Botanical Name: Panax ginseng (radix ginseng not to be confused with Korean, American and Siberian ginsengs which while similar have their own unique characteristics and functions).
One of the world’s oldest and most famous herbs. It is a tonic herb that Chinese Taoists say has the strongest ability to absorb strength from the earth making it The King Herb for tonifying Qi or Lifeforce.
Below is an overview of Ginseng, combining and interpreting the best of Western science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), shamanism, folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Ginseng.
Western Name: Ginseng
Also Known As: N/A
Organs/Systems: Immune System, Endocrine System, Cardiovascular System, Nervous System
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Adaptaogen, herpes, chronic fatigue, wasting syndrome, AIDs, diabetes, supports cardiovascular system, endocrine tonic, central nervous system tonic, cancer recovery, support endocrine system, calm central nervous system, and an excellent general tonic.
Pin Yin: Ginseng
Also Known As: “Man Root” and “King of Herbs”
Meridians: Lung and Spleen
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Tonify Qi: King Herb for this function: for extreme collapse of qi, shortness of breath, cold limbs, profuse sweating, weak pulse. Replace lost qi to the meridians and organs. Strengthen Spleen and Tonify Stomach: lack of appetite, wasting and thirsting disorder, chronic diarrhea, and prolapse of stomach, uterus or rectum. Generate fluids and stop thirst. Benefit Heart Qi and Calm Spirit: palpations, insomnia, forgetfulness and restlessness due to qi and blood deficiency.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Root.
Flavors: Sweet, Slightly Bitter, Slightly Warm.
Caution: Very low toxicity. Considered one of the safest Tonic herbs. Shown to have adverse drug reactions with pheneizine and warfarin. Contraindicated for liver yang rising and high blood pressure (systolic over 180mmHg).
History/Folklore: In first Materia Medica (over 2000 years old) Shen Nung said of Ginseng, “Ginseng is a tonic to the five viscera, quieting animal spirits, stabilizing the soul, preventing fear, expelling the vicious energies, brightening the eye and improving vision, opening the heart benefiting the understanding, and if taken for some time will invigorate the body and prolong life.” In Chinese ren means “person” and shen means “plant root” referring to characteristic shape of the roots as resembling the legs of a person. Taoists say it has the strongest ability of any herb to absorb the energy from the earth.
Ginsenosides, panaxatriol, panaxodiol, other panoxisides, panoquilon, panaxin, gensenin, Panaenic acid, panose, glucose, fructose, maltose, sucrose, nicotinic acid, riboflavin, thiamine.
A Woody Root
Siberian ginseng’s active compound is eleutherosides not ginsenosides. So instead of a fleshy root has a woody root.
Saponins assist blood sugar levels, making ginseng something like insulin.
Panaxin is a general endocrine tonic.
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