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Ginseng

A natural herbal supplement with many health benefits.

BACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

Many exotic supplements have come and gone, but one that's been in the public eye for quite some time is ginseng. Ginseng, a slow-growing perennial plant, is commonly grown in the Far East (mostly northern China, Korea, and eastern Siberia) and even in North America. It's used for a number of purposes, including lowering blood glucose and controlling blood pressure, increasing libido, and strengthening your body's immune system. It can also be used for energy and stamina in your workouts.

A small number of studies report that ginseng may lower the risk of being affected by various cancers, especially if you use ginseng powder or extract. The study results are certainly controversial.

Several studies on humans report that ginseng may lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, this should not be considered a substitute for your more proven traditional diabetes medicine. As with all herbalism, ginseng's medical benefits are still unproven. Maybe one of the reasons it's been difficult to verify the medicinal benefits of ginseng scientifically is the contradictory results in studies. One theory about this is that there is a wide variety of ginseng used in studies, and product quality can possibly be an issue.

PRO
  • There are wide variety of possible health benefits
  • Ginseng products are usually affordable
  • Natural source of energy
  • Good natural source of vitamins and minerals
CON
  • Some rare side effects, including sleep issues, nausea, diarrhea, euphoria, headaches, and others
  • May lose its effectiveness when combined with other ingredients in diet pills
  • Research is still debated
INGREDIENTS

You've probably most commonly seen ginseng used in energy drinks, specifically teas. But, some people use it in soup. Chinese medicine says that the soup helps draw out the nutrients from the ginseng. Other ways of absorbing ginseng is just chewing on it.

Ginseng contains vitamins A, B-6 and the mineral zinc, which aids in the production of thymic hormones, necessary for your immune system. The primary active ingredients of ginseng are the 25-plus saponin triterpenoid glycosides called "ginsenosides." These provide the properties that enable ginseng to counter the effects of stress.

EXERCISE

Exercise should be somewhat easier if your body is better balanced and more energized by the ginseng.

CONCLUSION

As with many medicinal products that are accepted as mainstream in the Far East, ginseng's benefits are not FDA approved. That's not to say they are thought to be a hoax, the results are just inconclusive. Since ginseng products are very affordable, it's worth a little experimentation if you are curious. But as always, consult your physician to make sure there is nothing for you to be concerned about.

Common Misspellings

ginsing, gensing, genseng, ginsen, jinsing


Related Diets: Acai, Cha de Bugre, Green Tea, Hoodia


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