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Ginseng: Everything You Need To Know

Ginseng: Everything You Need To Know
Panax Ginseng


What is Ginseng?

Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) is one of the most highly prized plants available, both in terms of effect and money. Ginseng is often called the Man-Root because of its similarity to the human shape. Other names for ginseng are the Root of immortality and the Root of life, so highly regarded is this root in many asian countries.

In Chinese medicine, ginseng is considered to be the most potent tonic of all, a plant so powerful, it can restore vitality in even the most feeble.

And indeed the root is high prized: A first class mature wild Ginseng has been known to sell for $200,000 USD! And that is no rarity, ginseng is often valued at prices that rival those of famous artwork.


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Panax Ginseng has been used for thousands of years, with little to no side effects. It is being used as an overall tonic to restore or maintain health and vitality. The root has warming and energizing effects, which are said to increase mental sharpness and physical resistance to stress, disease and fatigue.

It is important not to confuse Panax Ginseng with American or Siberian Ginseng, both of which are different plants. With the increasing popularity of Ginseng, it is not uncommon to see these other “Ginseng” as being marketed as Panax Ginseng. Siberian Ginseng is Eleutherococcus Senticosus and is not even remotely related to the panax family. The name „ginseng“ was borrowed to show its tonifying properties, however, this practice is now illegal in the United States.

Effects of Ginseng

Effects of Ginseng

The effects of Ginseng have garnered it a reputation as one of the safest and most potent natural vitality boosters throughout the world. This is primarily because of the adaptogenic quality of Ginseng, meaning it does not enhance one particular organ alone, but rather boosts the body as a whole, and only where it is needed. Adaptogens like ginseng can increase the resistance to stress, boost the immune system, increase endurance and improve cognitive function.

Its ability to boost vitality goes hand-in-hand with Ginseng’s reputation as a male tonic. The increased vitality and endurance it produces can be a great aid in the bedroom, adding in more zest and stamina. In traditional medicine, it is the herb of choice for treating erectile dysfunction, and often used in combination with other herbs such as Ginkgo and Rhodiola to boost sperm count. However, while ginseng has been reported to increase libido, ED is a serious disfunction that requires professional medical attention and should not be self-treated.

These well rounded, boosting qualities allow Ginseng to become an effective daily supplement, although it is often recommended not to take it for more than 6 weeks at a time. At the recommended dosage, Ginseng can help to build muscle, improve physical strength, increase the ability to exercise, and improve focus and cognitive skills. The prevalence with which Ginseng is used for these purposes has led to clinical studies into those effects, and the possible therapeutic applications they have - and all studies agree that Ginseng enhances physical and mental performance, plus it improves sperm count in men with low levels. It has also been found to reduce fatigue caused by menopause, improve resistance to infection, reduce inflammation, and arguably most important, improve the overall quality of life.

The versatility of Ginseng makes it an ideal herb to use in conjunction with other treatments. It is often used with other immune system-modulating remedies to help battle chronic infection and a compromised immune system. Another example of its combined potential is with Gingko, where it is used to enhance memory and cognition in the elderly, as well as a preventative measure against dementia.

How to use Ginseng

How to use Ginseng

Ginseng can be obtained in many forms, such as pills and powders, but is arguably most effective as a dry root. This way you can be sure you are getting a pure, unadulterated product, and it gives you the option to do what you want with it.

The most common, and most effective way to take dried Ginseng root is as a tonic or tea – although it can be chewed if you have a fancy for the taste.

To make a Ginseng root tea:

  1. Measure 2-3 grams of dried root for every cup you wish to make.

  2. Add the Ginseng and any other herbs you may want in each cup.

  3. Pour in hot, but not boiling water and allow to steep for 5 minutes. If you really want to bring out the flavor, then you can steep it for longer.

  4. Add in some honey if you want to sweeten it up. The hot water should have softened the Ginseng root as well, making it easy to eat, should you want to.

Best Herbs To Brew A Tea With

At least since the ancient Egyptians, herbs have been brewed into tea. Teas can be used as stimulants and sedatives or even as aphrodisiacs.

The history of Ginseng

Ginseng has been in use for thousands of years throughout ancient societies. Still today, the root is widely cultivated and consumed. It is a central plant in traditional Chinese medicine, but also commonly used to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

While cultivated ginseng has drastically reduced the price of the root, premium quality ginseng remains one of the most highly prized herbal products.

Although used for thousands of years, the actual beginning of human Ginseng consumption is unknown. The first documented instance of Ginseng’s use comes from ancient Chinese writings dating back to the first century AD. Within these writings, ginseng was described as enlightening the mind and increasing wisdom as well as its continuous use leading to increased longevity in life. Chinese herbalists observed that taking Ginseng acted as an aphrodisiac and boosted sexual vitality – which led to a large increase in its popularity.

One way many early medicinal systems recognized beneficial plants was by their resemblance to human organs. This method is widely known as the Doctrine of Signatures. For example, walnuts look like a brain, therefore they are thought to be useful for the mind. The root of the ginseng plant does resemble a human being, and was thus believed to be of great benefit for the whole human.

This belief quickly spread through China, and knowledge of the plant led lords and even the central government to control regions where Ginseng was known to grow. This control, and belief in the wondrous powers Ginseng contained saw it become as valuable as gold, and many battles and wars were fought over the territories where it grew. Unfortunately, the desire for ginseng led to the natural population of the plant being nearly exhausted through over harvesting. Nowadays, wild Ginseng is extremely rare, accounting for the extremely high prices wild ginseng root can fetch.

The scarcity of wild Ginseng has led to the rise of American Ginseng, which was phenomenally popular in China. However, American Ginseng is a completely different plant, and has differing effects.

To this day, Wild Ginseng remains rare, although there are reports that numbers are increasing as less people search for it. But high quality cultivated Ginseng is readily available these days and it offers all of the health benefits the plant became famous for.

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