Herbal Medicine: Ginseng Uses and History

Prized more than gold for thousands of years, Ginseng root has been Asia’s most revered “tonic” and most effective herbal medicine. It is viewed as an aphrodisiac that strengthens the body, enhances health and aids in longevity. Early Jesuit missionaries in Canada discovered American Ginseng in 1704 and made a fortune shipping it to China. For years it was America’s most valuable export until over collection just about wiped it out. Today it is grown in Wisconsin and most of the crop is shipped to Asia.

Until recently most scientists scoffed at the ginseng claims. But research is mounting that shows it helps the body resist illness and damage from stress. Studies show that it stimulates the immune system, helps reduce cholesterol buildup, protect the liver from toxic substances and increases stamina and nutrient absorption from the intestines. Asian athletes use it to boost their performances.

The Chinese for years said it enlightened the mind, increasing wisdom. Continuous use leads to longevity. Recent studies have said that ginseng prevents heart disease, blood coagulation, and protects cells from radiation damage. They are continually studying ginseng to find more positive results for its use.

Chinese herbalists may use ginseng combined with other herbs to treat manifestations of lymphoma, including anemia, fatigue, and enlarged spleen. It helps with nausea related to cancer treatment also. Ginseng is also used to help alleviate menopausal symptoms. Ginseng contains estrogen like substances may prevent bloating. As you can see there are many uses for ginseng on its own or combined with other herbs to help us lead healthier life.

Here is a recipe tea that is made from Ginseng:

Ginseng Tea Recipe

For decoction, add ½ teaspoon of powdered root per cup of boiling water. Simmer 10 minutes. Drink up to two cups a day.

The Author:

Kevin Smalley is an herb enthusiast and expert.

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