Ginseng is an antioxidant-rich herb that research suggests may have benefits for brain health, immune function, blood sugar control, and more. Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.
It contains two important compounds: ginsenosides and gintonin. These compounds complement each other to provide health benefits. Some test-tube studies have shown that ginseng extracts and ginsenoside compounds can suppress inflammation and reduce oxidative damage to cells that can lead to chronic disease.
Ginseng extract comes from the Panax ginseng plant, which is a slow-growing plant with small, fleshy roots. Ginseng can be divided into three types according to how long it has been grown: fresh, white, or red. Fresh ginseng is harvested before 4 years, white ginseng between 4-6 years, and red ginseng after 6 years or more.
In addition, there are many varieties of this herb, but the most popular are American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng).
American ginseng and Asian ginseng vary in the concentration of active compounds and their effects on the body. Based on some older research, American ginseng is thought to act as a relaxant, while Asian varieties have a refreshing effect.
The health benefits of ginseng extract
Ginseng extract has many health benefits. Here are some of the benefits that have been researched:
Contains antioxidants that may reduce inflammation
Clinical studies indicate that ginseng has beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers have conducted several test-tube experiments demonstrating that compounds in ginseng extract, such as ginsenosides, may reduce inflammatory responses and limit oxidative damage to cells–two factors that may contribute to chronic disease development.
May benefit brain function
Ginseng may help to bolster cognitive functions including memory, behavior, and mood. Research shows that elements such as ginsenosides and compound K seen in ginseng could work to protect the brain from oxidative damage.
Could improve erectile dysfunction
Ginseng has been used to treat erectile dysfunction.
May boost the immune system
According to some studies, ginseng may offer beneficial effects on the immune system. In particular, American ginseng extract has been shown to potentially reduce the incidence and intensity of colds in adults.
May have potential benefits against cancer
Ginseng has been studied for its potential benefits against cancer.
May fight tiredness and increase energy levels
Ginseng has been recommended as a possible remedy to support improved physical and mental performance in individuals who feel run-down or fatigued.
Could lower blood sugar
Several studies in people have also shown that ginseng may lower blood sugar levels.
May improve focus
Ginseng’s potential to increase concentration and promote learning in the short term has been supported by preliminary research.
May produce antimicrobial compounds
Ginseng extracts have demonstrated impressive antimicrobial properties in research studies. Its polyacetylene compounds show strong efficacy against bacterial infections, providing a protective barrier against common viral and bacterial illnesses.
May improve the overall health
Ginseng has been widely utilized for its health benefits. It can help bolster the immune system, lessen stress, and combat illnesses.
The reason behind these benefits is due to the active compounds found in ginseng, such as ginsenosides and gintonin, which complement one another to provide health benefits. Additionally, ginseng is rich in antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative stress.
Ginseng’s Nutritional Content
Ginseng is a plant rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It contains pharmacological components such as ginsenosides, polyacetylenes, polyphenolic compounds, and polysaccharides.
In terms of nutrients, a teaspoon of ginseng provides 1.6 calories, 0.4 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein, 8.3 mg of potassium, and 0.3 mg of sodium. It also provides 0.2% of the required daily intake (RDI) for vitamin C and 0.1% for iron.
While ginseng doesn’t provide macronutrients or vitamins and minerals, its health benefits come from its active compounds, such as ginsenosides and ginsenosides, which complement each other to provide health benefits.
How to take ginseng extract?
There are several ways to take ginseng extract.
Here are some common methods:
Ginseng tea is prepared by infusing ginseng root slices in hot water for several minutes. This traditional beverage is known to be beneficial and may help with fatigue, improve sexual ingredients of fertility and provide immune support. It’s easy to make at home with a few basic steps.
You can make a ginseng tincture by infusing sliced ginseng root in alcohol for several weeks. Once the tincture is ready, you can take it by adding a few drops to a drink.
Ginseng extract is obtainable in pill form from a variety of sources. It is advised to take between 100 and 400mg of ginseng root daily. Though it can be taken up to 3,000 mg for 12 weeks for therapeutic purposes.
Add to a drink
For long-term use, you can add 10-30 drops of ginseng extract to a drink once a day. It is recommended to take it in the morning or around noon.
It is important to note that the appropriate dose of ginseng may vary depending on factors such as age, health, and other conditions. It is always a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider before taking any new supplement.
Ginseng extract side effects
Taking ginseng extract for short periods of time is generally considered safe. However, as with any supplement, it may cause side effects for some people. The most common side effect is trouble sleeping (insomnia).
Other possible side effects include nausea, headache, high blood pressure, digestive problems, bleeding tendency, breast discomfort, and vaginal bleeding.
Less common side effects that have been reported include severe skin rashes, liver damage, and severe allergic reactions. Increases or decreases in blood pressure may also occur.
What is the recommended dosage of ginseng extract?
The optimal dose of ginseng extract may vary based on an individual’s overall health and age. According to the German Commission E Monograph, 1 to 2 grams of semolina per day has been shown to be safe when taken for up to 3 months.
Clinical trials involving various dosages have been conducted, with mostly positive results, ranging from 0.5 – 3 grams per day (referring to the crude root) and 100 – 800 mg (referring to the extract).
It is recommended to start with lower doses of ginseng, such as 1-2 grams of root or 200-400 mg of extract per day. The dose can be increased gradually over time if necessary.
Can I take ginseng extract with other supplements or medications?
Ginseng extract may interact with certain medications and supplements. For example, it may increase heart rate or blood pressure when taken with caffeine or stimulant medications.
Ginseng might also slow blood clotting and reduce the effectiveness of certain blood thinners, such as warfarin. Also, ginseng might affect blood sugar levels and interact with insulin or oral diabetes medications.
It is best to consult a healthcare provider before taking ginseng extract with other supplements or medications.
How long does it take for ginseng to work?
Ginseng has a fast onset rate, with effects usually becoming evident within 24 to 48 hours. Variables such as the form and dosage of ginseng taken, as well as the type, all affect the speed at which users can realize the benefits of ginseng supplementation.
It is important to note that everyone’s body chemistry is different, so some people may find that they need to take ginseng for a longer period of time before noticing any effects.
Ginseng extract comes from the Panax ginseng plant and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries for its many health benefits. Taking ginseng extract for short periods of time is generally considered safe, but may cause side effects in some people. So be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking it.