Benefits Of Ginseng

Ginseng root, a staple of traditional Chinese medicine, is one of the most popular and highly regarded supplements on the market today.

Ginseng root is one of the most highly touted nutritional supplements on the market, used for everything from weight loss to fatigue to stress. There are actually several types of ginseng, and benefits vary greatly between the many varieties. To determine which ginseng is the most appropriate, it is necessary to understand the health benefits derived from each kind.

Chinese Ginseng--For Energy and Endurance

Chinese ginseng , also called ren shen, is the most well-known type of the root. It acts as a stimulant, increasing energy and metabolism, and is often used by athletes to promote strength and endurance. It is recommended for people with chronic fatigue or weakness, people who suffer from slow metabolism or are overweight, for those with water retention and for people with high blood pressure. Its antioxidants are thought to act against nerve aging, atherosclerosis and liver and eye disease. According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese ginseng also increases blood volume, and so can be used to treat anemia. It may also have mental and emotional benefits, and is believed to promote wisdom, calm the spirit and ease nervous anxiety and forgetfulness. It is also used for shortness of breath and perspiration problems. Because it acts against weakness and aging, it is also recommended for impotence and is thought to increase longevity. It is recommended for chronic conditions like lethargy and blood pressure, rather than acute symptoms.

American Ginseng--To Renew and Rejuvenate

American ginseng is calming and replenishing, often recommended for people who suffer from fever and dryness. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help ease hot flashes and night sweats. Because it cools and refreshes the body, it can help remedy menopause and alleviate symptoms of chronic diseases like AIDS and diabetes. It may also help with blood-related problems such as nosebleeds, excessive uterine bleeding and blood in the urine or stools. American ginseng may also help fight the signs of aging and work against wear and tear on the body. The root rejuvenates the internal organs and replenishes bodily fluids, acting as a powerful tonic against the dryness associated with aging. In Asia, many older people drink American ginseng tea as a beautifying agent, because it refines the skin and helps counteract dryness, wrinkles and other age-related skin problems. It also invigorates the nervous system, helping to alleviate fatigue and weakness, as well as strengthening motor skills. Because American ginseng helps moisten and cool the body, it can also help people who smoke, have frequent thirst or suffer from a dry cough. Research suggests it may also promote fertility, by increasing sperm count and boosting the weight of the prostate gland and the seminal vesicles.

Dang Shen--For Weight Loss

This variety of ginseng is often used as an aid in weight loss, and is included in several herbal weight loss formulas. Dang shen works by increasing metabolism and improving digestion, which helps change fat into muscle. It is also considered both a strengthener and an energizer, and is frequently recommended for fatigue, loss of appetite, prolapsed organs and chronic diarrhea that results from weakness. Research has also shown it to increase red blood count and hemoglobin, and it is sometimes used for diabetes because it is thought to replenish fluids. It may strengthen respiratory functioning as well, and is often used for shortness of breath and chronic cough.

Siberian Ginseng--To Soothe the Nerves

In traditional Chinese medicine, Siberian ginseng is considered a nerve tonic, something that helps alleviate nervous conditions like stress and anxiety. Studies have demonstrated that Siberian ginseng helps people adapt more easily to stress factors like noise, heat and overwork. This same research showed that the herb can improve mental alertness, auditory functioning and overall performance, even when people are exposed to stress-inducing conditions. Because of these properties, Siberian ginseng is known as an adaptogen, a substance that can help people better cope with adverse conditions. It is also used to treat irritability and anxiety arising from a variety of causes, including everything from inclement weather to menopause. It is also used as a remedy for insomnia, and is frequently incorporated into the therapy for people suffering from chronic and debilitating diseases like AIDS and cancer.

Tienchi--The "Miracle" Ginseng

Tienchi is one of the most versatile forms of ginseng, considered by some to be a miracle drug that can alleviate almost any symptom. It can significantly improve blood circulation, and also inhibits the buildup of cholesterol around the heart. In addition, Tienchi contains a natural corticosteroid, a substance that reduces both inflammation and pain. Because of this, it is frequently used to treat wounds, pain and bruises. Its circulation-enhancing qualities help reduce bruising and also help treat bleeding gums and colitis. Tienchi is used in two forms--raw and steamed. The raw form works best for bleeding and heat-related disorders, including menopause, chronic fever, bleeding ulcers or blood in the urine, stools or sputum. The steamed form is recommended for circulation and pain. Both forms are recommended for menstrual pain.

A staple in traditional Chinese medicine, ginseng is one of the most versatile and popular herbal remedies in use today. With several different varieties to choose from, it offers a remedy for almost any ailment. It also has very few side effects, and can be included in meals, consumed as a tea or taken in supplement form. Because it offers so many options, ginseng may be one of the most effective and easy-to-use ways to treat nearly any symptom.

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