Benefits of Panax Ginseng
Although Panax ginseng is claimed to be beneficial for a wide variety of uses, some of these uses are more valid than others. The herbal supplement is believed to be beneficial for improving overall health and well-being, stimulating the immune system, and increasing resistance to stress. However, more research is needed to evaluate these potential benefits.
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Panax ginseng is an herbal supplement derived from the roots of the ginseng plant. The term "ginseng" usually refers to Panax ginseng (also known as Asian ginseng, Chinese ginseng, or Korean ginseng). This type of ginseng should not be confused with American ginseng or Siberian ginseng, which have different medicinal properties.
People claim that Panax ginseng is beneficial for various general uses, such as:
- Increasing resistance to stress (including physical and emotional stress)
- Stimulating the immune system
- Improving overall mental health and functioning (including improving memory)
- Improving overall health and well-being
- Slowing the aging process.
Panax ginseng is also claimed to be beneficial for treating a variety of specific conditions, such as:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Chronic bronchitis
- Lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction, or ED)
- Male infertility
- Menopausal hot flashes.
Some of these purported benefits are more valid than others (see Does Ginseng Work? for more information). As with many supplements, claims for the benefits of Panax ginseng are often exaggerated, and these claims must be evaluated critically.
Most importantly, it is essential to remember that natural products should not be used carelessly, as many can be quite toxic (for instance, many poisons are natural products). Panax ginseng can cause serious side effects, especially if taken inappropriately (see Panax Ginseng Side Effects for more information).
Panax ginseng is often claimed to be an "adaptogen." Although this term sounds scientific, it is not a medical term. Herbalists use this word to describe herbs that are purported to increase the body's resistance to physical or emotional stresses.