Many people have heard or read about ginseng but only a few know the differences and types of ginseng extracts that there are.
Three main types of ginseng exist. They include the American ginseng, the Asian / Korean ginseng and Siberian ginseng. A number of effects are shared across these types of ginseng. However, the Korean and American ones share more evolutionary history and similarities. In fact, Siberian ginseng is not considered a typical ginseng.
It came as a kind of surprise that ginseng was actually growing in America. In the initial days, its discoverers made a fortune from selling the wild ginseng they had discovered in the east of America.
In this article, we will go through the various uses and health benefits that are associated with ginseng extract. You might also be interested in other herbal products with close benefits such as Ashwagandha.
What is ginseng extract; how it works
So what is ginseng? As a plant, ginseng has a fleshly root and green oval leaves. It mostly grows as a sole stalk. The root is our main center of focus.
To get the extract, the root is harvested, dried and concentrated. Sun drying is rarely used. Anyway, it would largely be impractical for commercial uses. In the lab, the ginseng root is subjected to high stem temperatures. It is for this reason that you will come across forms such as red, sun or white ginseng. The difference is in the degree of drying temperatures.
In form of an extract, it is much easier to administer ginseng. It can be taken in diet pills, ginseng tea, even gels and creams.
As it with many herbal products, not enough research has been carried out to uncover how exactly they work. In the case of ginseng root extract, most of its benefits are associated with compounds known as panaxosides and ginsenosides.
Unlike nootropics such as oxiracetam which specifically target the brain, ginseng focuses on different aspects of body health. It is for this reason that you will find long articles discussing ginseng uses.
Ginseng extract benefits
Below are the most popular ginseng benefits:
Ginseng is both used for physical and mental energy boosting. It for one promotes efficient flow of blood in the body. It also promotes a feeling of wellbeing. In fact, it is used for post care services in cancer therapies to reduce fatigue and stress.
In mid-aged individuals, ginseng has been reported to promote cognitive abilities. These include brain coordination, puzzle solving abilities and reduced anxiety. It also contributes to nerve protection but not as much effective as Idebenone. In terms of memory enhancement, stacking ginseng with gingko may produce better results.
Protects against cancer
Other than being used in post care therapies for cancer, ginseng can also be used as prevention against cancer. Additional research reports are needed to make this claim official.
Multiple sclerosis treatment
Ginseng root extract taken in the right dosage for about 12 weeks can reduce the effects of MS. Such effects include general and chronic fatigue. Better results can be achieved by combining ginseng with L-Tryptophan.
Ginseng can be used to stabilize mood, relieve stress and even clear depression. This is actually one of the reasons why ginseng can be stacked with nootropics such as phenylpiracetam for better mental functions and state.
Erectile dysfunction cure
In men, oral ginseng has been said to improve sexual appetite and experiences. It also produces a placebo effect which still will act to the advantage of the user. Other ginseng uses related to erectile dysfunction include premature ejaculation treatment. In this case, a cream containing ginseng is applied on the penis (glans) to reduce sensitivity.
Ginsenosides, the products we earlier identified as contained in ginseng are thought to have anti-inflammatory benefits. This is one of the reasons that ginseng is applicable in many health related uses.
Ginseng has been used to treat flu in multiple occasions. In one study, a group of mice injected with influenza virus were treated using ginseng. They showed improved results. Critics wonder if the results can actually be mimicked in humans.
Ginseng root extract dosage
Different ginseng dosages are recommended depending on the reason as to why you are taking the extract. Below are the recommended dosages:
For mental enhancement take 200mg once in a day. The dosage can be increased to 400mg but divided two times. A typical therapy runs for about 2 months.
Take 1.4g to 2.7g of ginseng extract for ED treatment. This dosage should be divided two times and taken for about 2 weeks. For general sexual appetite and better experiences, 3 g of ginseng dosage should be used, at least for 2 months. When used in creams to delay ejaculations, an hour should be allowed to pass before active sexual penetration.
Managing Alzheimer’s disease requires a higher dosage of 4 to 8.5 grams daily dose. This should be taken for 3 weeks. For MS, take a lower dosage of about 200-300mg per day for the same period of time. Note that you should talk to your doctor before treating such brain conditions on your own.
When used as a flu treatment, 200mg to 1g of ginseng extract will be okay.
Ginseng tea and root extract prices
Ginseng has grown to become a very popular product. For this reason, prices will differ greatly depending on the quality and the source of your pills.
For raw ginseng roots, wild ginseng will cost you between $200 and $1200 per lb. These prices will depend on the age of the root and where you are accessing it. For example, Korean ginseng is a bit cheaper than American ginseng especially in Asia where the latter is rarely found.
Ginseng products on the other hand will cost you way less than that. Even with $4, you will walk away with a ginseng tea supplement.
Ginseng is available as a dietary supplement. Therefore, there are no many restrictions in its access and use. You can get the products in giant retailers such as Walmart or Alibaba.
You can also buy the plant’s powder and stack with other supplements for better results. In this case however, you will be required to buy a weighing scale or even an encapsulating machine. Ready developed stacks are available over the counter too.
Potential ginseng root extract side effects
The use of ginseng should be discontinued after 6 months of continuous use. Beyond that limit, more of the side effects than benefits will be experienced. It is also important that you keep in the range of the recommended dosage and consult your doctor if any complications should arise.
Sleeping disorders especially insomnia is the most common of all ginseng side effects. Women may also experience some inconsistencies in the menstrual cycle, attributed to hormonal manipulation produced by ginseng.
Other side effects include:
- decreased appetite
- changes in mood
- blood pressure
- vaginal bleeding
- elevated heart beat rate
- liver damage
Safety precautions for ginseng uses and dosage
Ginseng is a potential hormonal modulator. This means that it can manipulate the levels of such hormones such as estrogen. It therefore should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women. This also includes patients of the different cancers related to the reproductive system for example ovarian cancer.
Ginseng should not be used in children, young, old or middle aged ones. You find that in children, natural growth takes place rapidly. It would be ill advised therefore to manipulate the growth even with herbal products. Ginseng has been shown to produce much better effects in middle-aged adults, especially ones above 35 years and women past menopause.
Don’t use ginseng when recovering from organ transplant. Since it elevates the body’s defense system, it may contribute to the rejection of the alien organ. Also, avoid ginseng when dealing with auto-immune ailments.
The effects of ginseng on heart beat rate have not been confirmed to be fatal. However, the product can lower blood sugar unexpectedly for diabetics. Talk to your doctor before using ginseng if you have any heart/blood related challenge. This includes open wounds or pending surgery. Ginseng is known to lower blood clotting capabilities.
Finally, avoid very high doses of ginseng to avoid issues related to sleep disorders. This includes Schizophrenia patients. You can consider stacking ginseng with 5 HTP supplement, which is known to treat insomnia and sleep disorders.