Ginseng – Review the Latest Research

Full Disclosure

The term “ginseng” is applied to the two species, American (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian (or Korean) Ginseng from Asia or Korea (Panax ginseng), that are part of the Panax genus. Panax and have a similar chemical structure. The two Asian and American ginseng are ginsenosides-rich, which are the compounds believed to provide ginseng with its therapeutic properties. They contain various types in different quantities.

Siberian Ginseng, or Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), is a totally distinct plant with distinct effects. It is distantly related to ginseng but does not contain the same active ingredients.

Similar to Asian Ginseng, American ginseng is a lighter tan, gnarled root that often resembles human bodies, with long shoots that are used for legs and arms. Native Americans used the root as a stimulant and also to treat fever, headaches, indigestion, and infertility. Ginseng is still one of the most sought-after plants across the United States.

Ginseng is often referred to as an “adaptogen,” meaning it is an herb that can help the body deal with different kinds of stress. However, there is no proof to support the benefits of adaptogens.

Most studies on ginseng have utilized Panax Ginseng (Asian Ginseng). There is evidence to suggest that Panax Ginseng could:

  • Aid in strengthening the immune system.
  • Reducing the likelihood of developing cancer
  • Enhance mental performance and well-being.

Studies conducted on animals in the lab have shown that American Ginseng is highly beneficial in strengthening the immune system and for antioxidant purposes. Another study suggests that American ginseng may provide a therapeutic benefit for inflammation-related diseases. The research on American Ginseng has concentrated on various ailments, including the following.

Diabetes

Numerous human studies have shown that American Ginseng positively affects blood sugar levels in those suffering from type 2 diabetes. The effects were observed on blood sugar levels during fasting and postprandial (after eating) blood sugar. One study revealed that people suffering from type 2 diabetes who consumed American ginseng before or with a drink high in sugar saw lower blood sugar levels. Another study suggests North American ginseng may prevent diabetes-related problems, including heart and retinal functional changes, by decreasing stress. Further research is required.

A study on mice showed that mice were more likely to be able to detect that the American ginseng berry is more effective in lowering blood sugar levels than the root.

Cancer

American Ginseng has been proven to reduce tumor growth. In a laboratory study of colorectal cancer cells, scientists discovered that American ginseng was a powerful antioxidant with anti-cancer properties.

Colds and flu

Two studies showed that people who used a specific drug known as Cold FX for four months had fewer colds than those who opted for an unrelated placebo. People who developed colds experienced symptoms that were less severe than those who took an untreated placebo.

ADHD is a form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (ADHD)

One study has suggested that American Ginseng when combined with Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), could help treat ADHD. More research is needed.

Immune system improvement

A few scientists believe American Ginseng improves your immune system. Theoretically, this increase in immune function may aid the body in fighting illness and infection. Several clinical studies have proven that American Ginseng improves the effectiveness of the cells that play a part in the immune system.

Cognition

Initial studies suggest that American Ginseng can improve cognitive function. It is necessary to conduct more research.

Plant Description

The American Ginseng plant has leaves that form a circle surrounded by an upright stem. The umbrella-shaped, yellowish-green flowers are found in the center of the plant and create red fruits. The wrinkles around the part of the root's neck indicate the age of the plant. This is crucial since American ginseng will not be suitable for usage until the plant has matured over approximately six years. American Ginseng is threatened within the natural world. This is why it can be costly. It is cultivated on farms to safeguard wild American Ginseng from being harvested too much.

What's It Made Of?

American Ginseng products originate from the roots of ginseng and the thick, thin offshoots known as hairs of the root. The principal chemical components of American Ginseng are ginsenosides, and polysaccharide glycocans (quinquefolans A B, C, and A).

American Ginseng appears more calming than Asian Ginseng, which could produce stimulant effects.

Available Forms

American Ginseng (dried) can be found in water, alcohol extracts from alcohol liquids, capsules, powders, and tablets. It can also be purchased alongside other herbs in various blend formulas.

Make sure you review the label attentively to determine the kind of ginseng you are looking for. If you're looking for Asian Ginseng, purchase Korean red, Korean, and Panax ginseng. If you're searching for American ginseng, purchase Panax quinquefolius.

Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), often known as Siberian Ginseng, can be found in health stores and pharmacies. It doesn't have any of the active components found in Asian or American Ginseng.

How to Take It

Pediatric

American Ginseng is not advised to be used in children unless under the supervision of a doctor.

Adult

The forms available include:

  • Standardized extract
  • Fresh root
  • Dried root
  • Tincture (1:5)
  • Fluid extract (1:1)

Precautions

Herbalism is a well-known method to strengthen the body and treat diseases. However, they contain elements that could cause adverse effects or interact with other supplements, herbs, or medicines. This is why you should use herbal supplements with caution with the guidance of a health practitioner who is trained in the medical field of botanical drugs. Be sure to inform your doctor of the herbs you're taking.

Rarely, side effects occur. However, they could include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Euphoria
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Nosebleed
  • The pain in the breast
  • Vaginal bleeding

To prevent the danger of hypoglycemia (low glucose levels) even for people with diabetes, you can take American ginseng in conjunction with a meal.

Patients with hypertension (high blood pressure) should not take American Ginseng supplements without the supervision of their doctor. In addition, those who have lower blood pressure or people suffering from acute illnesses should exercise caution when using American Ginseng.

Patients suffering from bipolar or schizophrenia disorder should avoid taking the herb ginseng because it can raise the chance of developing mania.

Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant are not advised to consume American Ginseng.

Women with a history of breast cancer or any other hormone-sensitive condition are not advised to take ginseng.

Stop taking American ginseng for seven days before surgery. American Ginseng can reduce blood sugar levels and cause issues for patients who fast before surgery. Additionally, American ginseng may act as an anticoagulant, which can increase the chance of bleeding during or following the procedure.

Possible Interactions

If any is treating you of these drugs, you shouldn't take ginseng if you have not talked to your physician:

Treatments for diabetes. American Ginseng can reduce glucose levels in the body, which could affect the effectiveness of prescription medications for diabetes. Discuss with your physician before taking American ginseng when you are taking diabetes medications such as insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents like metformin (Glucophage).

Blood-thinning drugs (anticoagulants). A small study suggested that American Ginseng could reduce its effectiveness in warfarin (Coumadin), a blood-thinning medication. If you take any blood thinner medication, consult your physician before taking the ginseng.

MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors). Ginseng could raise the chance of adverse effects when used in conjunction in conjunction with MAOIs, which is a kind of antidepressant. There have been reports of interactions between Ginseng and Phenelzine (Nardil) that can trigger headaches, tremors, as well as depression. MAOIs are:

  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)

Antipsychotic medicines. American Ginseng can boost the effects of medication used to treat psychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Therefore, they shouldn't be combined.

Stimulants. Ginseng could enhance the stimulant effect and adverse effects of certain medications used to treat Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as amphetamine, dextroamphetamine (Adderall), and methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin).

Morphine. Asian ginseng could block the pain-killing effects of morphine.

Supporting Research

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