Ginseng and Chinese Medicine

American Ginseng

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Discovering The Healing Powers of Ginseng

Ginseng became known to the world when it was discovered in the Northern part of China (Manchuria) 5,000 years ago.  At first ginseng was used as food but eventually after that its medicinal value was revealed.  For many generations, Ginseng abundantly grew in the Asian continent before people finally looked beyond its resemblance to the human body and found its healing benefits.  Later on, even Chinese Royal Emperors were willing to pay for its equivalent in gold.  This wild root was successfully traded for a period of time before the stocks run out.  Ginseng of the finest kind takes time to mature and be ready for harvest.

Ginseng is used in many ways.  The roots are used as oils and the entire plant for making tea.  Ginseng can be grounded and made into capsules.  In order to find the highest quality of Ginseng you have to know how long it was cultivated and matured.  It takes four to six years before a matured and good kind of Ginseng can be used.

Effects of Ginseng on the Body

  • Activates proper digestion and food absorption
  • Blood detoxifier
  • Improves mental function
  • Helps to increase your energy (Chi) levels.
  • Helps to fight against stress
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Treats hangovers, impotence and poor athletic performance.

For several centuries, Chinese medicine has extolled the usefulness of ginseng for those who are impotent.  Ginseng became known as aphrodisiac (love potion).  Science has now verified this to be true.  Ginseng was even given the distinction to be a natural alternative to Viagra.  In 2009, the extracts, of red ginseng in particular, has been said to reduce facial wrinkles.  In 2010, Ginseng was said to be a possible cure for cancer.  Smokers have a good fighting chance to protect their lungs from the damage of nicotine with the help of this wonder herb.

An expert said that it would be better to drink ginseng tea not hot but warm.  He further explains that the heat coming from the boiled water aids in removing the beneficial effects of ginseng through the natural process of evaporation and condensation.  Enjoying a cup of ginseng tea is an acquired taste. For people who want to be cured of their ailments, they would try anything even those with strong after taste herb like ginseng.  Ginseng is also known as Oriental Ginseng because it helps to strengthen the Original Qi or the natural energy that we are born with.

As with other types of healing herbs, it is actually better to avoid taking too much of Ginseng since there is a strong possibility that this will increase your blood pressure.  Taking ginseng in smaller doses has a sedative effect.  It can calm your nerves.  Ginseng can be taken in various ways not just in the form of a brewed tea.  Ginseng can be stewed or chewed.  For those who dare to chew on ginseng roots, you need to cut it in smaller pieces.  You can warm it up in the microwave oven for a few seconds.  In order to prepare the right dose of ginseng tea you need to slow boil this herb for an hour.  It is advisable to drink the tea on an empty stomach.

Organically grown ginseng is ginseng that is free from the use of fertilizers and pesticides.  You can view the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) website to see if the ginseng that you are planning to purchase is indeed organically grown.  You can always consult a certified herbalist on the right way of using organically grown ginseng.  Always stick to the doctor’s instructions as previously mentioned, drinking or taking ginseng should not be overdone.

Side Effects of Taking Too Much Ginseng

  • Causes nervousness
  • Can produce sleepless nights or insomnia
  • Can cause headaches or migraine
  • Can make you dizzy or nauseous
  • Can cause an upset stomach

Before taking ginseng, you need to know if it counteracts certain beverages such as coffee.  Although the benefits of taking ginseng was extolled earlier, it would be wiser to use your common sense and consult your doctor or a herbalist just in case you are suffering from bleeding disorders or blood clotting.  If you are taking daily doses of medicines for high blood you need to ask if there are ingredients in your medicines that will work against the contents of ginseng.  If you walk in any convenience store these days you might find ginseng on the shelf, but unknown to you this contains more sugar than ginseng.  As a discriminating consumer you need to learn a little on how to detect the genuine kind of ginseng from the diluted and ineffective kind.  Because of the countless ways that ginseng benefits the user, you cannot blame unscrupulous individuals from cashing out on a lucrative and thriving business.

In choosing “true” ginseng, you need to understand that this wonder herb belongs to the genus Panax.  The Chinese use the ingredients found in ginseng to cook herbal formulas that can cure mild and severe kinds of ailments.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), “true” ginseng restores the body’s balance and strength so that it can heal itself.  White ginseng, which in truth looks pale yellow in color, is considered to be the potent kind of this herb.  The roots of this herb are peeled and dried to use later for the healing process of the patient’s body.

For those who might be asking if ginseng can heal.  The testament from people attesting its healing powers, especially when a person has just recovered from surgery, and thousands more of this similar accounts from around the world can solidify that indeed ginseng can allow the body to heal itself.  According to a research study, this herb has an antiviral effect which blocks the enzyme causing HIV to flourish.  This particular enzyme was said to convert the virus that causes destruction in the cells of the body.  Because of these health benefits from time immemorial ginseng has remained to be one of the bestselling wonder herbs as far as the United States.

Our next article will discuss Feng Shui Basics.