Ginseng – The King of Cold Remedies

Health benefits of Ginseng have been known for thousands of years. Ginseng was mentioned in the very first Chinese book of herbs, where it was recommended for increasing wisdom and enlightening the mind. Traditionally Ginseng has been used as a tonic for the whole body and to cure various health disorders like arthritis, lethargy, impotence and many other conditions.

There are eleven species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots that are known by common name Ginseng. Ginseng plants are found growing in the Northern Hemisphere, typically in cooler climates of North America and eastern Asia. Ginseng is characterized by the presence of ginsenosides, which are the main active components of Ginseng.

Ginseng is known to be a powerful adaptogen, having a capability to increase the body’s resistance against stress, trauma, fatigue and anxiety. Ginseng is very widely used in the treatment of diabetes, high cholesterol levels and cancer. Ginseng is also believed to enhance libido and thus recommended as an aphrodisiac and stimulant. Ginseng is also widely used in cosmetics as it is popular as an anti-aging supplement and said to be effective in preventing some of the major effects of aging.

Above all, Ginseng is proven to be a very effective common cold remedy, perhaps one of the best cold remedies there is. Studies made especially with North American Ginseng have clearly indicated that Ginseng users have lower incidence of colds, fewer instances of multiple colds, less severe symptoms of common cold and fewer days with any experienced cold symptoms. What is remarkable is that studies have shown little or no side effects when Ginseng is applied according the instructions.

Ginseng has also proven its potency against influenza. Two trials that were both published in the Journal of the American Geriatric showed that during influenza season Ginseng user had 89% relative risk reduction of acute respiratory infections.

Ginseng roots are often sold in dried form as whole roots or in slices. You can also find ginseng as herbal tea, tincture, capsules and even as honey.

Ginseng is considered safe when used in correct doses. It is actually believed that only correct ginseng dosages are effective in treating any condition. Prolonged usage, high doses or interaction with other drugs may cause adverse reactions. The most common side effects in these cases include nervousness, nausea, bloating, insomnia and digestive disorders.

It is wise to discuss with your main health care provider before using any herb supplementation such as Ginseng.