For centuries, ginseng root extract has been used in traditional Chinese and Korean medicine to promote wellbeing and vitality. Ginseng is an herbal adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to physical and mental stress. The health benefits of ginseng root extract come from a group of plant chemicals known as ginsenosides. Modern studies show ginseng root extract has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties.
Ginseng root extract comes from two main species of the plant: American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). The roots have been harvested for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Today, ginseng root extract is commonly available as a dietary supplement in pill, liquid, and powder forms.
The major health benefits of ginseng root extract include:
• Enhanced Energy – Ginseng root extract can help improve energy levels and stamina. Studies show it may reduce fatigue and feelings of exhaustion. The ginsenosides in ginseng root extract are thought to stimulate the central nervous system and increase mental alertness.
• Improved Cognitive Function – Preliminary research suggests ginseng root extract may help enhance memory, concentration, and other cognitive abilities. Ginseng’s antioxidant properties help protect brain cells from damage that can lead to cognitive decline as we age.
• Antioxidant Effects – Ginseng root extract is high in polyphenols and antioxidant compounds like ginsenosides. As an antioxidant, ginseng fights free radicals and may help lower oxidative stress throughout the body which contributes to aging and disease.
• Potential Anticancer Effects -Some studies show ginseng root extract may help prevent certain types of cancers, especially cancers of the lung, stomach, skin, and breasts. However, more conclusive research is needed. Ginseng’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties likely contribute to its potential anticancer effects.
• Heart Health Benefits – Ginseng root extract may help improve cardiovascular health in a few ways. It has blood pressure lowering effects for those with mild hypertension. Ginseng may also reduce unhealthy LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.Ginseng’s anti-inflammatory effects also benefit heart health.
• Blood Sugar Regulation – Ginsengs root extract appears to improve insulin sensitivity and enhance the effects of insulin in the body. Some studies found that ginseng helped lower blood sugar levels, especially after meals. This makes ginseng an attractive supplement for individuals with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
• Improved Mood – Ginseng root extracts may provide some benefits for mood and wellbeing. Preliminary studies show it improves feelings of calmness, contentedness, and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety for some individuals. More high-quality research is needed to confirm these effects.
long-term human clinical trials are needed to prove efficacy of ginseng root extracts
While the benefits of ginseng root extracts seem promising, most of the research on ginseng uses animal studies, test tube studies or small short-term human studies. More large, long-term human clinical trials are needed to prove the medicinal efficacy of ginseng root extracts and how it impacts health outcomes. Also, not all studies show beneficial effects, so more conclusive research is warranted.
In summary, ginseng root extracts are a widely used herbal supplement with various potential health benefits. More research is needed to validate these benefits and determine optimal doses for specific health conditions. For now, short-term use of ginseng root extracts are as considered safe for most adults when taken as directed. However, consult a healthcare practitioner before taking ginseng supplements, especially if you have a medical condition or take prescription medications.