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Overview

Ginseng is a herb having a wide range of medicinal properties including anticancer, anti-diabetic, cardiovascular promoting property, immune booster, stress-relieving, antioxidant and central nervous system activator. Scientifically Ginseng is known as  Panax ginseng, which belongs to the Araliaceae plant family. The term' Panax' is derived from the word panacea, which means a cure for all diseases. 'Panax'  containing productsis generally considered as a health tonicas it is a source ofphysical strength, improve body resistance capacity and impart longevity. 

Since 2000 years back, the traditional use of this herb is started in East Asian countries, such as Korea, China, and Japan. Ginseng has many varieties. Among them, Panax ginseng is also known as Asian or Korean Ginseng. The use of Ginseng herbal product is now common in Western countries also. North America and European countries widely sale Panax ginseng containing the herbal product. 

Ginseng has a strong adaptogen property, which increases the threshold of physical, chemical, and biological stress tolerance capacity to build-up general vitality. This herbal product is commonly used to enhance the physical and mental stamina. Much herbal pharmaceutical company formulates Ginseng products, which are locally available as over the counter medicine in China, Korean countries to treat general fatigue and weakness.

Phytochemicals present in Ginseng

Different types of ginsenosides are primary phytochemicals present in Ginseng. Ginsenosides are saponin group of phytochemicals which have dammarane triterpenoid structure. Yet now 50 different varieties of ginsenosides are present in Ginseng and ongoing research studies try to find out more varieties. 

What is the Mode of action of American Ginseng followed to prevent and cure diseases?

  • The medicinal property and therapeutic application of Ginseng include immunomodulatory functions, antidiabetes, anticancer, and CNS improving functioning, like better learning capacity, memory booster, and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. All these benefits usually obtained due to the presence of Ginsenosides phytochemicals. 
  • Research review report stated that ginseng extract acts on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and the immune system to boost the physiological and psychological activity. Animal research study result has proven that treatment with Panax ginseng product can enhance body defense mechanism by activating phagocytosis, natural killer cell activity, and the production of interferon. Research result also found the significant improvement of physical and mental performance in the study subjects. Panax ginseng provides vasodilation; increases body resistance against exogenous stress factors; and also provides hypoglycemic activity.
  • Ginseng acts on macromolecules present in body fluids, which is also termed as a humoral immune response but does not activate spleen cell functioning. Ginseng extract is effective against many infections by exerting cellular immune response and also stimulates the production of microorganism-specific antibodies. Ginsenosides present in Ginseng significantly promote IgG responses and up-regulate both Th1 and Th2 immune responses. 
  • Ginseng follows diverse mechanisms to exert anticancer property, which include cytotoxicity and differentiation, tumor suppression, anti-inflammatory property, anti-metastasis and restricts angiogenesis, increases the activity of the anticancer medication, and prevents multidrug resistance. 
  • Anti-diabetic property of Ginseng is obtained by stimulating the insulin release from pancreatic islets. 
  • Acetylcholine (ACh), glutamate is an important neurotransmitter of the brain and actively participate in cognitive functioning. Ginsenosides such as Rg1, Rb1, Rg3, and Rh2 present in Ginseng acts on central M-cholinergic receptors, and increase the ACH activity. This phytochemical also enhances the cholinergic system functioning. These ginsenosides also facilitate Glutamate release to improve the learning and memory capacity. Moreover, the presence of these Ginsenosides prevents neurodegenerative diseases. 
  • One of the common traditional use of ginseng is the improvement of overall reproductive functionality. This benefit is obtained by altering different neurotransmitter signaling pathways, such as GABA, dopamine and ACH activity. Research expected that ginseng may regulate the pituitary-testis axis at both hormonal and neuronal levels.[3] The overall mechanism involves improving male reproductive functioning include increase testosterone, luteinizing hormone, Follicle-stimulating hormone for libido. Improve neurotransmitter activity to stimulates sexual arousal, desire, and orgasm. Increase Nitric Oxide Synthesis and provide a vasodilating effect for prolonging penile erection (PE). Improve sperm count, motility, and quality, which is effective against infertility. 

Different Forms of Ginseng

Different research studies have recommended 200 mg dosage of Ginseng extract. However, some herbalist recommended 0.5 to 2 g of dry root dosage form for short term treatment plan, which can be used in the form of tea or chewed the raw product.    

The different herbal manufacturing company formulates Ginseng capsule with different dosage including 100 to 600 mg per day in divided doses.

The duration of the treatment period also varies, some research paper suggested long term benefit, whereas some research studies recommend a two-week gap after every two to three weeks of continuous use of ginseng medication.

Some of the commonly used OTC ginseng products are Centrum Herbals Ginseng, Celestial Seasonings Ginseng, Korean Ginseng Extract from Nature's Way, PhytoPharmica's Ginseng Phytosome, Nature Made's Chinese Red Panax Ginseng, and Pharmaton's Ginsana. 

Different Forms of Ginseng | HealthSoul

Uses of Ginseng

Following are different medicinal uses of Ginseng has claimed by different herbalist, some of them are evaluated through animal research, laboratory-based tests and clinical trials, but some are non-evidential.  

Immunity Booster

The potential benefit of ginseng extract as an immunity booster tested through human trial reported that 100 mg dose of this herbal medicine for 12 weeks treatment period increases the effect of polyvalent influenza vaccine. The study result showed that combination therapy lowered influenza and colds attack by increasing the release of antibody and other immune mediators. Another human trial also confirmed that treatment with ginseng extract treatment provides rapid clearance of bacteria from the body. 

Antidiabetic Effect

A clinical trial result referred that 100 or 200 mg per day dosage of ginseng extract for eight weeks effective to reduce fasting blood glucose level in patients who had newly diagnosed with Type -2 diabetes. Also, this treatment elevates mood and psychophysical performance. 

Anticancer Benefits

A Korean research study reported that the anticancer benefit of ginseng extract can reduce 60% to 70% risk of gastric cancer. 

Cognitive Health Improvement

Ingestion of ginseng extract improves learning ability and also boost immunity due to its potential benefit of improving the cholinergic system in the central nervous system.

Prevent Neurodegenerative Disease Condition

The beneficial effect of ginseng on the central nervous system provides benefits against brain aging and prevents neurodegenerative diseases. Ginsenosides the primary ingredients of ginseng can ameliorate memory and cognitive health in patients affected with the cerebral ischemic condition or and dementia. Certain Ginsenosides also effective to treat Alzheimer’s disease

Improve Male Fertility

Ginseng Extract improves nitric oxide production, which provides a vasodilating effect and can able to treat erectile dysfunction. Panax Ginseng Extract improves sperm quality and promotes spermatogenesis, which increases male fertility. There are enough pre-clinical and clinical study data available which support that the Panax Ginseng Extract improves male fertility, libido, and overall well-being. 

Performance Enhancement

Anti-oxidant property of Panax Ginseng Extract improves the overall quality of life and both physical and mental performance increases. 

Cardiovascular Health Benefits

A randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial reported that Ginseng Extract might improve arterial stiffness and reduce cardiovascular risk by improving endothelial parameters. 

Uses of Ginseng | HealthSoul

Safety and Precautionary Measures

Ginseng is a well-tolerated herb associated with reversible mild side effects, such as nausea, euphoria, headaches, insomnia, fluctuation of blood pressure, diarrhea, pain and tenderness in the breast, and vaginal bleeding.  

Ginseng should not intake with caffeine-containing products, as it interacts with caffeine and raises blood pressure. This herb reduces the potency of warfarin medicine. Concomitant intake of Ginseng product and MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) leads to manic-like symptoms. 

Ginseng should not be prescribed for patients having hypertension, asthma, nose bleeds, acute infection, and during the menstrual cycle. 

Diabetic patients who take diabetic medication should not use Ginseng product. Combination with antidiabetic medications can cause sudden extreme reduction of blood glucose level (hypoglycemic activity). 

Pregnant and lactating mother should not use Ginseng product, as the detail safety profile of this herb yet not studied. 

Side effects & Precautionary Measures of Ginseng | HealthSoul

References

Ayurveda

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