The health benefits of ginseng

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Ginseng - the revered root
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by Marianne Sagnier

If Asia is the land of natural remedies then ginseng is the king. Even in the West, you will find it in every health food shop, even every supermarket. But just what is it? And what's all the fuss about?

What is ginseng?

Ginseng comes from the root of the plant of the same name. There are many different types of ginseng plant but the three most common are Panex ginseng (also known as Chinese or Korean ginseng), American ginseng and Siberian ginseng.

What are the health benefits of ginseng?

Perhaps the main benefit taking ginseng is its ability to help the body fight off illness. It has been shown to encourage the production of immune cells which are designed to neutralize potentially harmful bacteria and viruses. Ginseng is also used to help alleviate stress and anxiety. Research has shown that it helps support the glands involved in the production of stress hormones within the body. And finally it is also believed that Panex ginseng has a positive effect on men who suffer from infertility or impotence due to its potential to increase testosterone and sperm levels.

Are there any side effects of ginseng?

Ginseng should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women or by those with high blood pressure of heart problems. If you exceed the recommended daily amount you will probably experience headaches, stomach pains and problems getting to sleep at night.

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