Jan 18, 2023
Ginseng - A Promising Agent To Improve General Well-Being
Ginseng is often referred to as the King of all herbs, it is a type of slow-growing perennial plant that belongs to the genus Panax and the family Araliaceae. The genus name ‘Panax’ (which means, ‘all-healing’ in Greek) was coined by the Russian botanist Carl A Meyer in 1843.
The health benefits of ginseng are attributed to the main active components like ginsenosides, alkaloids, polysaccharides, and polypeptides. Ginseng contains some non-saponin components, including essential oils, antioxidants, polyacetylenic alcohols, amino acids, polysaccharides, and peptides.
The root of ginseng is traditionally used as an adaptogen as it can normalize body functions and strengthen systems that are compromised by stress.
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GINSENG CAN IMPROVE ANTIOXIDANT STATUS
The unpaired electrons of reactive oxygen species cause the oxidation of cellular components and lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress affects the pathogenesis of a wide range of diseases, including dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cognitive decline, and heart ailments. Studies have found that ginseng has strong antioxidant properties, enhances the antioxidant defense mechanism, and leads to a significant decrease in levels of serum reactive oxygen species, and malondialdehyde.
Ginseng effectively modulates apoptosis by reducing the excessive inflammatory response or chronic inflammation.
An antioxidant role through stimulation of nitric oxide, Nrf2, and levels of antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase are increased by ginseng.
Ginseng scavenges hydroxyl radicals and protects unsaturated fatty acids from oxidation, which may contribute to stabilizing the structure of the lipid membrane perturbed by the free radical attack.
GINSENG CAN PROTECT AGAINST AGE-RELATED COGNITIVE DECLINE
Cognition refers to the processes involved in the acquisition, processing, storage of information, problem-solving, and communication. There is a progressive decrease of cerebral blood flow with aging, a loss of neural tissue, and a decline in the synthesis of many neurotransmitters. These reductions can slow reaction time, impair information processing, and eventually lead to cognitive decline if cells fail to counteract the oxidative stress.
Ginseng offers protection from neurodegenerative disorders through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Ginseng’s effect on the brain is found to involve monoamine transmission, estrogen signaling, nitric oxide production, and neuroregeneration.
Ginsenosides may regulate blood glucose that can influence cognitive function, increase antioxidative related enzymes, and prevent the age-related decline of cognition and memory.
GINSENG CAN IMPROVE HEART HEALTH
Factors like cigarette smoking, elevated low-density lipoprotein, hypertension lead to cardiovascular disease. Studies indicate the cardioprotective effects of ginseng through antioxidation, vasomotor regulation, improving lipid profile, and vasorelaxation. An inflammatory condition within the arterial wall is created by reactive oxygen species.
Ginseng can address cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, improve arterial stiffness, decrease lipid peroxidation.
Ginseng increases acetylcholine-induced vasorelaxation and blocks endothelial dysfunction induced by homocysteine through the inhibition of reactive oxygen species. Ginseng suppresses oxidative stress induced by ischemia, a major driver of stroke-induced tissue damage.
GINSENG IS A NATURAL REMEDY TO HEALTHY AGING
Aging is an irreversible physiological process in humans that leads to physiological dysfunction and progressive structure modification. Environmental stress, hormonal alterations, metabolism, all lead to accumulative transformation in skin constitution, and appearance. With aging, skin becomes dry, thin, and loses its structural integrity and elasticity. Ginseng can protect against UV-induced skin damage, improve facial wrinkling, increase collagen production, and suppresse UV-induced apoptosis.
Ginseng significantly decreases levels of serum reactive oxygen species while potentiating the total glutathione content and glutathione reductase activity. Ginseng decreases lipid peroxidation, restores antioxidant potential, reduces serum creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen, and increases creatinine clearance. Ginseng revitalizes the function of the body, reduces mental and physical fatigue, strengthens the immune system, increases cortical levels of dopamine, serotonin.
GINSENG COUNTERACTS STRESS & ANXIETY
Modern life involves an excessive amount of brain activity and constant exposure to stress. When our body is subjected to stress, cortisol is secreted to counteract stress and maintain homeostasis. Prolonged cortisol secretion leads to immunosuppression, fatigue, insomnia, and anxiety. Ginseng is an adaptogen which is proven by studies to show superior regulation of stress levels and maintain homeostasis. Ginseng helps combat memory loss, guard age-related memory decline, has neuroprotective properties, improves stamina, concentration, and provides a restorative effect. Ginseng shows superior regulation of stress, helps cope with day-to-day or workplace stress compared with that shown by other adaptogens.
GINSENG BOOSTS IMMUNE HEALTH
The potentiality of immune system declines with age, and hence becomes less able to respond to invasion of foreign agent. The weakened immune system can result in immune vulnerability. Consequently, chronic stress of busy lifestyle cause immune dysfunction, which in turn can lead to onset of diseases. The stress hormones suppress immune function and increase susceptibility to infections and diseases. Ginseng is an adaptogen which is shown to be an immunomodulator that significantly increases NK cell cytotoxic activity and phagocytic activity of peripheral blood cells. Ginseng with its potent antioxidant properties, helps counteract the damaging effects of free radicals on immune cells, and reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and stimulates the response of antigen-specific antibodies.
GINSENG SUPPORTS REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
Ginseng is commonly used as an herbal supplement to improve sexual performance and reproductive health. The active components of ginseng are known to induce NO synthesis in endothelial cells and perivascular nerves. The release of NO causes smooth muscles to relax, thus allowing more blood to enter the erectile bodies. Research studies have confirmed a positive impact of ginseng on libido, copulatory performance, sperm quality, sperm count, sperm motility of healthy individuals. Ginseng supports healthy uterine function, helps balance stress hormones, improves circulation, may promote balance of female hormones and increase chances of fertilization in women.