How does Ginseng work for the body?
How does Ginseng work?
What is ginseng?
Ginseng is the root of plants in the genus Panax, such as Korean ginseng (P. ginseng), South China ginseng, and American ginseng, typically characterized by the presence of ginsenosides and gintonin.
Although ginseng has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, modern clinical research is inconclusive about its medical effectiveness.
Benefits of Ginseng
People have traditionally taken ginseng to help with a range of medical conditions. The ginsenosides, chemical components found in ginseng, are responsible for any clinical healing effects of the herb.
Benefits for skin
Ginseng’s roots in beauty are based on legends, but modern research backs up some of the claims.
- Reducing wrinkles and signs of aging
- Promoting elasticity and collagen production
Benefits for Hair
Ginseng roots have proven to improve blood circulation resulting in which helps the hair growth.
- Longer and Stronger hair
- Strengthened Hair follicles to reduce hair fall
Ginseng may help stimulate physical and mental activity in people who feel weak and tired. One study of 21 men and 69 women found that ginseng showed good results in helping people with chronic fatigue.
A 2014 study of people receiving cancer treatment found that ginseng helped reduce cancer-related fatigue. However, researchers only documented the energy-boosting effects of ginseng in people currently undergoing treatment. Ginseng did not show statistically significant improvements in people who had already finished cancer treatment.
Sharper cognitive function
Ginseng may improve thinking processes and cognition. A 2018 report examined the accuracy of this claim.
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 Korean red ginseng helped improve frontal brain lobe function.
Ginseng may reduce inflammation. According to a 2020 study, ginsenosides, the active components of ginseng, may target pathways in the immune system that could reduce inflammation.
Research on the effects of ginseng on mice suggests a possible link between ginseng and the treatment and prevention of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Findings of another study suggested that red ginseng extract could improve the survival of human lung epithelial cells infected with the influenza virus.
It is undetermined exactly how the anti-viral mechanisms in ginseng work based on the above study.
Lowering blood sugar
A 2014 study suggests that ginseng may help lower blood sugar and help treat diabetes. Ginsenosides may affect insulin production in the pancreas and improve insulin resistance using other mechanisms.
Another 2014 study showed similar benefits of ginseng in lowering blood sugar. Some participants took 2.7 grams of fermented red ginseng each day, while others took a placebo. Researchers found that ginseng was effective in lowering blood sugar and increasing insulin levels after a meal compared to the placebo.
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.