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Called 'the man plant' in Chinese because of its resemblance to the human form, there are two different types of the plant. These are known as Asian ginseng (also called Panax, Chinese or Korean ginseng) and American ginseng.
Another herb that is commonly known as a ginseng is Siberian ginseng (eleuthero) but this is
not considered true ginseng, as it does not contain the active ingredient called "ginsenosides" in its root. It does, however, have similar healing properties as other true ginseng types, providing the same healthful ginseng effects.
There are many scientific studies that illustrate the benefits of ginseng, especially Asian ginseng and the plant known as Siberian ginseng. However, the strength of panax ginseng depends on many factors - for example, the potency of this plant increases with age - and the full benefits of this plant can only be extracted by someone with a deep understanding of herbs. In the wrong hands, this plant can be too strong or too stimulating for long-term use.
Ginseng is a wonderful overall health supplement. Its effects on the body are non-local, and so one of the benefits of ginseng is that it strengthens the whole body and helps balance all the body's systems. "Adaptogen" is the term used in explaining the regulating ginseng effect on human health. It is not, however, a quick fix, rather it works slowly over time. You will need to use it for at least a few months to see the full results.
The other uses of ginseng are plentiful. Ginseng is a tonic for the whole body. It helps the body to fight weakness, boosts energy levels, and enhances athletic performance.
This herb supports adrenal functioning and it is therefore very effective in reducing mental or physical stress related illnesses. If you are suffering from chronic anxiety,
fatigue or are often exposed to stressful conditions, ginseng may improve your ability to cope, and boost your endurance and stamina.
In addition, ginseng is an antioxidant, and is a great immune system enhancer, as it boosts the number of immune cells in the body.
Ginseng has a multitude of other uses. It is effective against altitude sickness, is useful in treating bronchitis, asthma and circulatory problems. It is also helpful for people suffering from diabetes as it decreases the level of the hormone cortisol in the blood.
People with high blood pressure, insomnia, irregular heart rhythm, or any acute illness should avoid the use of ginseng if possible and watch closely for any side effects in long-term use. Although Siberian ginseng is considered a safer choice, it is always safer to have the advice of a herbal practitioner if you are taking high doses for a particular health problem, to help avoid any potential health risks.
It can be difficult to find good quality ginseng supplements. Many products do not contain pure ginseng and some include sugar and other additives that might be harmful to your health. Therefore, before you buy a ginseng supplement do your best to ensure the quality of the product.