Ginseng, by its scientific name: Panax ginseng Meyer, is a medicinal plant, which belongs to the Araliaceae family.
One of the most powerful roots in the world, ginseng is considered a natural stimulant for the body, and one of the most effective dietary supplements.
As an adaptogen, it arouses great curiosity, in particular, because of its exceptional beneficial effects on physical functions but also on the mind and cognitive capacities.
Ginseng, a powerful natural food supplement
Ginseng, and more precisely “Korean Ginseng”, grows naturally in certain Asian countries, and more specifically in Korea and China. But it is also sometimes cultivated artificially in the rest of the world.
Another variety of ginseng also grows in the Americas. However, the most effective ginseng hope is Panax Ginseng Meyer from Korea.
Ginseng is one of the most popular food supplements in the world, especially because of its positive effects on health, recognized for millennia.
The unusual nutritional properties of ginseng make it a very popular root in Asia and on all continents. This root is used both in cooking and in traditional medicine.
It allows, in particular, to stimulate the organism, thanks to its various components. It acts on the immune system and strengthens the body’s natural defences.
It is also known to be an excellent natural aphrodisiac (perfect in combination with maca and Rhodiola), and for its anti-inflammatory properties. But it also has other relatively unknown benefits.
What is ginseng?
It is a tuber, consumed all over the world, mostly as a dietary supplement while it was once eaten fresh, in its original form.
It is also one of the most widely consumed food supplements in the world. And for good reason, its beneficial properties for the body have allowed it to gain a prominent place in traditional Asian medicine. It has been used in this way for over four thousand years.
It is a root known for a long time in Asia and the Western world for about fifty years. A name is now known throughout the world.
However, not many people are familiar with ginseng, its properties, how it is produced, and how best to derive its beneficial effects.
Nowadays, this root has become so rare that many products are popping up here and there, containing extracts sometimes of poor quality and sold at exorbitant prices.
Not to mention the many imitations that are of little interest to be consumed, hence the difficulties in finding a real quality red ginseng.
Origin of ginseng
Ginseng means in Mandarin Chinese “Root man”. It is native to an area stretching from China to Korea and its use dates back over 4,000 years.
Negotiated at a high price, it was then considered an elixir of youth and reserved for Chinese emperors who used it as a stimulant and fortifier.
It was much later introduced to Europe around the year 1000 when its reputation for its medicinal properties grew.
The ginseng referred to here is Panax Meyer red ginseng, of Asian origin. The one that has been used by traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
It grows naturally in the Sino-Korean region. Because you should know that there is also another variety of this plant species that grow on the American continent.
The dissimilarities are mainly found in the concentration and composition of the ginsenosides and saponins contained in the roots.
The virtues of ginseng are mainly found in the root. It is therefore important to be careful before buying it to choose a product made from Korean red ginseng root and not a simple “ginseng extract” which can be either American ginseng or composed of stem, leaf and other parts of it, which are of little interest to the consumer.
The properties of ginseng
The main virtues of ginseng
•Increases physical performance, endurance
•Participates in maintaining cognitive functions and/or reducing mental fatigue
•Invigorates and strengthens the body in times of fatigue and asthenia
•Improves recovery in people recovering from illness or injury
•Promotes better alertness and a higher level of energy
•Improves intellectual concentration
•Restores energy, strength and vitality
•Known aphrodisiac which induces and improves the erection, and helps to maintain satisfactory sexual relations
•Contributes to mental well-being, lack of energy and helps fight the feeling of depression
•A powerful adaptogen
•Adaptogens help restores general balance and has a positive effect on general well-being. Korean red ginseng is also known for its beneficial effects on energy and stress.
It thus contributes to mental well-being. Also nicknamed “plant of vitality”, it helps support and ensure the proper functioning of the immune system.
It’s very broad virtues make it possible to effectively support the organization, to fight against fatigue, to increase vigilance and to promote better recovery during a convalescent state. The ginsenosides and saponins contained in ginseng give it all its particularity.
It has benefits not only on the body but also on the mind since it also contributes to psychological well-being and to fight against depression.
Choose ginseng titrated in ginsenosides
Panax includes several active ingredients, to which it owes most of its benefits on the body. These include ginsenosides and triterpenoids. Ginsenosides have anabolic and adaptogenic effects but are also immune adjuvants.
Korean ginseng also contains pantothenic acid as well as nicotinamide. It consists in particular of dammaran and tetracyclic triterpene heterosides, known for their virtues similar to saponosides.
Thus, to take full advantage of the effects of the plant, it is advisable to choose ginseng which is titrated to more than 10% in ginsenoside.
Health Benefits of Ginseng
It is known to be a powerful adaptogen, helping to improve physical performance, stimulate the body and all of its functions.
To explain the action of ginseng on the human body, we must understand how medicine works on the Asian continent.
The body and the spirit are one, and the symptoms which the first expresses can be evils of the second. It is also a question of balance, complementarity, circulation of energy (Chi).
Moreover, Chinese sages have understood for millennia that everything is about the cycle in nature. Balance is achieved when all the circuits that run through our body are functioning well.
1. As an adaptogen
It acts as a real energy regulator in the human body. The roots of this plant can have a positive effect on the body’s defences, energy levels, well-being and psychological health of people. It also helps effectively fight fatigue, whether physical or mental.
2. Improve cognitive functions
Known for its virtues on the body, its root has been used for thousands of years for its effects on our brain. Indeed, it improves our cognitive functions, and in particular our memory.
3. Ginseng fight symptoms of degenerative diseases.
This is particularly, according to some studies, the case with Alzheimer’s disease. Also, the consumption of ginseng would improve the memorization skills of the elderly who suffer from mental retardation. Finally, it is also used to fight depression.
4. Fight against inflammation
Like turmeric, ginseng has interesting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The ginsenosides present in its composition make it possible to prevent and stop inflammation but also to improve the antioxidant capacities of our cells.
5. Ginseng and sports performance
It is a food supplement particularly appreciated by athletes, in particular, because of its ability to improve physical and mental performance, as well as for its anti-inflammatory properties.
It is useful for physical recovery. This is why runners and those who practice other very intense sports (bodybuilding, CrossFit, boxing, etc.) often consume it in the form of cures. The benefits of ginseng are also combined with other food supplements such as guarana, maca and spirulina.
6. Ginseng and libido
It is known around the world for its properties on libido and for improving sexual desire. Better yet, it stimulates virility and helps fight erectile dysfunction.
A maca-ginseng combination is particularly recommended if you are looking to improve your sexuality (whether you are a man or a woman) and promote better sexual performance.
7. Ginseng increases your energy level
Regular intake of ginseng has significant beneficial effects on physical capacity and energy.
Many studies have been carried out and have demonstrated the full potential of red ginseng on physical activity and improving energy levels.
It is also said to be beneficial in improving respiratory capacities and eliminating lactic acid, both related to endurance needs, recovery and athletic performance.
8. It helps fight fatigue
Whether it is physical or mental fatigue, it is recommended to restore more energy, improve recovery and promote better alertness.
It improves physical abilities and acts as a powerful natural energizer. Used in people who have suffered burnout or who are recovering, it has demonstrated all of its abilities and effectiveness in various studies.
9. Strengthen the immune system
Also nicknamed “plant of vitality”, ginseng and more particularly red ginseng, helps support and ensures the proper functioning of the immune system.
It increases the phagocytic activity of macrophages and thus strengthens the body’s protection against bacteria, infectious cells and other nanoparticles foreign to the body.
It also exhibits immunostimulatory effects. It is therefore recommended in the event of physical or mental fatigue or during changes of season to strengthen its immunity. For this purpose, it can be combined with guarana or royal jelly.
Indications and dosage of ginseng
Its consumption can vary depending on the type of supplement you have available to you. Indeed, if it is a simple ginseng powder or a real extract of red ginseng root, the recommendations will not be the same.
Here we will be interested in the most effective formulation, to have Korean ginseng root extract.
We, therefore, recommend that you consume 1 to 3 capsules of ginseng per day, i.e. a maximum of 1200mg of powder including 750mg of root extract to obtain optimal effects.
The doses can vary according to your state of fatigue or stress, or if you are for example at the beginning of convalescence or full physical preparation (in high-level athletes for example).