Ginseng – the miracle root !?
Ginseng is considered one of the oldest natural medicines of mankind. Even before chemical tests proved its effect, its healing power was already highly praised.
Coming from Asia, the root has long been found in Europe and is considered a health-promoting universal remedy and aphrodisiac.
The root is considered a proven tonic that strengthens the immune system, stimulates metabolism and generally makes the body more resistant to stress and other harmful influences. Ginseng has been shown to help fight fatigue, counteract fatigue and help prevent a cold.
In case of strong physical and mental stress, high blood prere, depression during menopause and lack of concentration, ginseng is often taken as a natural remedy to improve the quality of life.
The root promotes the building of body protein, regulates blood lipid levels, but also has a beneficial effect on adult-onset diabetes and can be used to treat chronic respiratory diseases. In addition to these many positive effects, ginseng is also said to have an aphrodisiac effect and to awaken the desire for sexual activity, even during menopause. What it is all about, we try to clarify below.
Today, in any case, ginseng is offered in many variations. You can find the root pure, as a tea, in the form of tablets and in powder form, but also as a lozenge for in between, the healing root provides a quick burst of energy.
The ginseng plant (Panax ginseng)
The medicinally used part of the plant is the root. Photo: via Wikicommons, photos public domain; montage: Heart As Media
Ginseng plants (Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, also known as power root, gilgen, or velvet root) grow to about 50 cm tall, the stem bearing three to five branches, each with three to five leaves arranged like chestnut leaves. The greenish-yellow flowers form umbels that develop into pea-sized red berries, each containing two seeds.
The rhizome of the ginseng plant is beet-like in shape, converging in a spindle shape at the tip and usually divided into a palm shape. Visually, the root is somewhat reminiscent of a human shape, which is why the root is also called human root in Asia. In Asia, the price is then also less based on the concentration of ingredients, but the form. The larger the root and the more similar to a human form, the more expensive.
Korean ginseng is said to have a strong effect on the mental and spiritual constitution. In case of concentration and memory problems or also in case of tendency to depressive moods, this substance brings quick help. it increases mental alertness, acts against mental weariness and promotes memory performance.
In times of heavy mental stress, e.g.B. Ginseng is certainly the right choice for heavy workloads or for preparing for a difficult exam.
Siberian ginseng sustainably raises the threshold of physical stress tolerance. It supports the organism in maintaining a healthy immune system. Energy metabolism even during prolonged stressful situations. Siberian ginseng is therefore preferably taken by competitive athletes or people with strong physical prere to perform. Also during physical performance, Siberian ginseng relatively quickly releases new reserves of strength.
Medicinal Ginseng is called in pharmaceutical terminology Ginseng radix called. The most important ingredients of the ginseng root include so-called Saponins, also known as ginsenosides. Currently 25 different ginsenoside compounds are known. According to the European Pharmacopoeia (PhEur), medical ginseng must contain at least 1.5 percent of the active ingredient. Other ingredients of the ginseng root are essential oils, phytosterols, peptidoglycans and various sugar compounds.
Pharmaceutically, the roots of plants at least four to seven years old are used. From 6 years, the optimal ratio of size and active ingredient is achieved.
Both the roots of red and white ginseng are used, the latter having a much higher concentration of saponins than the red ginseng.
Important: these are not two different species, but different processing methods. Treatment with steam. The subsequent drying the red color. In Europe, it is mainly the white variety (Korean ginseng) that is used for medicinal applications.
The Ginseng Effect
On the scientific voyage of discovery for the "ginseng effect", it soon became clear that not just one active ingredient can have such a multi-layered effect and soon found a mass of biological substances from which the active saponins (plant glucose) called ginsenosides emerged as the main carrier.
It is not the amount of active ingredients, but the distribution ratio within the root that makes it possible for this special effect to unfold in our body. Ginseng belongs to the ivy family and contains, among other things, vitamin A complexes, vitamins B1 and B2, essential oils, alkaloids (amino acid-like compound), glycosides (glucose compounds) and estrogenic (female gonadal hormone) substances. This medicinal plant has a very high content of selenium and germanium, which have a detoxifying effect on the body.
Ginseng in medicine
The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) would be unthinkable without ginseng, but it is also used in traditional medicine. The European Committee for Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) has classified ginseng root as a traditional herbal medicine. As a basis for the decision, the HMPC cites many years of experience in the use of the active ingredient for symptoms of exhaustion and feelings of weakness.
Ginseng is mainly used as a tonic to improve the body's defenses against stress and disease. In addition, it is used as a geriatric agent to increase performance-. Concentration ability in elderly people to use. The effectiveness in these areas has been proven by several studies and by the inclusion in the German pharmacopoeia and in European Pharmacopoeia confirms.
Side effects are relatively rare, in case of too high dosage and long use insomnia, nervousness, increased blood prere and diarrhea are mentioned.
In the Asian region, the ginseng root is enjoyed mainly for its effect as a natural sexual enhancer very popular with males.
Ginseng as an aphrodisiac
Ginseng directly stimulates hormonal regulation and is therefore popular as a libido and potency enhancer. the root has a beneficial effect on blood circulation, which can also be a cause of dysfunction in men.
Many sexual problems could be solved by taking ginseng. this effect is enhanced when ginseng is mixed with ginkgo. Taking 3 cups of Giseng-Ginko tea a day for one month is said to produce the desired results. but there is still no scientific evidence for this effect.
¹ Structural characterization and antioxidant activity of oligosaccharides from Panax ginseng (C. A. Meyer. Zhao B, Wang X, Liu H, Lv C, Lu J.