Ginseng falls into the category of herbal supplements called 'adaptogens', which are supposed to help the body adapt to higher levels of stress. Ginseng is extremely popular in the health market and has been used for years. There is no research to say it does anything, but some people swear by it. I, however, remain sceptical and wouldn't recommend it.
There are different varieties:
♦ Indian Ginseng - (ashwagandha) - has been used as a 'vitaliser', and supposedly helps symptoms of various diseases.
♦ American Ginseng - (Panax quinquefolius) - was used by Red Indian tribes as a treatment for minor ailments and as an aphrodisiac. It does work as an effective laxative.
♦ Korean Ginseng - (Panax ginseng) - thought to improve performance, stamina and concentration.
♦ Siberian Ginseng - (Eleutherococcus senticosus) - is very popular, and is claimed to be an immunostimulator, amongst other effects
The problem is there needs to be controlled unbiased research into ginseng's actions. I cannot see how it works, as there is no hypothesis, let alone if it actually does work.
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