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Ginseng has anti-inflammatory effects and may reduce inflammation. Other possible benefits range from improving thinking to treating erectile dysfunction and lowering blood sugar.
Ginseng refers to 11 different varieties of a short, slow-growing plant with fleshy roots. It has a light-colored, forked-shaped root, a relatively long stalk, and green leaves in an oval shape.
Both American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius, L.) and Asian ginseng (P. Ginseng) may boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, promote relaxation, treat diabetes, and manage sexual dysfunction in men.
People have traditionally taken ginseng to help with a range of medical conditions.
More research is needed to confirm if it has any benefit as a supplement. Researchers believe that ginsenosides, chemical components found in ginseng, are responsible for any clinical effects of the herb.
Western scientists and health professionals often question the medicinal properties of ginseng. There is
Ginseng products can vary in their quality and potential medicinal properties. A person should check the ingredients of any ginseng product before purchase, as some products
Researchers suggest that ginseng may have the following health benefits:
Ginseng may help stimulate physical and mental activity in people who feel weak and tired. One
Sharper cognitive function
Ginseng may improve thinking processes and cognition. A
This report concluded that, based on human and animal studies, ginseng components have the potential to treat some cognitive deficits. These studies showed ginseng could reduce oxidative stress, which could lead to enhancement in cognitive function.
A 2016 study on the effects of Korean red ginseng on cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease found promise as well.
The study involved 14 people, three men, and 11 women, with a median age of 74.93 years old. The patients received 4.5 grams of Korean red ginseng for 12 weeks.
The study concluded that the Korean red ginseng helped improve frontal brain lobe function.
Ginseng may reduce inflammation. According to a
Treatment of erectile dysfunction
Men may take ginseng to treat erectile dysfunction.
More research is needed to determine if ginseng is a reliable treatment for erectile dysfunction.
Research on the effects of ginseng on mice suggests a
Findings of another study
It is undetermined exactly how the anti-viral mechanisms in ginseng work based on the above study.
Lowering blood sugar
More clinical studies and standardization of ginseng root are needed to determine whether ginseng is a possible complementary therapy for diabetes. Researchers also need to investigate what specific doses might be effective.
Although ginseng is generally safe to consume, people
- sleep problems
- digestive problems
- changes to blood pressure and blood sugar
- rapid heartbeat
- severe skin reaction
Women may also experience swollen breasts and vaginal bleeding.
People may experience a moderate interaction when using ginseng with a class of antidepressants called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
Ginseng can alter the effects of blood pressure, diabetes, and heart medications, including calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine. Never take ginseng and heart medications at the same time without first consulting a doctor.
The herb can also increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood thinners, such as warfarin or aspirin.
While researchers have not confirmed the various potential health benefits of ginseng supplements, it is usually safe for a person to take the herb in small doses.
Ginseng supplements are available to purchase online. A person should compare brands and individual products to ensure the supplement they are purchasing is suitable and safe for them. Always speak to a doctor before taking a new supplement.