Have a Stress-Free Day With Ginseng
Stress happens to everyone. It is your body’s way of responding to pressure, threats, and situations that you do not feel you can control or manage. It can be physical or psychological and can make you feel angry, nervous, anxious, or frustrated. It can be helpful in certain cases, such as when it motivates you to work harder to meet deadlines or when it pushes you to think on your feet to avoid dangers. However, if it persists for a very long time, it can negatively impact your lifestyle and health.
To treat stress, one option you can try is taking ginseng. For centuries now, this short, perennial herb has been a key part of traditional Chinese medicine and has also been used for its health benefits in some parts of North America.
If you want to learn more about how ginseng can help with stress, below is some key information for you.
Getting to know ginseng
Ginseng is a popular herbal medicine that has a long history of being used to treat a range of health problems across Asia and North America. It has several varieties, but the two main types are Panax or Asian ginseng and American or Wisconsin ginseng.
Panax ginseng, which is also known as Korean ginseng, grows in Korea, China, and Siberia. It is loaded with active chemical components that are believed to help enhance the body’s ability to combat stressors.
American ginseng, which is also called Panax quinquefolius, is primarily cultivated in the North American region in and around Wisconsin. Because of a high demand for it, it is categorized as an endangered species. It also contains several natural active substances that may be helpful in boosting the body’s resistance to stressors and treating many other health issues.
The link between ginseng and stress
One of the often-mentioned health benefits of ginseng is its ability to minimize the effects of stress. Through the years, various studies have been done to find out how this herb can be useful in lowering stress levels and improving overall health.
- There was a study that found that ginseng may be able to influence the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis, which is a series of endocrine networks and pathways that run through the brain, stress hormones, adrenal glands, and nervous system. A highly reactive HPA means a high risk of panic, fatigue, and exhaustion. By taking ginseng, the HPA axis may be rebalanced and stabilized to prevent it from breaking down completely.
- There was a different study that suggested ginseng may be able to reduce stress-linked moodiness. High levels and prolonged stress are associated with irritability, restlessness, and other negative moods. They impact the body’s happiness chemicals and cause you to feel unable to cope. According to the findings, taking ginseng may be effective in treating these stress-related mood changes and support the function and production of the feel-good hormones.
- In a 2019 study, participants with high stress levels were given ginseng or a placebo to take daily for 6 weeks. Results showed that the ginseng group displayed a more stabilized sympathetic nervous system and more enhanced cognition than the placebo group.
- Certain research has also found ginseng to be potentially helpful in the treatment of anxiety and depression. According to the findings, ginseng’s active chemical components may be effective in suppressing stress, which is a leading cause of various mental health issues.
- Another research study suggested that ginseng may be good for the immune system, especially during stressful situations. When exposed to any kind of stress, the body has a higher vulnerability to diseases and illnesses. The person affected may have difficulty sleeping, experience trauma, or suffer from exhaustion. With the help of ginseng, immunity can be improved, reducing the risk of getting ill and feeling stressed out.
Other than stress, ginseng has also shown promise in helping treat various other medical conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, erectile dysfunction, and hepatitis C. However, further research must be done to gain more conclusive evidence.
Different ways to take ginseng
There is a wide variety of ginseng products available these days. Depending on your lifestyle, needs, and preferences, you can choose one that you think will work for you best.
Ginseng tablets, ginseng pills, ginseng capsules – These are taken orally. For best results, you should take your ginseng tablets, ginseng pills, or ginseng capsules every day. The recommended dosage is around 200 milligrams to 3 grams per day.
Ginseng tea – This is a quick and easy way to consume ginseng. To make it, you can use either ginseng powder, dried ginseng root or buy premade American ginseng tea. Start by preparing your favorite tea and then add the ginseng powder, dried ginseng root or the premade tea. Follow the instructions of the recipe you choose and enjoy hot or cold.
Ginseng coffee – This is a healthy way to start your day. To make it, prepare a hot cup of brewed coffee and mix in about 2 grams of ginseng powder. Stir and add a bit of honey for sweetness.
Chicken soup with ginseng – This lets you make your favorite chicken soup not only healthier but also tastier. Start by doing your usual steps to make chicken soup. While the pot is simmering, add whole ginseng roots into the soup and allow it to cook for 2 to 4 hours.
Ginseng chewables – These are a nutritious alternative to tobacco or gum. To make some, steam dried ginseng roots until they are soft. Slice them into small, thin portions and eat them right away or store in an airtight container for later consumption.
Ginseng tincture – This takes your alcohol-drinking experience to a different level. To make it, prepare a large glass container and pour in your favorite alcohol and some dried ginseng root slices. Store this in a dark and cool place, such as a refrigerator, for 2 weeks or more for best results.
Potential side effects of ginseng
A lot of people take ginseng daily without encountering any problems. However, there have been some reports of people experiencing negative side effects after taking it. Even though ginseng is deemed generally safe to consume in moderate amounts, it may cause potential side effects, such as:
- Headaches, dizziness, and nausea
- Increased heart rate
- Insomnia and other sleeping problems
- Diarrhea and other digestive issues
- Changes to the body’s blood glucose and blood pressure levels
It may also cause some more severe reactions, such as vaginal bleeding, inflammation of the liver, anaphylactic allergic reactions, and inflammation of the arteries in the brain.
Taking ginseng with other medications is also not recommended. Especially if you are taking medication for diabetes or depression, immunosuppressants, or warfarin, you should exercise caution and talk to your doctor first before purchasing or using ginseng.
Ginseng is also not recommended for pregnant women. Even though there is not enough conclusive evidence about the risks of taking ginseng while pregnant, certain studies suggest that it may cause harm to the growth and development of the baby in the uterus. It is best to just stay away from it if you are pregnant to be completely safe.