Ginseng – Benefits and Side Effects

Ginseng is a perennial plant that is widely used in Chinese medicine. Today it is in high demand with hardly enough supply of the wild form of Ginseng available to meet the demand requirements. Ginseng is believed to provide relief for various conditions ranging from increased libido to reducing stress. This plant can be found in the most densely wooded areas where there is rich soil, primarily in Asian countries such as China, Eastern Siberia, and Korea. The roots in which the medicinal properties are found can take anywhere from 3 to 10 years to properly cultivate.

There are a few different forms of Ginseng including Asian Ginseng, American Ginseng, Red Ginseng and Wild Ginseng. American Ginseng has been shown to reduce flu case amongst the elderly. Red Ginseng has shown some promise at increasing libido and enhancing erectile dysfunction in men. Wild Ginseng is not cultivated on farms but rather is found growing wild. Both Asian and American Ginseng can grow in the wild but it takes many years before the roots can be cultivated. It is also in very high demand so it's supply is very limited.

There are many benefits to using Ginseng. Studies have shown that it may be useful for treating impotence in men and that it may also reduce fatigue symptoms in cancer patients. Additional benefits include the ability to help in lowering cholesterol, stress relief, enhancing immunity, and reducing the signs of aging. Scientific studies lean both ways with a few showing no significant benefits from Ginseng while others have shown definite benefits in the above mentioned categories as well as overall quality of life.

Some of the reported side effects of using Ginseng as a herbal remedy include diarrhea, high and low blood pressure, nausea, and in some case the inability to sleep has been reported. While these may not occur in all individuals, it is something to be aware of.

Ginseng, as with other herbs, comes in a variety of standard forms such as tablets, capsules, and liquids. However the best way to receive the medicinal properties is to drink it in tea form. If you are not a tea drinker then one of the other forms may be right for you. So weigh your options and select the one that you feel comfortable taking. Be aware also that some Ginseng products are inferior to others and only quality cultivated Ginseng can provide the benefits that you are looking for. So be sure to do your research and find the best Ginseng product available to you.

Now that you know what Ginseng is and what the benefits and side effects are. You need to also be aware that while this herb has been considered a wonder herb due it potential health benefits you'll still need to follow the advice of your doctor. Herbs do not take the place of the professional counseling of your medical advisers. So, if you feel that you want to try Ginseng as an alternative or supplement then be sure to discuss it with your doctor.