Who am I: Ginseng
Ginseng is a plant from the ivy family that has been considered a medicinal herb in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Its natural habitat is cold regions, mostly northern China, Korea, parts of Russia. Ginseng has thick roots, which can be used extensively for medicinal purposes.
The origin of the name “Ginseng” is Cantonese. The scientific name of ginseng, in English, is PANAX, which translates from Greek as “all-healing”.
The botanist Carl Linnaeus was the one who named this plant. He researched the use of ginseng in Chinese medicine for many years.
Medical history of Ginseng
There is evidence of medical use of ginseng in Chinese medicine over 5,000 years ago, therefore, this plant is considered a “king of medicines”. The plant came to the West in the 17th century, when the king of Siam (present-day Thailand) had an audience with Louis XIV in Paris and brought him this plant as a gift. The Western world learned about the virtues of this plant very quickly, and ginseng became a popular medication used for tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue.
While many plants cure one specific problem, ginseng works in a completely different manner – in fact, it is like a storage of medicinal properties that accumulated in one climbing plant, which can help with a variety of problems.
Over the years the plant has been studied by researchers in the West and some of its properties have been scientifically proven. Today, this is one of the main ingredients in the natural dietary supplement market, which is agreed upon among different natural remedy users.
Medicinal uses of Ginseng
Medicinal uses of ginseng are, as mentioned, plentiful and different.
According to Chinese medicine, Ginseng:
- Increases chi energy levels of the lungs and spleen
- Improves sexual potency in men
- Improves liver function
- Improves memory
- Strengthens the immune system
- Calms the nervous system
Clinically, the plant has been proven to help the body cope with different stressful situations, it stimulates and improves the function of the immune system, and it can even help increase mental and cognitive abilities.
Other studies showed that active ingredients of this plant have an antimicrobial quality.