Ginseng - Panax Ginseng

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This Ginseng (Panax ginseng) monograph is an excerpt from the 1999, first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA. The expanded 3rd edition materia medica, and additional herbal tidbits are also available as a kindle ebook at Amazon and details on this e-book are here.

Ginseng - Panax quinquefolius (American) & Panax ginseng (Asian) in the Araliaceae or Ginseng family

Parts used: Root.

Taste/smell: Sweet with a slight bitterness.

Tendencies: American ginseng is cooling and slightly moistening while the Asian ginseng is warming due to the processing of the herb.

Dosage: Infusion: 1 teaspoon per cup of water, infused 25-30 minutes; or 1:1 fresh or 1:4 dry liquid extract: 20-60 drops 1-4 times per day in a little water.

Mental picture and specific indications: Ginseng is indicated for "adrenal burnout" with mental, nervous, emotional and physical exhaustion. The individual cannot adapt to stressful situations. Dry mucous membranes, hypotension and low blood sugar are often part of the symptoms.

Use: (a) Adaptogen, (b) General tonic, (c) Antitumor, (d) Antiviral, (e) Antioxidant, (g) Hepatoprotective, (h) Antispasmodic, (i) Anti-inflammatory, (j) Anti-ulcer, (k) Analgesic, (l) Supports the nervous system, (m) Supports the endocrine system, (n) Antifatigue activity, (o) Enhances endurance, (p) Blood sugar balancing activity, (q) Reduces LDL while raising HDL cholesterol, (r) Enhances metabolic activity in the brain, (s) Stimulates the pituitary secretion of adreno-corticotropic hormone, (t) Enhances production of interferon, (u) Minimizes cell damage from radiation, (v) Enhances the recovery process after radiation exposure.

Ginseng and other herbs in the Araliaceae family are used as adaptogens to assist our bodies’ innate ability to adapt to environmental influences and decrease susceptibility to illness. As with all adaptogens, they are usually used over time rather than in acute situations. Additionally, as with other adaptogens, this herb supports multiple body systems.

Ginseng is used to enhance stamina and memory, increase appetite, treat anemia, general weakness, nervous agitation, forgetfulness and impotence. Research shows possible protection from cerebral ischemia as well as treatment benefits for cerebral ischemia. Panax ginseng has been shown to be hypoglycemic by acting on the pancreas to enhance secretion of insulin and increasing cellular sensitivity to insulin. Panax ginseng has been found to be useful in treating the adverse actions of morphine. It has also been shown to bind to progestin, mineralcorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors.

Contraindications: Concurrent use with the drug phenelzine has resulted in manic-like symptoms. Ginseng Abuse Syndrome is a condition resulting from a combination of a large dose of Asian ginseng (up to 15 grams a day) and a lot of caffeine (coffee). This syndrome was first reported by Siegel in 1979 and is characterized by elevated blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, skin rashes and diarrhea in 10% of the 133 ginseng users in his study. Asian ginseng has had problems with high levels of fungicides and pesticides.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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