Sunday, December 28, 2014
Hot or Warm Korean/Panax Ginseng vs. Cold or Cooler American Ginseng
While not for everyone, depending on your current medical conditions, ginseng is generally accepted as a wonderful herbal remedy that promotes balance in the body as well as increased energy, sexual performance, stamina levels, and increased cognitive function. Many people use it to combat stress, as well. Since ginseng acts as an adaptogen, it does tend to have a stabilizing effect on various functions within the body and reduces the effects of stress. By definition, adaptogens increase the ability of an organism to adapt to environmental factors. Ginseng even helps some people who suffer from alcohol withdrawal, for example. Ginseng helps the liver and the body remove alcohol from the body in a quicker fashion and this effect has been tested and proven many times over. Since it also acts as an antioxidant and is loaded with ginsenosides, it can help prevent free radical damage from toxins along with possessing some anti-cancer properties, etc.
When a fairly healthy individual takes this, ginseng tends to help balance your blood sugar and level out your blood pressure when consuming this herb in moderate amounts. Although, if you abuse ginseng for a long period of time, it may actually elevate your blood pressure. So, like most things, use in moderation. I know that the Panax/Korean Ginseng is often recommended to be used for several weeks, followed with a break of at least a couple of weeks before starting the regimen again, in case it builds up in your system, etc. I'm still unsure if this is necessary or not. However, I have heard that the American (Panax quinquefolius) ginseng can be taken consistently in a daily fashion. Personally, I've taken them both for long periods of time before without any ill effects, but if in doubt, ask your doctor, as they say.
Another warning that comes with ginseng, is if you suffer from bouts of low (hypoglycemia) or fluctuating blood sugar, as ginseng may cause it to drop to unsafe levels in people with those types of problems. If you are on blood-thinning medication, it also wise to check with your doctor before taking this particular supplement.
Chinese herbal medicine often involves the yin/yang philosophy in their practice. Yin as in cold or cooler, and yang as in hot or warm. When it comes to promoting the yin energy, American ginseng is the one. It has a cooler, calming effect when compared to Korean ginseng. American ginseng is often used during the summer months or when a person has a fever, since it suppose to help cool the body. Korean ginseng promotes yang energy, since it is considered hot and/or warm. It is often used to enhance blood circulation and during the colder months, since it supposedly helps warm the body. To me, they both are great herbs and each have similar health benefits. The main difference without all the cold/hot Chinese chatter, is that Korean/Panax ginseng is more potent and is used more as a stimulant. However, American ginseng gets more credit for improving your immune system and for enhanced cognitive function. Some people claim that American ginseng even helps people that suffer from ADD, etc.
Well, I was going to get more into the Chinese Yin & Yang stuff, but I see that this post is already getting rather long. At any rate, ginseng is one of my favorite herbal supplements, as you can probably tell by reading this; ha!
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