• Dr. Wilde

KOREAN GINSENG

Updated: Oct 20, 2019


Korean Ginseng is an adaptogen, aptly dubbed “The King of Herbs” or its Latin appellation of Panax Ginseng. “Panax” literally translates to “cure-all”. While its close relative, American Ginseng, is known as a relaxing substance, Korean Ginseng is known to have an invigorating and life sustaining effect. Traditional medicine practitioners have used Korean or Red Ginseng as a panacea and tonic for thousands of years


Source: This herb grows wild cooler climates of Asia, such as China, Korea, Bhutan and Siberia



Benefits:

Antioxidant: Studies have shown conclusively that Korean Red Ginseng improves antioxidant activity and reduces inflammatory markers in subjects


Sexual Function: Regularly used to improve sexual performance as Korean Ginseng is a natural aphrodisiac. Can restore sexual function in men and has shown a 60% efficacy for men with erectile dysfunction. Korean red ginseng aids in menopausal women for symptoms of fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression and low libido. Key factors in improving sexual function include the herbs' benefits in combating stress, increasing stamina and increasing blood circulation


Mood: Creates a relaxed and alert mindset. Enhanced sex life. Enhanced sleep. More energy


Cognition and Memory: Improves brain functions like memory, behavior and mood; improvements in socializing and mental health. Benefits can plateau with long-term use


Addiction: Good for hangovers and also for lowering the depression and anxiety inherent with drug withdrawals from nicotine, morphine, etc


Immune Booster: Studies show subjects’ immune systems are bolstered by regular intake of red ginseng. Increases survival rates of those afflicted with chronic diseases or major surgeries


Cancer: People taking red ginseng seem to have a lower probability of developing cancer and can inhibit cancerous cell growth. It has also shown effective in improving the health of those receiving chemotherapy, reducing side effects and increasing effects of treatments


Lowers Blood Sugar: Improves pancreatic function, increase insulin production and improve efficiency of tissues’ intake of blood glucose. Studies show that red ginseng improves and regulates blood sugar in subjects



Risks: Due to its ability to lower blood sugar, those on diabetic medicine should monitor their blood glucose closely and talk to their doctor. It can also interfere with blood thinners.


Long-term use of red ginseng seems to reduce its efficacy. Two or three weeks is recommended before taking a break in consumption for one week; this can be cycled safely for longer term use



Sustainability: While the best Asian Panax Ginseng is grown for 6 years, it can be cultivated domestically but is a slow growing plant that takes a few years to harvest for its have true medicinal value. This herb can sell for up to $350 per pound and so there is an issue with poachers as it is one of the most valuable herbs in the world due to the broad health benefits and such a long growth period. While there is indication this herb may be endangered due to its years-long growth and high demand, we shouldn’t take this beautiful plant for granted


Processing: Korean Ginseng is a slow growing, short plant with fleshy roots. It is categorized differently depending on when it is harvested. When harvested prior to 4 years of growth, it is known as Fresh Ginseng. Harvested between 4 and 6 years, it is White Ginseng and harvested at 6 years or more, it is considered Red Ginseng. Once the Panax Ginseng plant is 3 years old, it begins to grow berries which contain 2 seeds each and can be used to plant more ginseng. Once harvested, the roots take a few weeks to dry completely for consumption


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Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23356855 - Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of ginseng

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2561113/ - Red ginseng for erectile dysfunction

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21154383 - Effects on cognition

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23560064/ - Effects on cognitive performance

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23717092 - Benefits on Alzheimer’s

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16855773 - Improves erectile dysfunction

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315689738 - Red Ginseng as an immune modulator

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26850342 - Red ginseng and cancer treatment

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25347695 - Benefits on cancer

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