Known as an adaptogen, ginseng contains several compounds called ginsenosides that help the body cope with stress and boost immunity. It can be consumed raw or cooked; the extract is available as a powder, tablet, capsule, or oil.
Ginseng can interact with certain medications, such as antidepressants or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). It may also cause problems if taken with decongestants, stimulants, and drugs that lower blood pressure or heart rate.
Strengthens the Immune System
Ginseng root is a natural immune-system booster, helping fight viruses and bacteria. It contains a group of chemicals called ginsenosides, which help keep your body healthy and strong. It can be purchased in dried, powdered, capsule, and tincture forms. In addition to strengthening the immune system, ginseng increases focus and concentration. This is especially true if you take Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), which contains compounds that help combat mental fatigue and stress.
One study found that ginseng can reduce the number of colds and flu a person gets by increasing immune cell activity. It can even boost the effectiveness of a flu vaccine.
Another benefit of ginseng is its ability to fight chronic inflammation and decrease the risk of heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and depression. In addition, the herbal formula sho-saiko-to, which contains Asian ginseng and the Chinese herb bupleurum, has been shown to lower liver enzyme levels in people with hepatitis C. It has also been used to improve sperm count and motility in men.
Boosts Energy Levels
Ginseng may help reduce fatigue and enhance performance by lowering oxidative stress, boosting the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production, and supporting energy levels. It also improves thinking processes and cognition, preventing cognitive disorders. For example, in one study, Alzheimer’s patients who took 4.5 grams of ginseng powder daily for 12 weeks had improved mental symptoms compared to those who were given a placebo pill. In another study, middle-aged adults who took 200 mg of ginseng extract had better short-term memory and reaction time test results.
A meta-analysis of RCTs found that ginseng supplements can improve fatigue and enhance physical performance by helping the body maintain homeostasis. Make sure to choose a supplement that uses only certified organic ginseng root and provides third-party testing on its contents. A good choice is Asian Energy Boost, which combines Cordyceps with fermented, bioavailable Panax ginseng root to deliver a stimulant-free boost of healthy energy.
Aids in Weight Loss
Ginseng has anti-diabetic properties and has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. It also helps boost the immune system, fight depression and fatigue, and improve memory. It can even aid in weight loss and act as an ergogenic aid, increasing stamina and endurance.
Ginsenosides, a chemical in ginseng, promote insulin sensitivity and foster leptin sensitivity. Both of these effects help with weight loss and can benefit those who are overweight or diabetic.
Some research has shown that ginseng can help prevent Alzheimer’s and boost short-term memory. For example, in one study, middle-aged adults who took 4.5 grams of ginseng daily for 12 weeks had improved cognitive test scores compared to those who took a placebo pill.
Following the recommended daily dose on the product label is essential when taking ginseng. Additionally, it can increase the stimulant effect of certain medications used to treat ADHD, such as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall), and methylphenidate (Concerta and Ritalin). It may also interfere with some anticoagulants and interact with some antibiotics.
Panax ginseng has been shown to have powerful inflammation-lowering properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to many conditions, including heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases. It is also associated with depression and anxiety. Ginseng can help alleviate the symptoms of these disorders by lowering inflammation and improving blood flow to the brain.
In addition, ginseng powder can fight fatigue by balancing cortisol levels and increasing energy production in the body. It can also reduce inflammation and boost exercise performance. In one study, researchers found that ginseng supplementation increased the number of calories burned during moderate exercise in healthy adults.
However, ginseng may interact with medications for high blood pressure and diabetes, so it should not be taken by people taking these drugs. It can also interfere with hormones, so pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use it. It may also increase symptoms of autoimmune diseases, so people should not take it with these conditions.