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Korean Ginseng

Korean Ginseng

Panax ginseng

What is korean ginseng?

Korean ginseng is a deciduous perennial herb that reaches a height of 60 to 80 cm, with typical light colored fleshy root. The taste of the Korean ginseng root is sweetish at first but with a bitter aftertaste . The leaves are dark green colored and oval shaped. Each leave consists of five leaflets, the three terminal leaflets are larger than the two lateral ones. The ginseng stem is erect and deep red colored. Korean ginseng gives small red berries.
Korean ginseng grows on moist and shaded mountainsides in China, Korea and Russia. The root is long and slender and sometimes resembles the shape of the human body. In China, the ginseng roots are called Jin-chen, meaning like a man.
The total ginsenoside content of a 6 year old root varies between 0.7 and 3%.

Parts used

Only the ginseng root is used. Korean ginseng is available as powder of the whole root, as cut and dried roots and as liquid or powder extracts.

Phytochemicals

These are typical phytochemicals found in korean ginseng: panaxans, ginsenosides, saponins, vanillic acid, salicylates.

Benefits of korean ginseng

The main active ingredients of Korean ginseng are ginsenosides. These steroid-like phytochemicals have adaptogenic properties, which give ginseng property to counter the effects of stress. The glycosides act on the adrenal glands, helping to prevent adrenal hypertrophy and excess corticosteroid production in response to stress. Ginsenosides increase protein synthesis and activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. Ginseng stimulates the formation of blood vessel and improves blood circulation in the brains, thereby improving memory and cognitive abilities. Ginseng is also used for diabetes, migraine, infections, radiation and chemotherapy protection, to aid in sleep, and to stimulate the appetite.
Korean ginseng contains steroids such as panaxtriol. The steroids are remarkably similar in structure to anabolic steroids found naturally in our body. This makes Korean ginseng ideal for athletes and body builders looking for a natural alternative to anabolic steroid. Korean ginseng is also used by women for treatment of post menopausal symptoms.

Other facts

The word panax is derived from the Greek word panacea, which means all healing. In China, ginseng is the most used herb, where it has been used for more than 7000 years. Also in the Western world people are convinced of health benefits of ginseng.
In China, the Korean ginseng roots are called Jin-chen, meaning like a man as they resemble the same shape our body. The ginseng plant can live for over 100 years.

Other names

Ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Asiatic ginger, Chinese ginseng, Shen Tsao

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