Ginseng is popularly referred by the name “panax.” The word originates from the Greek word, panacea, which means, “universal cure.”
In certain communities, ginseng is generously used as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is said to be an all-encompassing herb – one that normalises physical functioning, in tune with an individual’s specific needs, and with dual effects. Reason enough why ginseng has the potential to lower blood pressure, and also just as much raise it in people who have high blood pressure. It, therefore, needs to be used, if at all, in hypertensive individuals, with caution.
Ginseng is a popular remedy in many cultures. The Chinese believe that ginseng ought to be a fundamental remedy in all basic prescriptions. Right from ancient times, ginseng has been used not only a great preventative, but also as a curative remedy for a plethora of ailments.
Ginseng contains vitamins A, B6 and zinc. It helps in the production of thymic hormones, which are essential for the functioning of our body’s defence mechanism.
Ginseng contains more than 25 saponin triterpenoid glycosides – “ginsenosides.” These possess steroid-like activity. They also provide adaptogenic properties to the herb that help balance and offset the effects of stress.
Researchers suggest that glycosides act on the adrenal glands. This, they say, may help prevent adrenal hypertrophy and excess corticosteroid production caused due to physical, chemical or biological stress, to which we are all so much exposed today.
Researchers also suggest that ginseng helps increase protein synthesis and activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. This is said to be one of the key factors in the herb that aids us to restore memory, improve concentration and cognitive abilities, especially when there is inadequate blood supply to the brain.
Besides this, ginseng helps us maintain our bodily systems at their optimal level, promote detox, increase energy and stamina, and ward off viral infections.
Research has shown ginseng’s ability to calm the central nervous system, and improve liver, lung and circulatory functions too.
More importantly, gingseng is a popular male remedy. Men have used the herb, for ages, to improve sexual function, treat impotence, and improve blood circulation. In women, ginseng has been shown to be effective in treating menopausal hot flushes.
Aside from its usefulness in diabetes, ginseng is believed to protect from radiation and chemotherapy effects. Herbalists not only praise its value in treating sleep problems, and preventing heart disease, but also in improper assimilation, or when there is reduced appetite for food.