Ginseng is the dried root of one of several species of the Araliaceae family of herbs. The most common type of ginseng is Asian ginseng, often called Panax, Chinese, or Korean ginseng - but most frequently refered to as Panax Ginseng. Korean Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) is a knobby, light tan root. Occasionally the center part of the root is said to resemble the human body because the string like shoots that stem off from the root look like arms and legs.
The ginseng plant is more commonly identified by its leaves that form a circular pattern growing around its straight stem. Yellowish-green flowers bloom in the center of the plant and produce red berries from their umbrella-like blossoms. Since ginseng root is only ready for use once it is about 4 to 6 years old it is important to know that the age of the plant can be identified by counting the number of wrinkles around the plant's neck.
Panax ginseng contains compounds known as adaptogens. Adaptogens are believed to be helpful for people dealing with physical and/or emotional stress. Today, several Asian countries are prescribing panax ginseng as a treatment for several illnesses, including heart conditions and to enhance overall health.
Studies of Western herbal medicine show that panax ginseng's ability to regulate the immune system can assist in the prevention of colds, flu, and some forms of cancer. Case studies show that panax ginseng may also be effective in lowering the sugar content in the blood and and lower cholesterol levels. Consequently, panax ginseng may prove beneficial when used in connection with type 2 diabetes and when used by those suffering from high cholesterol. All the potential uses of the ginseng root have not been fully explored; however, in both laboratory studies of humans and animals, panax ginseng proved successful in relaxing the muscles of the lungs. By relaxing the muscles of the lungs that control the airway, ginseng may be able to provide some relief for symptoms associated with asthma, constriction of the airways, and other lung diseases. Further studies show that a combination of panax ginseng and gingko may increase memory capacity and enhance the thinking processes. However these are only suggested effects that are not supported by clinical evidence.
Panax ginseng can be taken orally or applied externally. It has been suggested that direct application to the male genitalia may prove beneficial in treating erectile dysfunction in men. One large study involving the oral application of panax ginseng resulted in the increase of sperm count, quality, and movement, ultimately improving male fertility. An exact and thorough explanation for panax ginseng's ability to improve fertility in males has yet to be determined. However, it is hypothesized that the chemical make up of panax ginseng helps activate certain hormones in the body leading to induced or increased production. This theory has led to the addition of panax ginseng in popular sports drinks or supplements in an attempt to increase athletic performance. However, there is no clinical evidence to substantiate all of its purported uses.
When used with Ginkgo biloba, panax ginseng may improve memory and symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
Ginseng supplements are mostly made from the ginseng root's long, thin offshoots called root hairs. The main chemical ingredients in panax ginseng are the ginsenosides (Rg1 as marker); glycans (panaxans); polysaccharide fraction DPG-3-2; peptides; maltol; and volatile oil.
There are a number of user submitted korean ginseng product reviews and ratings available at NutritionalTree.com.Ginseng Dosage Recommendations
The suggested dose for Korean (panax) ginseng is 1,000 to 2,000 mg of fresh root, 600 to 2,000 mg of dried root, or 200 to 600 mg of liquid extract daily. If you are healthy and are using ginseng to increase your physical or mental performance, to prevent illness, or to improve resistance to stress, you should take ginseng at the recommended dosage in cycles. For example, take 1,000 to 2,000 mg fresh root, 600 to 2,000 mg dried root, or 200 to 600 mg liquid extract daily for 15 to 20 days, followed by two weeks without taking ginseng.
For help recovering from an illness, the elderly should either take 500 mg twice a day for three months and then stop or take 500 mg twice a day for a month, followed by a two-month break.
When taking ginseng, use only standardized products. Standardization is the only way of assuring quality in herbal products.