Ginseng

Siberian ginseng has been used for centuries in Eastern countries, including China and Russia. Despite its name, it is only a distant relative of American and Asian ginseng , and it has different active chemical components. The active ingredients in Siberian ginseng, called eleutherosides, are thought to stimulate the immune system.

Traditionally used to prevent colds and flu and to increase energy, longevity, and vitality, it is widely used in Russia as an “adaptogen.” An adaptogen is a substance that is supposed to help the body better cope with stress, either mental or physical.

Scientists in Sweden conducted a double-blind, randomized study with a 12 week duration to determine the effect of ginseng extract G115 on the quality of life. Healthy, employed volunteers, 25 years old or older were included in the study measuring two standards. Self-administered questionnaires were given concerning the Psychological General Well-Being Index and the Sleep Dysfunction scale. 185 subjects taking a placebo and 205 subjects taking the active substances completed the study (Wiklund, Karlberg, Lund, 1994).

The results of the study showed an improvement in the quality of life of both groups, showing an improved alertness, relaxation, appetite, as well as an improved overall score. It was concluded that treatment with the combination of active substances had significant advantages over placebo therapy.

Facts:

  • It is used internally for debility associated with old age and illness.
  • Studies have shown that it improves mood, physical and intellectual performance and other metabolic parameters.
  • Furthermore, ginseng is used for lack of appetite, stress, insomnia, chronic illness.
  • It is believed to be a powerful adaptogenic aphrodisiac that will affect any system in the body that is out of balance. In Chinese medicine it is used to quickly restore homeostasis (balance) reducing the effect of aging and enhance physical, sexual and mental performance whilst increasing energy and resistance to the harmful effect of stress – and for these reasons it is often used to help men with impotence and sexual problems, and is a good general tonic.
  • Ginseng is reported to possess hormone-like and cholesterol-lowering effects, promote vasodilatation, and also act as an anxiolytic as well as antidepressant.
  • Some studies have ginseng extracts and ginsenosides to be effective in stimulating learning, memory, and physical capabilities as well as supporting radioprotection, providing resistance to infection and having excellent antioxidant and anti-fatigue effects.
  • It is also used to enhance energy metabolism and reducing cholesterol and triglycerides while elevating HDL levels.