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What are the health benefits of ginseng?

Ginseng can offer you many health benefits. It can help improve your memory, smooth your skin and boost your immune system.
Ginseng can offer you many health benefits. It can help improve your memory, smooth your skin and boost your immune system. (BestReviews)

The benefits of ginseng

Ginseng is an herb, also known as the Panax plant. The root can treat a variety of health ailments. There are different kinds of ginseng, but it’s primarily found in China and Korea. It also grows in American varieties, and Indigenous people used it as medicine when they were ill. Western medicine embraces ginseng as a health-boosting dietary supplement as well as a topical application.

You can find ginseng in different kinds of food, beverages and beauty products. There are plenty of ways to incorporate this into your daily life, depending on the health benefits you’re looking for.

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Read on to learn more about ginseng and how you can incorporate more of it into your lifestyle.

Types of ginseng

You can find ginseng in foods and supplements. Always speak with a healthcare provider before starting a new supplement or incorporating a large amount of ginseng into your diet. The recommended dosage for ginseng is one to two grams of raw ginseng (200-400 milligrams in supplement form). It's best to consume ginseng before meals, but you can also have it in a beverage or in your food.

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Ginseng is not for everyone. Scientists have not conducted studies about ginseng's effectiveness for children and pregnant women, and doctors do not recommend taking it. It can also cause a drop in blood sugar levels. Additionally, studies show that the effectiveness of ginseng goes down over time. So regularly eating it will not have as many benefits as taking it for a short time. Many experts recommend consuming ginseng for two or three weeks before taking a break.

Health benefits

Antioxidants: Ginseng has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help if you take it orally or topically, particularly if you have skin conditions like eczema. In postmenopausal people, ginseng can reduce oxidative stress and increase mental performance, physical health and relieve stress. The antioxidant properties of ginseng can also help reduce the risk of cancer, according to some studies.

Brain function: Ginseng consumption can increase memory, improve mood and protect the brain from free radical damage. Some Alzheimer's patients have shown improvement after using it. Most people use ginseng to improve their cognitive and memory performance.

Erectile dysfunction help: You will often see ginseng in products that claim to cure or reduce erectile dysfunction. Ginseng can help in these instances by increasing blood circulation and reducing muscle tension. If you are looking for an herbal approach to erectile dysfunction disorder, this supplement may be something to consider.

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Immune system: In studies of patients undergoing cancer treatment, ginseng may help boost the immune system. This can protect patients from infections, illnesses and reduces the adverse side effects of cancer treatment. It can also enhance the effects of a flu shot or other vaccination. Keep in mind that ginseng has not been studied regarding protection from COVID-19 or if it boosts the vaccine's effectiveness.

Energy: Many people take ginseng because they like how it increases their energy. Studies show that people who experience fatigue due to stress or cancer have more energy when they take this supplement. You may also feel more inclined to do physical activity with this extra energy.

Blood sugar: People with and without diabetes can benefit from ginseng's effect on blood sugar. It can help stabilize blood sugar levels, boost insulin production and aids pancreatic function. The most effective form of ginseng for blood sugar performance is fermented red ginseng. Be sure to connect with your doctor before taking this supplement.

How to use ginseng

You can find ginseng in both food and beverages. Additionally, people enjoy using beauty products containing ginseng to get the health benefits topically. However, it is most effective when taken as a supplement. Here are the different ways you can add ginseng into your diet or skincare routine.

Beverages

You can find ginseng in a number of healthy teas. Boil a kettle of concentrated ginseng tea or make a drink with ginseng extract. It comes as a stand-alone drink and typically comes in pouch form. Ginseng liquor is another popular way to add it to your diet. Be sure to follow directions when using ginseng in beverages and note the appropriate dosage. It's usually best to take ginseng either first thing in the morning or before a meal.

Savory food

Ginseng is used most often in Korean cuisine in soups or side dishes. One of the most popular Korean dishes is Samgyetang, a chicken soup that features American ginseng. Use your Instant Pot, pan or wok to make tasty, Korean-inspired food with ginseng root. If you are cooking for a crowd, inform them that you're using ginseng in the ingredients, especially since it can affect some medications and those with existing health conditions.

Medicinal and topical uses

People enjoy using ginseng in topical lotions and hair products. While there aren't many studies on the uses of ginseng as a topical agent, people still use ginseng to promote skin and hair health. You can find ginseng in various skincare products, including serum, eye patches or facial masks. It is also in shampoos and other hair products, which can make your hair look and feel healthier.

Ginseng can be a great way to boost your energy, mood, libido and more. As mentioned, the most effective way to get ginseng into your system is to take it as some kind of supplement. Take a soft gel or capsule to get a direct dose of ginseng's health-boosting properties. Alternatively, you can try it in liquid form in an elixir or other oral liquid. Be sure to follow the directions on the package and speak to your doctor before taking this supplement.

Laura Wheatman Hill is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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