Korean Ginseng 101: What is Korean Ginseng?

Chinese Medicine
Aug 22, 2018
Chinese Medicine

What is Korean ginseng?

For thousands of years, Korean ginseng is a perennial herb that has been used as a natural antidote for several illnesses. The root of the Korean ginseng is the only part that contains health giving qualities. It is said that the older the root, the more potent it is. There are several kinds of ginseng but the best and most effective of all is the Korean ginseng. Also called panax ginseng, it grows abundantly in Korea, Cina, and Russia. Its root can be powdered, cut and dried, or in liquid form.

Nutritional information of Korean ginseng

Korean ginseng contains several plant-produced nutrients called phytochemicals like: 

Ginsenosides

Ginsenosides have steroid-like qualities. Ginsenosides promote brain activity and prevent the excessive production of corticosteroids, a class of steroid hormones which help ward off stress. 

Panaxans

Korean ginseng contains the plant steroid Panaxans which has the same structure of anabolic steroids. Naturally found in the body, anabolic steroids are usually taken in supplement form by athletes and bodybuilders to help strengthen and build their muscles. 

Other phytochemicals found in Korean ginseng are salicylates, saponins, and vanillic acid. 

Health benefits of Korean ginseng

Physically, the shape of the Korean ginseng’s root appears to be like the form of a man, so the Chinese name given to it is “Jin Chen” which means, “like a man.” Proponents of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believe that the form and function of the root of Korean ginseng are so linked that its resemblance to the human body indicates its health giving benefits. 

Digestive health

Korean ginseng is used to treat various stomach disorders like poor appetite, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and indigestion. 

Cardiovascular health

Korean ginseng prevents the prolapsing of tissues and organs and improves blood circulation for better heart health. 

Nervous system

The chemical compound ginsenosides found in Korean ginseng helps in enhancing memory and improving cognitive abilities, making it useful in treating poor concentration, sluggish mental function, poor memory, anxiety, and insomnia. Korean ginseng is being incorporated in some multivitamins due its ability in countering the negative effects of stress on the body. 

Immune system

Korean ginseng boosts the immune system by helping strengthen the lungs making it ideal for people suffering from asthma, dyspnea, chronic cough, and sweating for no apparent reason. It can also increase the body’s resistance against sickness such as the flu and the common cold. 

Other benefits

Korean ginseng is used to treat postmenopausal symptoms, as well as diabetes, infections, migraine, and for radiation and chemotherapy protection. Research suggests that ginsenosides exhibit anti-hyperglycemic effects making it a good treatment option for diabetes. also promotes wellness by improving quality of sleep and stimulating the appetite.

Side effects

Due to its strong potency, Korean ginseng is not recommended for use among those people with high blood pressure. 

While the side effects of Korean ginseng are relatively mild compared to pharmaceutical drugs, it is best to seek the proper advice of a health professional or naturopath before taking strong herbs.

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