Ginseng has long been one of the foundations of healing in Chinese medicine, and is probably the world’s best known herb. The botanical name panax means ‘all curing’ in Greek.
Since the very beginning of herbalism in Asia, Ginseng has been revered as the ultimate herb. It has, since deep antiquity, been recognized as a tonic herb that promotes health, longevity, mental and sexual health, and physical vigor. Of course, thousands, or even just hundreds of years ago, Ginseng was primarily available only to those who found it growing wild in the pristine forests of Northeast China and other areas where related varieties grew. Cultivation developed only in recent history, but since that time, Ginseng has become one of the biggest natural commodities in the world.
Genuine, high grade Ginseng helps a person to quickly and accurately adapt to stressful conditions. Ginseng enhances endurance and resilience under stressful conditions. It has been shown to reduce the wear and tear on the body that results from stress, and can reduce the negative effects of stress physically, emotionally and mentally. It has thus been termed an “adaptogenic” substance by scientific researchers, a substance that acts to bring some factor or measurement back to normal. Russian scientists who were studying ginseng discovered this characteristic in the 1950s. They were astonished to find that if a person’s blood pressure was low, ginseng would help to raise it; conversely, if the blood pressure was high, ginseng helped to lower it.
The major active components of ginseng are ginsenosides, a diverse group of steroidal saponins, which demonstrate the ability to target a myriad of tissues, producing an array of pharmacological responses.
Panax Ginseng is also used to tonify digestive and respiratory functions. The benefits of Panax Ginseng as an immune modulator have long been known, but recent scientific research is showing that high quality Panax Ginseng has very powerful immunological functions in humans.
Ginseng contains many active ingredients, but the most important are the saponins called ginsenosides. Ginsenosides specifically improve adaptability and are believed to help build muscle and endurance. Therefore Ginseng is very popular with athletes.
Many men who have taken ginseng reported an increase in testicle size and a feeling of rejuvenation of the sexual organs.
American ginseng may reduce fatigue and increase overall psychological well-being in cancer patients, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, N.Y., and presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Researchers treated 282 cancer patients with a daily dose of either a placebo or of 750, 1,000 or 2,000 milligrams of Wisconsin ginseng. They found that treatment with the placebo or the 750-mg dose caused very little improvement in measures of fatigue or physical or psychological well-being. Treatment with the higher doses, however, led to an improvement in overall energy and vitality levels, a decrease in fatigue and an improvement in overall emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
Extreme fatigue is a common symptom among cancer patients, one that often cannot be remedied by increased rest or sleep.
The list of studies showing Ginseng’s benefits to the brain are almost endless. Here is just a partial list of remarkable results such as “better and faster simple reactions and abstract thinking” , “improvement in certain psychomotor functions (i.e., better attention, processing, and auditory reaction time) and social functioning, and mental health” . In addition Ginseng has improved mood and well-being , memory and accuracy , working memory, mood and social relations . One way that Ginseng does its neuronal magic is by boosting the uptake of choline, the memory neurotransmitter that apple juice also increases. 
American Ginseng is a Yin tonic and is cool in nature. This is in contrast to Asian Ginseng that is a Yang tonic that is generally warm, or even hot in nature. American Ginseng is thus useful for people who are hot but wish to take Ginseng. In other words, people who tend to have lots of energy, high metabolisms, are aggressive, have high blood pressure, have ruddy complexions, etc. can take American Ginseng for its adaptogenic benefits without fear of overheating.
only use high quality ginseng from 10+ year-old roots
Most of the bad rep associated from ginseng is because of the use of very young roots, less that 10 years old, which have an overly stimulating effect.
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When people like Ron Teeguarden go to shop for wild ginseng roots, they look at all the different roots. They’ll hand pick out the ones that look the gnarliest. The ones that had to endure the most suffering in order to grow because the plant summons more chi from heaven and earth, according to the Chinese belief, and it uses it in order to adapt to the harshness of its environment to survive. It gathers more yi, more chi; the spirit of the plant is stronger.
Wild ginseng is what inspired me to finish writing this book. For two years before the release of this book, it was nearly complete yet I never was able to fully complete it and release it. It wasn’t until I fasted on wild ginseng for a whole day that I realized that completing this book is my life’s calling, and that I needed to finish it as soon as possible. Shortly after that, the book was completed and published.
Certainly throughout the long history of Chinese herbalism, ginseng is probably the most recognized herb.
the first mention of ginseng in text in China appeared in the great herbal treatise called Shen Nong’s Bencao Jing, and that was about 3500 B.C., and emperor Shen Nong—this is the guy that is said to have started herbal medicine, and he did this by testing herbs himself for a very, very long time. So basically, since that time when ginseng was mentioned in that treatise it has really become very, very popular and certainly starting out in China. But now, this is an herb that is literally popular throughout the whole world.
the Asian ginseng which is what most people are familiar with really has more of the ingredient that is more stimulating, and the American ginseng is the species of ginseng that has more of the calming chemical aspect to it.
So it is called—the botanical name is called Panax ginseng, and that name alone is a real tip off because it comes from the Greek from “pan” which means “all” and “axos” which means “cure.” So they named this the cure-all herb.
Now the two channels in the body that this herb enters are the lung and the spleen,. Now in traditional Chinese medicine, the energy that you create on a day-to-day basis that your body needs to function is created from the spleen and the lung working together. So the food that you eat and the air that you breathe is the system that creates the energy that you need on a day-to-day basis.
One of the great studies that was actually done with ginseng had to do with the central nervous system, and it had to do—this also has to do with its adaptogenic qualities and it has to do with the fight or flight syndrome or the reaction to stress. So because of its dual function of stimulation and inhibition, ginseng provides an adaptogenic effect for the body under various environmental stresses and one of the ways that it does that is in its regulation of ACTH, the cortico stimulating hormone—the adrenals. The one that signals the adrenals to start pumping adrenaline into the blood. And one of the things that ginseng does is it actually targets the pituitary gland which is of course the master control gland for the whole endocrine system. So one of the great things that ginseng absolutely does is it allows the organism to deal with any kind of stress that may be arising. And it does this by—I think some of the chemical compositions will actually occupy the receptor sites for the ACTH, so that the adrenals will not have to produce as much adrenalin. In a case like when you’re dealing with stress, you’re going to be very, very aware of the stress but you’re not going to be reacting to it exactly the same way as someone who had not taken ginseng for instance. You’re going to be able to react more appropriately, more out of being proactive and rather than coming from a fear. That’s a study that has been done scientifically. So it’s amazing for the central nervous system in that case.
Another thing is with cognition. A lot of studies have been done that moderate doses of ginseng have a marked effect in improving memory and learning ability, and this happens very shortly after the intake of ginseng, maybe within 20 to 30 minutes. They tested people with a memory test, and literally 20 minutes later they perform higher on that test than they did before they were actually dosed with the ginseng. So that’s a very fast effect that it has there.
American ginseng which is not called Panax ginseng. It’s called Panax quinquefolius, and that’s specific certainly to North America. And the reason that American ginseng is prized so much is because it has much less of that stimulating aspect to it and more of the calming aspect and it’s a cool nature instead of being slightly warm.
especially the Korean red which is really world-famous. What they do with the Korean red ginseng is they actually steam it and they steam it with a real ancient recipe that they have used for literally hundreds and hundreds of years and that really turns that ginseng into a hot ginseng.
wild ginseng which is certainly becoming rare nowadays that really has a spirit or a shen to it that is incredibly strong because most of those roots are anywhere from 50 years old upwards to 150 years old. And remember when I was talking about what they believed about the man root that it actually matures in 300 years. You don’t really see that many 300-year-old roots, but that whole aspect of the shen quality that the root starts to exhibit as it ages, as it gets older, it’s almost like the wisdom of the root really starts to come through. And that’s the main difference between a cultivated ginseng and a wild ginseng. It’s not that the cultivated ginsengs are bad roots or that they’re really inferior; they’re not. They’re really good, great cultivated roots. They just don’t have the shen quality that the old wild roots have. They have all of the physical kind of energy to it, but the shen is not quite the same as in the really, really old roots
: you do not have to take a lot of this herb for it to really do what it needs to do. You can take really moderate doses of ginseng, but it should be taken over a long period of time. You can take ginseng for years and it does have that cumulative benefit effect on the body.
you leave it in the mouth and of course it will start to absorb right into the mucosal linings of the mouth.
it’s not like it takes you over into this agitated kind of energy that people get when they do coffee or caffeine where the adrenals are being stressed because they’re pumping adrenaline into the system. Ginseng just doesn’t do that. It just gives you this great feeling of this calm energy and you can just get through anything that you need to get through.
Ginseng, for example, was described in an ancient Buddhist text as being capable of hastening the burning up of Karma.