When Science Proves Home Remedy: Ginseng
A famous root
Ginseng is a root that is barely gaining fame in the West, but it has been a staple of Eastern medicine, specifically of China, for over three thousand years.
It is so valued in China that the ancient, big and strange varieties of ginseng can be sold more expensive than gold! In 2007, a 300-year-old root sold for $400,000!
High prices of the wild variety have sparked a "ginseng fever" here in the United States, where it also grows. Wild ginseng poachers have begun to become famous. Even, there are some reality shows dedicated to this!
A famous remedy
But why does everyone have so much interest in getting their hands on a twisted, ugly root like ginseng?
Because practitioners of traditional Eastern medicine believe it is the best remedy. They prescribe ginseng for many ailments, particularly to increase energy levels, boost immunity, reduce blood sugar, improve brain function and even (and especially in China), to increase sexual performance.
There are many supposed benefits to such a small root! Some of these outweigh the scientific questioning, while others have not yet been proven. But let's look at three ways in which science approves the use of ginseng:
The most famous home use for ginseng is as energy booster. In fact, you'll find it incorporated among the ingredients of many of your local store's energy drinks.
And scientific studies show very promising results in this category. Numerous research has shown that ginseng polysaccharides and oligopeptides can reduce the fatigue of healthy people (1) and also those who recover from cancer (2) and chronic fatigue (3).
Even an analysis (4) on a large scale of existing studies on ginseng showed that in most of these tests it proved effective to significantly reduce fatigue.
Another traditional use of ginseng is as a remedy to strengthen the immune system. And again, the current scientific research seems to back it up with respect to this.
A strong immune system involves a complex series of natural reactions that work to keep us healthy, and research shows that ginseng is effective in helping to balance many of those cell-level reactions. (5)
A study (6) remarkable was focused on ginseng's ability to help the body fight bacterial infections, specifically in the lungs. Its conclusion: "In case of bacterial infections, ginseng acts by alleviating the production of inflammatory cytokines, increasing survival rates and activating phagocytes and natural killer cells." This is great news if you're looking for a healthier immune response.
A powerful immunity is also closely related to lower levels of inflammation, and studies (7) have shown that red ginseng is effective in reducing the inflammatory response.
Brain and mood
Can ginseng really help keep you mentally sharper as you get older? Or, even, improve your mood? That is what many experts in Eastern medicine claim.
There is little scientific research available on this subject, but the first results are interesting. The red ginseng contains a component called K compound, and the first studies (8) about their ability to protect the neurotransmitters from damage and improve data transmission are promising (9).
Another study showed that the supplementation with ginseng for 8 weeks helped a group of study participants improve their memory and mood (10), even in smaller doses.
And it has been shown (11), even, that the long-term treatment of red ginseng improves the cognitive deficit of people suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Let them not fool you
Science loves ginseng, but it's very important to get it from a reliable source. The fraud is impressive around such a popular product, especially in China.
Several tests carried out by agencies dedicated to verifying the application of the law on products sold in famous stores, have shown that half of the occasions when a product says that it has ginseng, does not actually contain it!
Make sure your ginseng comes from a reliable source.
In conclusion, although there are still not so many (12) studies showing that ginseng helps with sexual performance as we would like, there is still a lot to be excited about when it comes to this root:)
Let's be healthier together
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