Ginseng is an herbal remedy that grows in various regions of the world. The most popular types are American Ginseng and Korean/Asian ginseng (also called Panax ginseng). They vary in their content of ginsenosides, ginseng’s active ingredient, but they all produce similar benefits. They boost energy, help maintain blood sugar (blood glucose) levels already in the normal range, protect against inflammation, and may help protect against chronic disease.
The herb comes in various forms. You can take it as powder, as a supplement, or consume ginseng root. This article will discuss the many ginseng uses and the potential benefits of ginseng, so you can determine how to incorporate it into your life.
How to Consume Ginseng
- Brew it in Tea: Brew ginseng in tea to allow its nutrients to dissolve in hot water. It makes the nutrients more digestible and more absorbable.
- Add Ginseng Powder to Beverages: You can add ginseng powder to beverages, foods, and more.
- Dried Ginseng Roots: Dried ginseng roots can also be used to brew tea. Steep the tea over the roots, strain the roots, add honey, and serve. Note, you can also brew ginseng roots in alcohol.
- Grind Ginseng Roots into Coffee: Add ginseng root to your grinder along with coffee beans to enjoy its stimulating benefits.
- Chew Ginseng Slices: Ginseng slices can be purchased from health stores, or you can prepare them directly.
- Supplements: Ginseng supplements are available at most health food retailers. Follow the label directions for the best results.
- Ginseng Extracts: Ginseng extracts can also be used as a supplement. You can add an extract to foods and beverages or place a drop under your tongue.
What are Common Ginseng Uses?
Ginseng offers many health benefits as follows:
Reduce Disease Risk*: Ginseng is rich in antioxidants that reduce the risk of disease. They lower oxidative stress that damages cells and causes illness. They also inhibit inflammation related to chronic conditions and muscle damage.
Good for Cognitive Function*: Ginseng is beneficial to memory, mood, and behavior. Its ginsenosides protect the brain from free radicals. Studies have shown that regular dosing can reduce cognitive issues later in life. It may improve working memory and boost mood. It may also be beneficial to people with memory loss due to aging.
Supports Energy Levels*: The polysaccharides and oligopeptides in ginseng have been shown to boost energy production in cells. Research reveals it may relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and other types of fatigue. It may also improve athletic performance.
May Lower Blood Sugar*: Ginseng’s ability to lower blood sugar makes it beneficial to various types of people. It may improve pancreatic cell function, increase insulin production, and optimize blood sugar absorption. It also reduces free radicals in cells. One review revealed that it could decrease fasting blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
May Improve Erectile Dysfunction*: Research shows that the compounds found in ginseng can protect against oxidative stress in the blood vessels of the penis and improve erectile dysfunction. Studies have also found that ginseng boosts nitric oxide production to increase blood circulation in the genitals.
Supports Immunity*: Ginseng contains immune system-supportive antioxidants. One animal study found it increases antioxidant levels in the liver. It also has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties.
*None of these claims have been substantiated. Some studies suggest that ginseng may have potential health benefits, but the FDA does not support these claims. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if ginseng uses are right for you.
Ginseng is an adaptogenic herbal supplement that can address various issues. Now that you are familiar with ginseng uses, you know how to take the herb and why. Will you add it to your daily routine?
If you have additional questions about potential side effects and the effects of ginseng on healthy adults, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider. More clinical trials are needed to determine the effectiveness of various types of ginseng and ginseng uses on overall well-being.
To learn more, read our blog article about selecting the best ginseng dietary supplements.