Ginseng Health Benefits & Side Effects
11 different species of short, slowly growing plants with fleshy roots are referred to as ginseng. Ginseng has various health benefits as well as some disadvantages.
The herb has an oval-shaped stalk, light-colored, forked roots, and moderately lengthy leaves.
Both Asian ginseng (P. Ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius, L.) may increase energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, lessen stress, encourage relaxation, treat diabetes, and manage male sexual dysfunction.
Ginseng has long been used by people to treat a variety of illnesses.
To determine whether it offers any benefits as a supplement, more research is required. Ginsenosides, chemical elements present in ginseng, are thought to be in charge of the herb’s therapeutic properties.
The therapeutic benefits of ginseng are frequently contested by scientists and medical professionals in the West. Regarding its actual effectiveness, there is no clear evidence.
Products made from ginseng might differ in terms of both quality and potential medical benefits. Before making a purchase, a person should always check the components of any ginseng product because some may just include a trace amount of ginseng while others may also contain additional compounds.
According to research, ginseng may have the following health benefits:
1. Increased energy
Ginseng may encourage mental and physical activity in individuals who feel lethargic and frail. In a study including 21 men and 69 women, it was discovered that ginseng was effective in treating chronic fatigue.
In a study conducted in 2014 on cancer patients, ginseng was proven to help lessen weariness brought on by cancer. The effects of ginseng on raising energy, however, have only been studied in patients who are currently receiving therapy. In those who had already stopped receiving cancer therapy, ginseng did not produce statistically significant gains.
2. Sharper cognitive function
Ginseng may enhance cognition and thought processes. 2018 data report Trusted Source looked into the veracity of this assertion.
This report concluded to the conclusion that ginseng components may be able to treat some cognitive impairments based on human and animal investigations. These studies demonstrated that ginseng could lessen oxidative stress, which might improve cognitive performance.
A 2016 investigation into Korean red ginseng’s impact on Alzheimer’s disease patients’ cognitive function also revealed encouraging results.
Three males and 11 women made up the study’s 14 participants, with a median age of 74.93. For 12 weeks, the patients got 4.5 grams of Korean red ginseng.
The investigation concluded to the conclusion that Korean red ginseng enhanced frontal lobe function.
3. Anti-inflammatory effects
Ginseng might lessen swelling. Ginsenosides, the main ingredients in ginseng, may target immune system pathways that lower inflammation, claims a 2020 study.
4. Treatment of erectile dysfunction
Ginseng can help men with erectile dysfunction.
The effects of red ginseng on erectile dysfunction were investigated in a systematic study. The review showed that the number of trials, overall sample size, and standard of the experimental techniques was insufficient to show sustained clinical effects. It is one of the most used benefits of ginseng.
Ginseng berry extract enhanced overall sexual function, according to a 2012 study of 119 men with mild-to-moderate erectile dysfunction. During the 8-week trial, some of the participants received an extract from Korean ginseng berries, while others received a placebo.
If ginseng is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, more research is required.
5. Flu prevention
A probable connection between ginseng and the treatment and prevention of influenza and the respiratory syncytial virus has been suggested by research on the effects of ginseng on mice (RSV).
Another study’s findings revealed that red ginseng extract might increase the viability of influenza-infected human lung epithelial cells.
Based on the aforementioned studies, it is unknown precisely how the anti-viral mechanisms in ginseng function.
6. Lowering blood sugar
According to a 2014 study, ginseng may help treat diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels. Ginsenosides may influence the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin and reduce insulin resistance using means of several pathways.
Another study from 2014 showed comparable advantages of ginseng in decreasing blood sugar. While some individuals took a placebo, others took 2.7 grams of fermented red ginseng daily. In comparison to a placebo, researchers discovered that ginseng was beneficial in reducing blood sugar and raising insulin levels after a meal.
If ginseng is a potential supplemental therapy for diabetes, more clinical research and standardization of ginseng roots are required. Researchers must also look into the potential efficacy of different doses.
Even though ginseng is typically safe to ingest, some users have experienced the following negative effects:
- sleep problems
- digestive problems
- changes to blood pressure and blood sugar
- rapid heartbeat
- severe skin reaction
Additionally, breast enlargement and vaginal bleeding are common in women.
Ginseng and the monoamine oxidase inhibitor class of antidepressants may have a mild interaction in some people (MAOIs).
Calcium channel blockers like nifedipine and those for blood pressure, diabetes, and the heart can all have their effects changed by ginseng. Never use ginseng with heart drugs without first talking to a doctor.
When combined with blood thinners like aspirin or warfarin, the plant can also raise the risk of bleeding.
The numerous potential health advantages of ginseng supplements have not yet been shown, although taking the herb in moderation is usually harmless.
Online shoppers can buy ginseng supplements. To be sure the supplement they are buying is right for them and safe, a person should evaluate brands and specific items. Before ingesting a novel supplement, always see a physician.
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