The Health benefits of Ginseng - The anti-stress herb
Table of contents
- What is Ginseng?
- How can ginseng help improve memory?
- How can ginseng help improve brain health?
- How can Ginseng help with stress and depression?
- How can Ginseng help improve energy?
1. What is Ginseng?
Ginseng is a medicinal herb that has been used for its health benefits for more than 2000 years in traditional Chinese herbal medicine. It has shown a wide variety of positive health benefits ranging from relieving stress to promoting immune function. On top of this it is known as one of nature’s aphrodisiacs, enhancing sexual performance (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10930706). Panax ginseng root, also known as Korean ginseng, has many active components including ginsenosides. Ginsenosides play a role in improving central nervous functions including learning and memory (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92776/).
Interestingly Panax is derived from the word panacea which means cure all. You can see why it gets its name as it has a long list of health benefits including adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-fatigue, anti-stress and anti-depressive properties (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4503934/).
Ginseng is one of the most widely used herbs across the world for its health benefits, re-enforcing its trust and confidence in its health benefits across the global community (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12895687).
2. How can ginseng help improve memory?
A study showed the combination of Ginseng with Ginkgo seems to have particularly good outcomes on memory and brain function, significantly improving Index of Memory Quality compared with ginseng alone. This combination seems to have positive brain health benefits improving different aspects of memory including working memory and long-term memory (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11140327).
3. How can ginseng help improve brain health?
Ginseng is a potent antioxidant; antioxidants help protect against free-radical damage to brain cells. This mechanism of action is the reason why it is thought that ginseng could help to fight against damage to brain cells, helping to protect future brain health (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17265697).
4. How can Ginseng help with stress and depression?
Ginseng’s adaptogenic properties are important to brain health as it allows our bodies to cope better with stress by regulating the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5628357/). Helping to suppress stress can help to alleviate depression and boost mood. There is a link between depression and memory loss, hence reducing stress/depression symptoms can have the secondary health benefit of improving memory and brain health (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5628357/).
5. How can Ginseng help improve energy?
Ginseng oligopeptides could possess anti-fatigue properties by the inhibition of oxidative stress and improvement of mitochondrial function in skeletal muscles. Ginseng oligopeptides could also show potential in relieving exercise fatigue (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27983571/).
In a study of 90 individuals, those that took Panax ginseng showed improved energy levels and less fatigue (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23613825/). Another study in 364 cancer survivors showed that after 8 weeks of taking ginseng had dramatically lower fatigue levels and more energy (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23853057).
Ginseng is used widely across the world for its health benefits and is one of the most popular herbs on the market. It has shown promise in increasing energy levels and helping to improve memory, brain function and protecting brain health for the future. It also shows potential in helping to fight against stress and help your body perform better in stressful situations due to its adapotgenic properties. It can be purchased as a health food supplement or you can buy the fresh root, making a ginseng tea.