutrient rich composition make it a great addition to your health routine. Enjoy all these benefits as well as support for heightened mental acuity. Although ginseng can be taken as a supplement or capsule an even easier and natural approach is enjoying it in your tea on a daily basis.