If there exists a plant that practically everyone knows about it would be ginseng. It seems like a magic or miracle plant that cures practically anything. From sexual enhancement through fountain of youth you could rely on ginseng. While ginseng is indeed a very interesting plant, very few people know that there are quite a few different ginseng plants in the world.
The word ginseng is derived from “jen shen” which according to Stephen Fulder, PhD, means “Crystallization of the essence of the earth in the form of a man” or “man root”. There are about 11 different types of ginseng we know of and only two of them are known as true ginseng or Panax genus. The word Panax comes from Greek and means “all heal” as these plants can help with many ailments. The Red ginseng(Panax ginseng) and American ginseng(Panax Quinquefolius) contain special compounds, ginsenosides that are found exceptionally helpful in treatment of many cardiovascular diseases.
Many cultures believed that the root had magical powers and to find it one had to cleanse his mind and purify his heart. It was mentioned in vedas as a life giving and restoring plant. Having such magical properties, in ancient China ginseng was given to royal families only and was forbidden to commoners. The punishment for disobedience could be as severe as death. Some native American tribes used ginseng to bring a deathly ill person to life.
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Today, many years later we still consider ginseng one of the most valued herb. Ginseng could be used for multiple ailments; however, the best thing about all ginsengs is that they all are adaptogens. As mentioned previously, adaptogen is a plant that help the body restore itself. More specifically, ginseng is great for its ability to improve the mood and mental function. Taking ginseng helps function better and remain calm in stressful environments. Some studies show that ginseng in incredibly helpful in prevention and treatment of Alzheimer patients. Ginseng is known to have great anti-inflammatory properties, and is therefore great for premature aging and vitality. Additionally it’s known to boost the immune system, relieve menstrual and menopausal symptoms and treat sexual dysfunction.
Although there are only two true ginseng plants containing ginsenosides, other adaptogen herbs with ginseng name in them are quite helpful as well. For instance, Siberian ginseng (eleutherococcus senticocus) known as Eleuthero, is well used in Russia for restoring the nervous system, increasing stamina and endurance, and improve fatigue. Indian ginseng, or Ashwagandha is well known for its revitalizing properties, help with exhaustion, insomnia and increased sperm count. Brazilian ginseng, or suma root can help improve levels of testosterone in men and women, reduce inflammation and boost endurance.
Whether you choose to use true ginseng or “fake” one, these are incredibly powerful herbs that would side with your immune system supporting it in every possible way. You can drink them as tea or take them in capsule or extract form. As always, eliminating junk from your diet, exercising and reducing stress will enhance the powers of your adaptogens and improve your health tremendously, making your life more joyful and fulfilling.
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