(Panax ginseng)

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Ginseng Articles

Adaptogenic Herbs: Nature's Solution To Stress
Nutrition Science News

An adaptogenic substance is one that demonstrates a nonspecific enhancement of the body's ability to resist a stressor. The term was first introduced in 1947 by Russian scientist N.V. Lazarev to describe the unique action of a material claimed to increase nonspecific resistance of an organism to an adverse influence. In 1958, I.I. Brekhman, a Russian holistic medical doctor, and his colleague I.V. Dardymov, established the following definition of an adaptogen: It "must be innocuous and cause minimal disorders in the physiological functions of an organism, it must have a nonspecific action, and it usually has a normalizing action irrespective of the direction of the pathological state." [1]

If Pregnant, Be Cautious About Ginseng
Delicious Living (April 2004)

Ginseng, one of the most frequently used herbal supplements in America, is often touted for its health-promoting qualities. It increases stamina, improves stress tolerance, helps treat mild diabetes, and wards off certain infections. But if you're pregnant, you may be wise to avoid the beneficial herb, according to a new study published in the medical journal Human Reproduction (2003, vol. 18, no. 10).

Ginseng Helps Regulate Blood Glucose
Nutrition Science News (Spring 2002)

Practitioners of Eastern medicine have long revered ginseng (Panax spp.) as an effective treatment for numerous health conditions. Western researchers are beginning to unravel the specific benefits of the herb, including new findings that show American ginseng (P. quinquefolius) to be an effective blood-glucose modulator. Researchers have suggested that ginseng exhibits a hypoglycemic effect in animals, 1,2 and new human trials are validating the claim.


Ginseng Abstracts

Antioxidant Effects of Panax Ginseng in Healthy Subjects:
A Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial

Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 (Sep); 49 (9): 2229–2235

This study investigated the antioxidant effects of panax ginseng in healthy adults. The randomized, placebo-controlled trial included 82 participants who were randomly divided into one of three groups. One group received 1 gram per day of panax ginseng, the second group received 2 grams of panax ginseng per day and the third group received placebo for a total of four weeks. Researchers measured levels of antioxidant defense mechanisms in all of the participants. The results revealed that panax ginseng was shown to have antioxidant properties that helped improve antioxidant defense mechanisms in healthy adults.

Panax Ginseng Monograph
Alternative Medicine Review 2009 (Jun); 14 (2): 172–176 ~ FULL TEXT

Panax ginseng, used medicinally for thousands of years in China, Korea, and Japan, is well known as an adaptogen and a restorative tonic that is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Westerrn herbal preparations. Eclectic uses for Panax ginseng include fatigue, infertility, liver disease, amnesia, colds, menopause, and erectile dysfunction.

Cancer Prevention and Therapeutics: Panax Ginseng   PDF
Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Sep); 9 (3): 259–274 ~ FULL TEXT

Panax ginseng has been used as a medicinal plant in China for thousands of years. Current use in Western countries has been diverse, with focused research on cancer therapeutics. P. ginseng apparently mitigates cancer through anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and apoptotic mechanisms to influence gene expression. Additional mechanisms of investigation include influence on neurotransmission and immunosurveillance. Low toxicity and positive studies in concomitant use with other chemotherapeutic agents is promising. Although there is no conclusive evidence of P. ginseng curing cancer, research has continually found tumor inhibition, especially in the promotion and progression phases.

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