In the Orient, ginseng has been admired for many thousands of years. Ginseng is considered to be one of the magic herbal supplements, by those who haven chosen to use it on a regular basis. It is claimed that ginseng can do the following: enhance vitality, boost the immune system, increase physical endurance, increase mental alertness and treat fevers, headaches, vomiting and colds. Ginseng is also considered an aphrodisiac. People would be taking ginseng herbal supplements with each meal, if it actually had properties to give all the benefits that many claim.
However, ginseng herbal supplements actually fall short of the claims. On the commercial market, ginseng herbal supplements are taken in capsule form, as a tea, in a liquid form or by consuming the roots of the plant. A 5 gram dose is the usual dosage of ginseng. Most commonly found in Asia, especially China, Japan and South Korea. Ginseng can also be found growing in woody areas from Missouri to Quebec. The active substance in the root, called ginsenosides, has been shown to decrease fatigue and increase endurance when given to mice in a large quantity. In one particular study with humans, a large amount of the supplements was given and only a small improvement in endurance levels was noted for those who had taken the ginseng herbal supplements. The claims that ginseng can raise low blood pressure and help prevent shock after a heart attack was published in “Chinese Herbal Medicine”, by the US National Institute of Health. Scientific evidence is lacking in support of the many claims of the alleged benefits when consuming ginseng. When you purchase ginseng at a store it is very likely that it will have low concentration levels of ginsenosides.
Because of the low levels in the product, you may not actually receive the full benefits of endurance from the herb. In a study that was done in Sweden, studies showed that most commercial ginseng products that are sold only have a trace amount of ginsenosides. The study was published in the Lancet, a British medical journal. Due to the small amount of ginsenosides that was found in these supplements, the study concluded that ginseng would have an insignificant benefit on endurance levels.
Some products, two of which are sold in the United States, “Up Your Gas” and “Siberian Ginseng” had next to no ginseng in their products. Consuming moderate to small amounts of ginseng is not considered harmful, however you have to ask if it is worth the money to be taking a supplement that has no real valuable benefit to yourself.
We can easily be victimized by the hype of a product, even more so by one that has been used for many years, however when there is no scientific proof of the benefits, then perhaps your money would be better spent elsewhere.
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