Ginseng is held in high esteem because of its use as a medicinal plant. The genus name Panax is derived from the Greek word meaning "panacea" or "all-healing." The species ginseng is said to mean, "wonder of the world." Ginseng is considered an aphrodisiac, stimulant, stomachic, and demulcent.
Traditionally, the wild root was consumed to vitalize, strengthen, and rejuvenate the entire body. As a medicinal plant, ginseng seems has been used as a remedy for all ailments, including depression, diabetes, fatigue, aging, inflammations, internal degeneration, nausea, tumors, pulmonary problems, dyspepsia, vomiting, nervousness, stress and ulcers. It is also known to be used to increase the appetite and bodily energy, regulate menses, ease childbirth, increase fertility of women, and treat periodontal disease.
American ginseng is said to relieve menopausal women of hot flashes, reduce fevers and loosen a dry, hacking cough due to smoking or other factors. American ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine for deficiency of energy, internal injuries caused by worry, convalescent weakness, palpitations, insomnia, forgetfulness, and nervousness and to promote general mental and physical well being.
Oriental ginseng is used as a cardiac tonic for shock and low blood pressure. Widely cultivated, Korean ginseng is now used as a natural preventive, restorative remedy and valued for its adaptogenic properties. Korean ginseng is more stimulating and increases the "yang" energy, while American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) increases the "yin" energy. Korean ginseng is considered most suitable for males and for older people.
Russian scientists claim that Siberian ginseng aids in memory, stamina and endurance. Siberian ginseng is a staple of athlete's and production workers.
Siberian ginseng contains remarkable compounds that favorably affect the adrenal glands, the small glands that rest atop the kidneys and secrete stress-fighting hormones. Taking the herb is believed to boost the body's capacity to handle physical stresses ranging from heat exposure to extreme exertion. Resistance to disease increases as well. So does one's overall energy level.
All forms of ginseng are said to aid in reducing stress, improving vitality and boosting the immune system. Oriental ginseng, whether white or red, is often taken as a daily tonic with the added benefit of an energy boost.
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