Medicinal Herbs, Bodybuilding & Health Secrets

Ginseng - The Secret to The Fountain of Youth?

Let's Talk About The Heatlh Benefits of Ginseng

Ginseng is literally one of the most nutritious foods in the world. It  has been used in the Orient for literally thousands of years and is well known as an aphrodisiac and general health tonic.

A combination of ginseng and goji berries may be the closest thing we may ever come to the fountain of youth. While there needs to be more research on goji berries, ginseng is the real McCoy.

There are different types of ginseng. They include the Oriental ginseng (also called panax ginseng), American ginseng, (panax quinquefolium), Siberian ginseng, (eleutherococcus senticocus), and Korean ginseng. (The Korean ginseng is typically classified from the same family as panax or Oriental ginseng.) Other ginseng strain include called Panax vietnamensis or Vietnamese ginseng, Indian Ginseng, also known as Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), Southern Ginseng, also known as Jiaogulan (Gynostemma Pentaphyllum), Japanese Ginseng (Panax Japonicum), Brazilian Ginseng (Pfaffia Paniculata), Peruvian Ginseng, known as Maca (Epidium Meyenii), and Prince Ginseng (Pseudostellaria heterophylla).

Which one is the best? Well, researchers know that all versions of ginseng are nutritionally potent. All types are teeming with a significant amount of ginsenosides, the main active ingredient in ginseng.

Just how potent is ginseng? Recently the legendary life of a simple Chinese man named Li Qing Yuen has come into prominence in the nutritional community. This man, master herbalist Li Qing Yuen, is famed for living a documented 252 years (1678-1930).  (One record has him living from May 1677 to May 6th, 1933.) His diet consisted of Panax ginseng, goji berries, gotu kola, miscellaneous Chinese herbs known for longevity inducement and water. He also practiced Qigong daily for over 120 years. His life was actually chronicled in the May 15th, 1933 issue of Time magazine, one of the most respectable news magazines in the world.

Needless to say, to live to be 250 plus years is remarkable and it was a vibrant health not like the kind of limited health of senior citizens today. According to the records I read, said he had 14 wives during his lifetime and over 200 descendants.

Health Benefits of Ginseng

So, what are the health benefits of ginseng?

Ginseng possess remarkable health benefits including but not limited to improved mental function, enhanced physical endurance, increased energy levels, heightened immunity system improvement and is generally viewed as an immediate energy tonic. It is also an aphrodisiac, which may or may not interest people.

You can take your ginseng in pill form (provided it's an herbal extract), eat it raw, or as an herbal tea (American ginseng powder is a popular choice among many but don't exclude the powerful Korean or Oriental ginseng versions. Continuing, most opt to take it as a tea. Its taste is not horrific but has a unique taste. I've eaten it raw right off the stalk when I lived in Korea. If you do this, make sure you clean it thoroughly. HINT: When ginseng is combined with bee pollen, a very powerful supplement in its own right, forms a powerful energy tonic. Try it for yourself.

It is also a powerful antioxidant that is of the most powerful anti-aging supplements or foods in existence. It also helps to rejuvenate the blood in the body. Famed herbalist and naturopathic doctor said that you are as healthy as your blood stream is. It if it polluted, so is your health in some degree. Ginseng can help rejuvenate the blood and thus one's lifespan.


Another health benefit of ginseng is its purported affects upon diabetes. In a study done at the University of Toronto in March 2000 illustrated that ginseng can lower blood sugar. Its other purported benefits include it being an aid to remedy arthritis, ward off senility (this is not surprising as it is generally seen as a mental as much as a physical tonic), reduces the risk of cancer, and helps counter asthma. Lastly, other ginseng health benefits include efficacy against Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome and it helps to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the blood, thus assisting in preventing cardiovascular disease as well.

One negative element about ginseng is that it can be expensive. This is not surprising as it takes anywhere from four to six years for the plant to grow to maturity before it's ready to be harvested for human consumption. It is expensive, but it is truly one of the most nutritionally powerful foods in the world.

Side Effects of Ginseng

Ginseng is a very powerful herb. Use with discretion. Some things to be aware of are:

  • Ginseng is a tonic so don't take before bedtime
  • Can cause nervousness, insomnia (especially when taken later in the night), increased menstrual bleeding and breast tenderness, stomach nausea, and skin reactions
  • It should not be taken with caffeine or other stimulants like alcohol as it can elevate your blood pressure
  • You should avoid taking ginseng with drugs that help treat depression, diabetes, or heart problems

If you have any questions about taking it, consult with your doctor first.

Some will say Wild American Ginseng Root is the best ginseng on the market. That's debatable. Siberian ginseng is usually recommended as it doesn't seem to have as significant of side effects as the other strains of ginseng. When drinking ginseng tea, you may find the taste slightly bitter. I take mine with honey, and sometimes with bee pollen granules sprinkled in although this is certainly optional. 

This combination is a real energy booster, though. Try it and you'll see it. I recommend Siberian ginseng extract blend -- the extract takes out the precious ginsenosides, which is where the main therapeutic benefits of ginseng reside. I think if you start taking it, you'll see its amazing benefits very quickly.

If you prefer it in a ginseng supplement, you can get it as part of a multivitamin. I take it as a tea but my pharmaceutical grade multivitamin has American ginseng extract in it as well.

Yours in health,