|The ancient Chinese
believed that the root of the ginseng plant was the crystallization of the
essence of the earth in the shape of a man and that ginseng had rejuvenating,
recuperative, revitalizing, and curative action. The first and anonymous Chinese
materia Medica written by Shen-nong, stated that ginseng was used for its tonic
and tranquilizing effects; that ginseng increased alertness, brilliance, and
concentration, and improved memory; and that ginseng prolonged use brought about
There are two major ginseng species; Asian
ginseng (panax ginseng) and American ginseng (panax quinquefolium)
The name of panax derived from Greek, means "all cure" (pan means all,
ax means cure). Ginseng meaning "wonder of the world", has been known
and respected by the Chinese for centuries. It is true that ginseng
possesses real value for improvement of human health. Modern scientific findings
on ginseng have well documented many attributed uses and therapeutic effects of
ginseng. Tonic action of ginseng has been the most persistent; it is now
often described as "tonic up the cerebral cortex" and good to relieve
stress (an "adaptogen" activity). Ginseng has a "universal
defense action" and meets all 3 requirements for adaptation effects, which
Ginseng is not toxic and has no side effects. It
does not cause any discomfort or disorder in the physiological functions of
The action of ginseng is neither local nor
specific; i.e. it increases the body's strength and ability of resistance
to adverse stress or damages (chemical, physical or biological agents)
Ginseng is a regulator, exibiting normalizing
effects of the body , the regulating effects of high or low blood pressure
More about ginseng:
- Ginseng stimulates both physical and mental
activity. These effects are found to be more pronounced in tired and weak
- Ginseng greatly strengthens and protects the human body from severe or
prolonged physical or mental stress
- Ginseng increases physical and mental efficiency, improves accuracy of work,
contributes to ones concentration, and prevents fatigue.
- Ginseng stimulates and improves the work of the brain cells. Ginseng is well
known to be a powerful regulator of the nervous system
- Ginseng stimulates the function of the endocrine glands.
Ginseng has been used in traditional Asian
medicine for a long long time as a general tonic and cardiotonic agent.
Scientific studies evidence these biological effects of ginseng and also support
the uses of ginseng as an antidote, antitumor agent, and an antidiabetic.
The usage of Asian and American ginseng is very different according to the
famous Chinese pharmaceutical compendium and Chinese traditional medicine of Yin
American Ginseng possesses "cooling" property to the body, while Asian
ginseng possesses "warming". Therefore, people with the
"warming" body should only take American ginseng which is
"cooling" , but people with "cooling" body should only take
Asian ginseng instead. Otherwise, contradictions exist, particularly for people
with high blood pressure, other diseases and weakness. It is no wonder that
American ginseng is often used to reduce stress and fatigue, but not Asian
(Chinese and Korean ) ginseng with more stimulating and depleting effects.
Lu, Okauda and Yoshida, Lewis Muwalla and Abuirmeileh, and Kaku et al reported
that American ginseng has insulin-like activity, influences neurologic
reactions,reduces total colesterol level and improves heart and blood
circulatory functions. American ginseng is found to balance and tone the
biochemistry system of the body, strengthen the immune system, provide enormous
energy, eliminate the daily fatigue, enhance the body vitality, and improve
physical and mental strength. In addition , American ginseng is effective
against high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
The differences between American and Asian ginsengs are well documented not only
by Chinese traditional doctors, but also by modern scientists, It is found that
the differences in the active, constituents may account for the differing
medecinal uses of American and Asian ginseng. Shibata's group and Staba and his
colleagues found that the types of saponins in American ginseng are similar to
those in Asian ginseng, the exceptions that ginsenosides Ra and Rf found in
Asian ginseng are absent from American ginseng. There are some differences in
quantity of ginsenosides Rg and Re groups between American ginseng and Asian
ginseng. Furthermore, the relative abundance of panaxadiols and panaxatrios
differs in the two ginseng species. American ginseng contains very few
ginsenosides with central nervous system stimulating activity, it is regarded as
a "cooling agent".
EFFECTS OF GINSENG ON SPORTS PERFORMANCE
Ginseng has been shown to enhance sports performance. Athletes from beginning
joggers to Olympic contenders agree that ginseng helps them overcome the strain
and drain of exercise. A recent Swiss study conducted by Dr. Anton Kirchdorfer
shows how ginseng helps. Thirty athletes were given exercise tests on a
programmed exercise cycling machine to assure a specific level of muscle work.
the heart rate and lactate concentration in the blood was measured before,
immediately after, and for several minutes following the exercise.
Strong exertion for eight minutes raised the athletes heart rate from an average
value of about 70 to 155 (more than doubled). During recuperation, their
heart rate slowly returned to normal over a period of about 20 minutes; their
heart rates fell below 100 after 4-5 minutes.
The athletes were then given ginseng daily for nine weeks. The tests were
conducted again, using the same amount of exercise. Their pulse rates this time
increased to only 140, and during recuperation their heart rates fell blow
100 within just 3 minutes, and were back to normal in 5 minutes.
Lactate (the substance that causes muscular pain following exercise was measured
during the same tests. Before using ginseng, the lactate levels of the athletes
increased from 2.0 before exercise to 10.5 afterward, without returning to
normal levels even after 20 minutes. Following nine weeks of ginseng
administration, lactate acid levels only reached 6.2 at their highest point, and
decreased to normal in about twenty minutes.
These figures show that the athletes were using oxygen much more efficiently
after taking ginseng. Thus, their hearts did not need to pump as fast, and they
did not produce as much lactic acid, (the by-product of oxygen use). The quicker
return to normal physiologic conditions also indicates that there is less stress
to the entire system.
The blood carries oxygen to the cells of the body. In the cells, oxygen combines
with chemicals obtained from food. Energy produced during the process makes it
possible for each cell to perform its function in the body. Ginseng can regulate
the basal metabolic rate, often raising it when it is too slow, to increase the
breakdown and metabolism of foods, liberating more energy and removing more
Small protein material in ginseng are responsible for helping sugar and fat
metabolism. Also ginsenocides significantly alter the ability of the skeletal
muscles to use free fatty acids rather than glucose for energy. Ginseng causes a
more economical use of body energy and an extra storage of energy-producing
compounds in the liver.
Increase physical stamina and sexual prowess in
both men and women
Enhance blood flow
Erection-booster - help with impotence
Helps regulate blood pressure
Slow down degeneration of cells in human body
Calm the nerves
Strengthen immune system
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