Ginseng is an herb that has been used in Chinese medicine since ancient times. It is rich in antioxidants that boost immunity. Studies show that it may be beneficial to brain health, blood sugar, and immunity.
There are several ways to take ginseng and enjoy its benefits. You can add ginseng powder to tea and other beverages. You can grind its roots into foods and drinks. Or you can take ginseng capsules.
This article will review the benefits of adding ginseng tablets to your diet.
What is Ginseng?
Ginseng is a short, slow-growing plant with fleshy roots. It falls into three categories, white, red, or fresh. The types vary based on how long the plant has been grown, as follows:
- Fresh ginseng: Harvested less than 4 years
- White ginseng: Harvested 4-6 years
- Red ginseng: Harvested 6 years or more
There are many types of ginseng but the two most popular are American ginseng and Asian ginseng. American ginseng is said to promote relaxation. Asian ginseng has more energizing effects.
What are the Benefits of Taking a Ginseng Capsule?
- Rich in Antioxidants
Ginseng is rich in antioxidants that have potent anti-inflammatory properties. They reduce oxidative damage decreasing the risk of disease. They have been shown to reduce exercise-related muscle damage in active males. They also boost antioxidant activity and lower oxidative stress in postmenopausal women.
- Beneficial to Brain Function
Animal and test-tube studies have shown that the ginsenosides and compound K found in ginseng may protect against cognitive decline and improve memory. It is beneficial to mental health and may reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It may even reduce symptoms in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
- May Improve Erectile Dysfunction
Research has shown ginseng capsules reduce oxidative stress in the tissues and blood vessels of the penis. It may also aid with nitric oxide production which promotes muscle relaxation and increases circulation in the penis. These effects help restore normal function. However, more research is needed to determine if the herb is truly effective in this capacity.
- May Boost Immunity
Some research has shown that ginseng’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties may boost immunity. Research has shown black red ginseng increases antioxidant levels in the liver. Another study showed that Korean red ginseng is more effective in boosting immune cell levels as compared to a placebo.
- May Have Cancer-Fighting Benefits
The ginsenosides in ginseng may prevent cancer-related abnormal cell growth and production. A study review found that people who take ginseng tablets regularly reduce their risk of cancer by 16%. It may also be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of people who are undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.
- May Increase Energy
Animal studies have shown the polysaccharides and oligopeptides in ginseng may reduce oxidative stress and boost energy in cells. A study review showed the herb can improve symptoms of chronic fatigue after 15 days. A different review found that Asian and American ginseng may reduce fatigue related to cancer.
- May Lower Blood Sugar
The effects of ginseng may be beneficial to people with diabetes. Studies have established that American and Asian ginseng can improve pancreatic function and lower blood sugar levels. Its antioxidant properties also reduce free radicals in the cells of diabetic people. It may decrease blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Does Ginseng Produce Any Side Effects?
Ginseng is relatively safe. However, people who take ginseng alongside diabetes medications should monitor their blood levels to make sure they don’t drop too low. The herb can also counter the effects of anticoagulant drugs.
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The herb should not be taken by anyone pregnant or breastfeeding. If you take ginseng long term; it could decrease its effectiveness. For best results, take it for 2-3 weeks with a one to two-week break in between.
Ginseng is a great addition to any diet. It can be taken in many forms, but ginseng caplets may be the most convenient choice. How will you be adding them to your diet?