What Are The Health Benefits of Ginseng?

What Are The Health Benefits of Ginseng?

The popular culinary root of plants in the genus Panax – Ginseng. But what are the health benefits of ginseng and why have so many cultures sworn by it’s ‘hidden qualities’ over the centuries?

Let’s take a closer look…

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health benefits of ginseng

 


Health Benefits of Ginseng


Many cultures throughout history regard ginseng as the miracle ‘man-root’ – shaped like a humanoid body with numerous benefits to general health. Ginseng has also been present in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years.

It’s an incredibly slow growing plant that has really ‘fleshy’ roots that are currently classified three ways:

  1. Fresh (harvested before 4 years)
  2. White (harvested between 4–6 years)
  3. Red (harvested after 6 or more years)

Below are a selection of what have been referred to as ‘evidence-based’ health benefits of ginseng…

 


Potent Antioxidant


The antioxidant qualities in ginseng are know to act as a great ‘natural’ anti-inflammatory product. The ginsenoside compounds found within the root have been tested, and results show that they can inhibit inflammation and boost antioxidant capacity in cells.

 


Benefits For The Brain


Medical studies involving ginseng have also uncovered it’s ability to benefit certain mental functions. In some cases it has even been reported that test groups have felt feelings of calmness and good mood swings.

These ‘good feelings’ have even been felt by sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease.

 


Immune System Boost


Recent evidence suggests that ginseng could well strengthen the immune system in people with cancer (from a study that followed 39 people who were recovering from surgery for stomach cancer).

It is also known to enhance the effects of certain vaccinations.

 


Slowing The Ageing Process


Many health experts firmly believe that Korean Red Ginseng has the ability to slow down the ageing process.

How does it manage to do this?

Well, Korean Red Ginseng comprises anti-ageing substances like antioxidants and insulin-like substances – these are not usually found in other forms of the root.

This particular breed of Ginseng also helps supply blood flow to the internal organs (a process that normally slows down in older age!).

 


A Natural Energy Booster


Ginseng is a herb that has been employed to enhance stamina and strength for hundreds of years – it’s a pretty awesome natural energy booster!

It is used by athletes that frequently aim to naturally boost their physical performance AND it is known to work wonders with individuals who are coping with any disease-based fatigue.

Users of the herb claim that it is as effective as the effects of coffee, but it never gives you that ‘crashing’ feeling (making you jittery).

 


Addiction Aid


Many people who have been left ‘kicking the habit’, claim that ginseng helped them finally rid the addiction from their life. Most addicts go through hopeless amounts of depression and anxiety when they are facing withdrawal symptoms – Panax Ginseng is known to be helpful for lowering these feelings.

Note: A few of my friends also swear by ginseng as a great hangover cure…but I can’t stand 100% behind this…yet!

 


 What Are The Health Benefits of Ginseng?


What are your opinions on this wonder-root?

Do you know of any benefits that we have not covered in the article above?

If so, please leave them in the comment section below.

Stay Healthy! 🙂

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The Benefits of Taking Echinacea

The Benefits of Taking Echinacea

I suppose I should start by saying that the early days of my relationship with echinacea were a pretty stormy affair – it was introduced to me by an ex-girlfriend who had a great deal of knowledge on natural remedies.

If I’m honest with you – in those days (early twenties) I thought she was full of s##t!

Back then natural remedies were well known, but most of us were blissfully unaware of how effective they could actually be.

So, bearing this in mind, why am I choosing to write an article on the benefits of taking echinacea?

Good question, I’ll explain…


What is it With Plane Journeys and Viruses?

So I was going out with a girl that was well into her natural remedies…well….natural EVERYTHING really!

That wasn’t really a problem – it’s what first attracted me to her. She was different, and very good looking! 🙂

Anyway…

We had been seeing each other for about a year and we decided to take a 10 day holiday to Eastern Europe, which turned out to be great, but the plane journey home managed to infect me with one of the most hideous cold-type viruses I’ve ever had the displeasure of experiencing.

I was in a bad mood – my holiday felt like it had been ruined by this last gasp virus and I was stuck back in the Welsh weather feeling awful.

It didn’t take long for my ex to get on the herbal train and start banging on about what natural remedies could clear this infection up. I was in no mood to argue with her as I didn’t have the energy…

So I started taking her ‘top’ suggestion of echinacea.


It Worked!!!

Yep, it really did work…surprisingly well!

So, echinacea was my first real step into the world of natural remedies, and I was curious to find out more about this herbal savior that sparked my interest in healthier living…


What Exactly is Echinacea?

Surprisingly, echinacea is nothing more than a member of the daisy family – a bog standard plant at the end of the day!

It’s often referred to as a purple coneflower, which rolls off the tongue a lot easier.

What Exactly is Echinacea?

The name derives from the Greek word ekhinos (hedgehog) because the cone looks a lot like a small hedgehog.

Overall, there are nine distinct species of this plant but many of them are considered ‘endangered’ so it’s important to be sure about what you are picking (we don’t want you to get into trouble do we?).


Will I Find It Growing at the Bottom of my Garden?

Well at a guess – no…

Unless you live in the central and eastern parts of the good old US of A.

Research indicates that the Native Americans used the flowers, leaves and roots of this plant for remedies, centuries ago.

These days it is certainly re-gaining popularity and can be easily harvested and cultivated in these American areas (central and eastern parts).


The Benefits of Taking Echinacea

What are the benefits of taking echinacea? Although there seems to be an infinite number of echinacea benefits, these are the ones which stand out…

1) Combats Cancer

This was a really surprising one for me – and I only found out about it recently (about two months ago!).

Apparently recent research on this plant seems to indicate that phytochemicals contained in it are great for the fight against tumors.

Now, I’m no doctor, and I struggle to re-word medical reports (who doesn’t?). So, if you’re interested in finding out more about echinacea in cancer treatment I recommend checking out one of the in-depth articles about it online.

Here is a decent one I came across this morning – echinacea in cancer treatment.

2) Gives The Immune System a Good Kick!

This wonder plant manages to cut the chances of having a cold by 58% – that’s from a study published by the University of Connecticut.

On top of that, the study also concludes that echinacea reduces the duration of the common cold by almost 48 hours.

3) It Acts as a Natural Painkiller

Apparently, the Great Plains Indians first started using echinacea when they discovered it acted as a powerful painkiller. Headaches, stomach pains, toothache…even snake bites!

You name it and echinacea can probably nail it on the pain front!

Some common ways to use echinacea to combat pain is to drink the herbal echinacea tea.

You can also opt to mash it down into a paste and apply it directly to the area on your body that is causing you pain.

4) It Can Act as a Laxative 

As I touched on above in the painkiller section – echinacea is particularly effective at healing gastrointestinal (or stomach) problems.

Medical Herbalism have published a report that recommends echinacea as a mild and natural laxative for constipation relief.

From what I gather, the tea version of the plant is best for this. One cup a day can relieve the more ‘common’ pressure, whilst two to three cups can really help with sudden bouts.

It goes without saying that you should probably not go overboard with this herbal consumption – always read the supplement packet before ingesting the plant (there are guidelines you know!).

5) It’s Good For Your Skin

Actually, my partner pointed this fact out – so you can thank her for this section of the article (because I had no idea that echinacea benefits the skin!).

Armando González Stuart, PhD, has written and published a paper on how the Native American tribes have used echinacea for skin conditions over the years. Apparently it is very effective on…

  • Arthropod bites
  • Eczema
  • Inflammatory skin conditions
  • Psoriasis
  • Snake bite
  • Skin infections
  • Stings
  • Wound healing

He also believes that the Native American tribes used it for skin regeneration.

6) It Helps in the Fight Against Mental Health

Again, this is a subject I have read about…but I’m no medical professional at the end of the day!

Echinacea angustifolia is a species of the plant which is known to help with adults and children who suffer from ADD/ADHD.

Apparently, this form of the plant can help with the anxious feelings, depression and social phobias they suffer.


Echinacea – Conclusion


Echinacea

Well all of this has been pretty positive so far right? What a wonderful plant!

But please stop for a minute and remember that too much of any supplement is probably a BAD idea!

Apparently, high doses of echinacea can sometimes cause nausea and dizziness, particularly in those who have allergies.

I’ve also heard that overdosing on the plant can lead to diarrhea, disorientation, dry mouth, fever, headache and insomnia.

As always – it’s a good idea to read the guidelines before taking ANYTHING!

What are your thoughts on this natural wonder plant?

Have you used it to cure any problems that I have not mentioned in the article above?

Over to you – we would love to hear about your experiences with echinacea, please leave them in the comment section below.