Are There Real Benefits Of Ginseng

Ginseng - a traditional root - but does it live up to expectations and what effect does it really have?

To find out, we will take a closer look at the ginseng root in this article.

What is ginseng ?:

Ginseng is a herbaceous plant from the ivy family that originally comes from East Asia. Ginseng means something like 'remedies'. Its roots have medicinal uses for humans and in Chinese and Korean medicine the aralia family has been used as a medicinal product for several thousand years; this is evidenced by documents dating from around 40 BC. Were written.
Ginseng has also been known in Europe since the 17th century and is becoming increasingly popular.
The power root is supposed to activate body and mind and promote concentration.
There are two types of ginseng, red and white. But there is only one fundamental difference: After harvesting, the red ginseng is steamed with steam at about 100 ° C for 3-5 hours, which gives it its red color, and then dried; the white, on the other hand, is dried directly.

In our Aspermühle online shop you will find various ginseng variants:

History of ginseng:

Ginseng has been used as an adaptogen for more than 5000 years. Adaptogens are active plant substances that help the organism to adapt to increased emotional and physical stressful situations and to compensate for special stimuli. Already about 40 years BC Ginseng was considered a means for a healthy and long life and was therefore reserved for nobles, kings and emperors. For them, the plant was more valuable than silver and gold. Ginseng collectors were only allowed to keep one root themselves; all others had to be handed over to the court. Citizens even faced the death penalty if they failed to comply.
About 2000 years ago, the Emperor Shi Huang Ti planned expeditions to Korea to enrich himself with the valuable ginseng plant; because ginseng was supposed to protect the throne from conspiracies and from evil.
Although the plant has been known as a remedy for several thousand years, it only found its way to Europe 300-400 years ago. Since then, the powerroot has become increasingly popular and its medicinal benefits have been investigated in various studies. Further information can be found in the “Studies” chapter.

Cultivation, harvest and processing of the ginseng root:

Growing ginseng is very time-consuming. The seed takes two years to germinate and the plant is cared for very intensively. A Korean proverb says: "Ginseng wants to hear the farmer's steps all the time." This should make it clear how much effort goes into growing it.

After the harvest, the soil needs about ten years of rest before new ginseng can be planted in the earth, because it does not contain enough nutrients before the ten years have elapsed, so that the young plant would die prematurely. Soils rich in potassium are best suited for cultivation at an altitude of 400-700 meters.
Temperatures between 20 and 25 ° C in summer and between 1 and 14 ° C in winter are ideal. Even small amounts of snow cannot harm the plant.
Ginseng is planted in autumn and must be protected from excessive solar radiation, because wild ginseng only grows in shady places in the forest. Ginseng farmers often use straw mats for protection. A small amount of sunlight is essential for growth, but with too much or no light the plant would die. The ginseng plant grows up to 80 cm high and has hand-shaped leaves on the stem.

Ginseng seedlings
Ginseng shading
Ginseng field

One should also pay attention to the correct irrigation; Avoid waterlogging and dry periods at all costs.
The red or yellow-white flowers of the plant carry the seeds for the next sowing. These seeds are surrounded by pulp that must be removed before sowing. The cylindrical root forms numerous secondary branches and the inside of the root is cream-colored. The valuable roots can be harvested four years after germination. In total, it takes about six years to harvest; an early harvest can result in a considerable decrease in quality. However, the farmers have now learned a few tricks to promote ripening and shorten it by two years. First, the seeds are soaked in moist sand before sowing. The shell breaks open more easily and germination takes place earlier. In addition, the earth is exchanged in order to avoid the ten-year rest period. However, whether the quality of the ginseng root suffers as a result is controversial.
After the harvest, the roots are cleaned with clear water and prepared for drying. The ginseng root has a water content of more than 70%. Drying in ovens or freeze dryers prevents the valuable power root from spoiling.
The dried root is then processed into powder or extract, but often simply into cubes or slices.

Ginseng - dosage form and use:

The ginseng root has a very high water content, which is why the root spoils quickly after harvest. So it is usually offered in dried form. However, there are completely different forms of administration: powder, capsules, (chewable) tablets, granules, tea, tonic (schnapps) or in their natural form. The most common type is probably ginseng powder and the dried root.
Ginseng smells of horseradish, sometimes also of liquorice and tastes bitter at first, but then a sweetish taste develops.
The root can be used in various ways and used in the kitchen. Ginseng is particularly suitable as a spice for salads or vegetables. The root is also very popular as a tea. To do this, you can crush the powder or the dried root, pour boiling water over it and let it steep for a few minutes.

Ginseng root and ginseng capsules

Which ingredients can be found in ginseng and how do they work ?:

The ginseng plant contains many different substances, the most important of which are the ginsenosides. Further information on this can be found in the following chapter.
In addition to the ginsenosides, minerals and trace elements, essential oils and vitamins have also been detected. Essential fatty and amino acids are also not missing and contribute to a real nutrient bomb. 'Essential' means that the body cannot produce these substances itself, or cannot produce them completely, and we therefore have to take them in with our food. Amino acids are building blocks of proteins and therefore indispensable for the muscles.
Important minerals such as zinc and iron are also vital and contained in ginseng in a non-negligible amount.

Ginsenosides - the weapons of the ginseng root:

Ginsenosides are saponins from the ginseng root. They are also known as panaxosides and are used by the plant as a passive defense against fungi and insect pests.
There are three groups of panaxosides:
• Panaxdiole
• Panaxtriole
• Oleanolic acids

Further link to ginsenosides >>>

The therapeutic potential of ginseng has been intensively studied. The ginsenosides it contains are the active components of the ginseng root and are said to be involved in many physiological processes and their optimization. Ginsenosides bind to typical nerve receptors and since they are very similar in their composition to the body's own substances, their effect is based on the “key and lock principle”. About 30 ginsenosides have now been identified. The composition and quality of the ginsenosides are influenced by various factors; for example by the age of the plant, the species and the harvest time.
Studies show that ginseng, or ginsenosides, can promote the body's defenses against stress. The immune system should also be strengthened; this is also said to be attributed to the ginsenosides.
Humans can use the ginsenosides for their own health. Because not only the stress resistance is promoted, blood pressure can also be regulated, as well as the metabolism and the immune system.

Every year again - The Ginseng Festival:

For more than thirty years, the Ginseng Festival of the city of Geumsan has been held annually at harvest time in Chungcheongnam-do, a province in South Korea. The aim here is to present and highlight the benefits and healing effects that ginseng has to offer.
Most of the ginseng plants from South Korea are grown and processed in Chungcheongnam-do. But the market for other medicinal herbs is also one of the largest in the country.
At the ginseng festival, a wide variety of program items related to the power root are offered; there are seminars on the healing effects of ginseng, a pavilion in which a wide variety of ginseng products are offered, as well as several trade fairs for the international ginseng trade. But traditional folk games, singing and dance performances are also worth seeing. Even a cooking competition and a quiz are offered at the popular festival. And most important of all: the ginseng farmers in the region proudly present their harvest after six years. There is no age limit for this festival, so people of all ages can meet here and have fun.

A short video overview of the festival can be found below. Unfortunately the video is only available in English.

Studies on the effect of ginseng:

Asthmatic diseases:

Much of the research is done in the field of asthmatic diseases. The current therapeutic measures are effective and help reduce airway inflammation, but the structural changes in the mucous membrane tissue that the disease brings with it in the long term do not prevent it.
This study aims to determine the effectiveness of ginseng (given orally) in laboratory mice with chronic asthma. For this purpose, the laboratory mice were orally administered a precisely defined amount of ginseng over a certain period of time.

Link to the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18611306

The mice were divided into four groups: ginseng, placebo, control group and dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory agent that has a depressant effect on the immune system. For a proper evaluation, the pathologically altered lung tissue was examined with light and electron microscopes.
Compared with the placebo group, the mice given ginseng showed a reduction in structural changes in the airways.
However, this study has not yet been carried out on the human organism, which is why 100% transferability of these results to humans cannot be guaranteed. Nevertheless, this scientific finding is an enormous advance in asthma therapy and stimulates further research.

Ginseng and the mental performance:

A study by the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit at the University of Newcastle was able to show that even a single intake of ginseng can increase mental performance.

Link to the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12020739

Twenty students were given a defined amount of ginseng, gingko, a combination preparation or a placebo over a certain period of time. Memory tests were then carried out. The results not only brought about the increased memory performance, but also mental speed.
Another study by this research facility, in which the thirty test subjects were given 200 mg of ginseng each, was also able to demonstrate an improvement in cognitive abilities.

Link to the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15982990

But the mental exhaustion was also significantly lower, which is justified by the regulation of the blood sugar level.
Researchers examined this effect in another study and were able to prove that ginseng can lower the glucose level in the blood and thus also have a positive effect on diabetes.

Link to the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25265315

But ginseng is also said to be a miracle cure for stress. Stress arises from the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, as well as the release of cortisol. Normally this body reaction is regulated, but if this ability to regulate is disturbed, the body is permanently in a stress reaction, which can ultimately lead to chronic stress. Here, ginseng provides the necessary balance and supports the human organism in being able to better adapt to harmful stimuli and influences (noxae).

Further link >>>>

Take home massage:

The studies presented here support and reinforce each other's results. In summary, one can say that ginseng can possibly promote concentration and make us more resistant to stress. The second point in particular is very important and is therefore the focus of further research, because chronic stress makes people sick. Unfortunately, nowadays it is completely normal for us to experience stress all day. Most of the time before work we rush through the rush hour traffic and arrive at work annoyed by slow traffic and traffic jams. Here, too, people are often stressed, because constant pressure to perform and competitiveness often demand more than we can achieve. After a stressful day at work, once again stuck in rush hour traffic, we still cannot switch off and finally arriving home, it is often too late to allow the body enough rest and relaxation phases.
Enjoying a ginseng tea can help us, even if only to a small extent, to react more calmly to all these influences and to reduce stress.

Ginseng - a traditional root - but does it live up to expectations and what effect does it really have?

To find out, we will take a closer look at the ginseng root in this article.

What is ginseng ?:

Ginseng is a herbaceous plant from the ivy family that originally comes from East Asia. Ginseng means something like 'remedies'. Its roots have medicinal uses for humans and in Chinese and Korean medicine the aralia family has been used as a medicinal product for several thousand years; this is evidenced by documents dating from around 40 BC. Were written.
Ginseng has also been known in Europe since the 17th century and is becoming increasingly popular.
The power root is supposed to activate body and mind and promote concentration.
There are two types of ginseng, red and white. But there is only one fundamental difference: After the harvest, the red ginseng is steamed with steam at about 100 ° C for 3-5 hours, which gives it its red color, and then dried; the white one, on the other hand, is dried directly.

In our Aspermühle online shop you will find various ginseng variants:

History of ginseng:

Ginseng has been used as an adaptogen for more than 5000 years. Adaptogens are active plant substances that help the organism to adapt to increased emotional and physical stressful situations and to compensate for special stimuli. Already about 40 years BC Ginseng was considered a means for a healthy and long life and was therefore reserved for nobles, kings and emperors. For them the plant was worth more than silver and gold. Ginseng collectors were only allowed to keep one root themselves; all others had to be handed over to the court. Citizens even faced the death penalty if they failed to comply.
About 2000 years ago, the Emperor Shi Huang Ti planned expeditions to Korea to enrich himself with the valuable ginseng plant; because ginseng was supposed to protect the throne from conspiracies and from evil.
Although the plant has been known as a remedy for several thousand years, it only found its way to Europe 300-400 years ago. Since then, the powerroot has become increasingly popular and its medicinal benefits have been investigated in various studies. Further information can be found in the “Studies” chapter.

Cultivation, harvest and processing of the ginseng root:

Growing ginseng is very time-consuming. The seed takes two years to germinate and the plant is cared for very intensively. A Korean proverb says: "Ginseng wants to hear the farmer's steps all the time." This should make it clear how much effort goes into growing it.

After the harvest, the soil needs about ten years of rest before new ginseng can be planted in the earth, because it does not contain enough nutrients before the ten years have elapsed, so that the young plant would die prematurely. Soils rich in potassium are best suited for cultivation at an altitude of 400-700 meters.
Temperatures between 20 and 25 ° C in summer and between 1 and 14 ° C in winter are ideal. Even small amounts of snow cannot harm the plant.
Ginseng is planted in autumn and must be protected from excessive solar radiation, because wild ginseng only grows in shady places in the forest. Ginseng farmers often use straw mats for protection. A small amount of sunlight is essential for growth, but with too much or no light the plant would die. The ginseng plant grows up to 80 cm high and has hand-shaped leaves on the stem.

Ginseng seedlings
Ginseng shading
Ginseng field

One should also pay attention to the correct irrigation; Avoid waterlogging and dry periods at all costs.
The red or yellow-white flowers of the plant carry the seeds for the next sowing. These seeds are surrounded by pulp that must be removed before sowing. The cylindrical root forms numerous secondary branches and the inside of the root is cream-colored. The valuable roots can be harvested four years after germination. In total, it takes about six years to harvest; an early harvest can result in a considerable decrease in quality. However, the farmers have now learned a few tricks to promote ripening and shorten it by two years. First, the seeds are soaked in moist sand before sowing. The shell breaks open more easily and germination takes place earlier. In addition, the earth is exchanged in order to avoid the ten-year rest period. However, whether the quality of the ginseng root suffers as a result is controversial.
After the harvest, the roots are cleaned with clear water and prepared for drying. The ginseng root has a water content of more than 70%. Drying in ovens or freeze dryers prevents the valuable power root from spoiling.
The dried root is then processed into powder or extract, but often simply into cubes or slices.

Ginseng - dosage form and use:

The ginseng root has a very high water content, which is why the root spoils quickly after harvest. So it is usually offered in dried form. However, there are completely different forms of administration: powder, capsules, (chewable) tablets, granules, tea, tonic (schnapps) or in their natural form. The most common type is probably ginseng powder and the dried root.
Ginseng smells of horseradish, sometimes also of liquorice and tastes bitter at first, but then a sweetish taste develops.
The root can be used in various ways and used in the kitchen. Ginseng is particularly suitable as a spice for salads or vegetables. The root is also very popular as a tea. To do this, you can crush the powder or the dried root, pour boiling water over it and let it steep for a few minutes.

Ginseng root and ginseng capsules

Which ingredients can be found in ginseng and how do they work ?:

The ginseng plant contains many different substances, the most important of which are the ginsenosides. Further information on this can be found in the following chapter.
In addition to the ginsenosides, minerals and trace elements, essential oils and vitamins have also been detected. Essential fatty and amino acids are also not missing and contribute to a real nutrient bomb. 'Essential' means that the body cannot produce these substances itself, or cannot produce them completely, and we therefore have to take them in with our food. Amino acids are building blocks of proteins and therefore indispensable for the muscles.
Important minerals such as zinc and iron are also vital and contained in ginseng in a non-negligible amount.

Ginsenosides - the weapons of the ginseng root:

Ginsenosides are saponins from the ginseng root. They are also known as panaxosides and are used by the plant as a passive defense against fungi and insect pests.
There are three groups of panaxosides:
• Panaxdiole
• Panaxtriole
• Oleanolic acids

Further link to ginsenosides >>>

The therapeutic potential of ginseng has been intensively studied. The ginsenosides it contains are the active components of the ginseng root and are said to be involved in many physiological processes and their optimization. Ginsenosides bind to typical nerve receptors and since they are very similar in their composition to the body's own substances, their effect is based on the “key and lock principle”. About 30 ginsenosides have now been identified. The composition and quality of the ginsenosides are influenced by various factors; for example by the age of the plant, the species and the harvest time.
Studies show that ginseng, or ginsenosides, can promote the body's defenses against stress. The immune system should also be strengthened; this is also said to be attributed to the ginsenosides.
Humans can use the ginsenosides for their own health. Because not only the stress resistance is promoted, blood pressure can also be regulated, as well as the metabolism and the immune system.

Every year again - The Ginseng Festival:

For more than thirty years, the Ginseng Festival of the city of Geumsan has been held annually at harvest time in Chungcheongnam-do, a province in South Korea. The aim here is to present and highlight the benefits and healing effects that ginseng has to offer.
Most of the ginseng plants from South Korea are grown and processed in Chungcheongnam-do. But the market for other medicinal herbs is also one of the largest in the country.
At the ginseng festival, a wide variety of program items related to the power root are offered; there are seminars on the healing effects of ginseng, a pavilion in which a wide variety of ginseng products are offered, as well as several trade fairs for the international ginseng trade. But traditional folk games, singing and dance performances are also worth seeing. Even a cooking competition and a quiz are offered at the popular festival. And most important of all: the ginseng farmers in the region proudly present their harvest after six years. There is no age limit for this festival, so people of all ages can meet here and have fun.

A short video overview of the festival can be found below. Unfortunately the video is only available in English.

Studies on the effect of ginseng:

Asthmatic diseases:

Much of the research is done in the field of asthmatic diseases. The current therapeutic measures are effective and help reduce airway inflammation, but the structural changes in the mucous membrane tissue that the disease brings with it in the long term do not prevent it.
This study aims to determine the effectiveness of ginseng (given orally) in laboratory mice with chronic asthma. For this purpose, the laboratory mice were orally administered a precisely defined amount of ginseng over a certain period of time.

Link to the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18611306

The mice were divided into four groups: ginseng, placebo, control group and dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory agent that has a depressant effect on the immune system. For a proper evaluation, the pathologically altered lung tissue was examined with light and electron microscopes.
Compared with the placebo group, the mice given ginseng showed a reduction in structural changes in the airways.
However, this study has not yet been carried out on the human organism, which is why 100% transferability of these results to humans cannot be guaranteed. Nevertheless, this scientific finding is an enormous advance in asthma therapy and stimulates further research.

Ginseng and the mental performance:

A study by the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit at the University of Newcastle was able to show that even a single intake of ginseng can increase mental performance.

Link to the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12020739

Twenty students were given a defined amount of ginseng, gingko, a combination preparation or a placebo over a certain period of time. Memory tests were then carried out. The results not only brought about the increased memory performance, but also mental speed.
Another study by this research facility, in which the thirty test subjects were given 200 mg of ginseng each, was also able to demonstrate an improvement in cognitive abilities.

Link to the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15982990

But the mental exhaustion was also significantly lower, which is justified by the regulation of the blood sugar level.
Researchers examined this effect in another study and were able to prove that ginseng can lower the glucose level in the blood and thus also have a positive effect on diabetes.

Link to the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25265315

But ginseng is also said to be a miracle cure for stress. Stress arises from the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, as well as the release of cortisol. Normally this body reaction is regulated, but if this ability to regulate is disturbed, the body is permanently in a stress reaction, which can ultimately lead to chronic stress. Here, ginseng provides the necessary balance and supports the human organism in being able to better adapt to harmful stimuli and influences (noxae).

Further link >>>>

Take home massage:

The studies presented here support and reinforce each other's results. In summary, one can say that ginseng can possibly promote concentration and make us more resistant to stress. The second point in particular is very important and is therefore the focus of further research, because chronic stress makes people sick. Unfortunately, nowadays it is completely normal for us to experience stress all day. Most of the time before work we rush through the rush hour traffic and arrive at work annoyed by slow traffic and traffic jams. Here, too, people are often stressed, because constant pressure to perform and competitiveness often demand more than we can achieve. After a stressful day at work, once again stuck in rush hour traffic, we still cannot switch off and finally arriving home, it is often too late to allow the body enough rest and relaxation phases.
Enjoying a ginseng tea can help us, even if only to a small extent, to react more calmly to all these influences and to reduce stress.