Ginseng – The God in Chinese Medicine

Ginseng, with the scientific name of Panax ginseng C. A. Mey, is a perennial herb, prefers a shady and cool environment. As its leaves do not have stomata and palisade tissue, it cannot retain moisture.  When the temperature is higher than 32 degrees, its leaves will be damage by the heat.  It usually starts flowering in 3rd year, bearing fruit in year 5 or year 6.  Flowering usually in the month of May and June while fruiting period from June to September. Ginseng is grown in few hundreds meter of highlands within the 33 degrees north and 48 degrees north latitude , which is located in Northeast of China, Korea, Japan and east of Russia. Ginseng also has been called as Yellow ginseng, goblin, God grass, king of all herbs.

In China, ginseng has always been regarded as the king of thousands of herbs. In the west, it is called PANAX C.A. MEYER GINSENG ginseng, “PANAX” comes from the Greek, meaning “cure hundreds of diseases”.

The geologists and paleontologists infer that ginseng is the oldest relic plants on the earth. On the earth, the angiosperm flourished in the third period which is between 65 million years and 1 million 800 thousand years ago.  It was widely distributed between 33-48 degrees north latitude.

China is the first country to use ginseng and record the ginseng in the world.  Oracle bone inscriptions began in Shang Yin period, with a history of more than 3500 years. 3500 years ago, it has created and recorded “Shen” word in the inscription, which represent ginseng.

The fleshy root of ginseng is famous as a strong and nourishing tonic. It is suitable for regulating blood pressure, restoring heart function, neurasthenia and weakness. It also has the effect of expelling phlegm, invigorating stomach, diuresis and many other effect.

Ginseng can be divided into 3 major types by 3 different geographical location.  The locations are United States, Northeast of China and Korea ginseng. Although they are the same species, due to slight different in climate, soil, and location, they all have different effects and different medical values.

The major uses of ginseng are as below:

  1. For emergency use – with high doses of ginseng, it can save a heart patients from cardiogenic shock.
  2. Treatment of cardiovascular diseases – regular intake of can help to relieve symptoms of cardiovascular diseases.
  3. Diseases of the stomach and liver – though it does not neutralize the gastric acid, it still able to relief the pain and increase the appetite and help in digestion. It also help to prevent the formation of chronic hepatitis.
  4. Treatment of diabetes – though it does directly reduce the blood sugar level.  Ginseng does help to regulate and improve patient’s body condition to be able recover from damages incurred by diabetic disease.  Certain patients are able to be less dependent from insulin after taking ginseng.
  5. for mental illness – Ginseng seems to have therapeutic effects on both impotent and impotent depressive psychosis, regardless of its etiology (schizophrenia, poisoning, psychosis caused by infectious diseases, degenerative psychosis, etc.). It is also believed that ginseng can only improve the general subjective symptoms of patients with organic neuropathy, but there is no objective obvious therapeutic effect.
  6. Treatment of neurasthenia – Ginseng has a significant excitatory effect on the nervous system, can improve the muscle tone the body, reduce fatigue; eliminate or reduce systemic weakness, headache, insomnia and other symptoms, even for different types of neurasthenia.
  7. Treatment of impotence – it is proven to be effective for paralysis and premature ejaculation type impotence but not for mental type.
  8. Ginseng also able to improve eyesight and enhance visual dark adaptation.
  9. Combined with other drugs, can also treat a variety of diseases.