Ginseng is known worldwide for its stimulating potential. In fact, alternative medicine recommends consuming it to combat stress and also improve the immune system’s response to external agents.
Now, are these properties true? In Infusionismo, we have proposed to study in depth the benefits of ginseng. You are ready?
The ginseng plant
There are different varieties of ginseng, although the most famous is that of Chinese origin, known as Panax ginseng. Also, it is possible to use American Ginseng, by its scientific name Panax quinquefolis, a wild herb native to North America, or Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) that grows in Russia.
When we talk about ginseng, we generally refer to the Chinese variety, which is the one whose properties have been exploited for millennia by ancient medicine.
This plant is small and belongs to the Araliaceae family. It stands out for its leaves divided into 5 lobes and its beautiful purple flowers. Its fruits are drupes and its root is fleshy. It is worth noting that this is the part of the plant that is used to make ginseng tea.
Health properties of ginseng tea
As we have already pointed out, its main uses include the fight against stress and the prevention of diseases through an increase in defenses. However, this infusion would be used for many other things!
It is important to note that some research associates the consumption of Chinese Ginseng with a stimulating effect, while drinking American Ginseng may contribute to relaxation. Keep this in mind when choosing your tea.
Contributes to a good cognitive state
Do you feel sad for no reason? Are you in a bad mood? Do you forget things? A ginseng tea may be just what you need to improve your mood and also give your memory and concentration a little boost. The ginsenosides would be responsible for this remarkable improvement.
Cold and flu prevention
Although most studies have been conducted on cancer patients, the results have been encouraging, showing that regular consumption of ginseng tea would serve to increase the body’s defenses and thus combat colds, flu and other diseases.
Did you know that another of the traditional uses of ginseng is to fight infections? Although we have not found data in this regard, its use for this purpose is so widespread for a reason.
Another of the supposed benefits of ginseng tea is to whet your appetite! It is believed that drinking it would not only awaken hunger but also help the digestive system to work better, avoiding slow digestion and discomfort such as indigestion and gas.
Has anti-inflammatory properties
Experts in natural medicine often recommend the consumption of ginseng tea to relieve inflammation of the stomach, such as gastritis. This is because scientific data suggests that its components would relieve inflammation.
In fact, one particular study showed that athletes who had consumed ginseng had less discomfort after 72 hours of exercise than the control group.
Lowers blood sugar levels
A study on American Ginseng found that those who had taken a sugar tolerance test (the sugar curve) and had drunk this infusion before, obtained better results than those who had not consumed it.
On the other hand, blood sugar-lowering effects and improved insulin behavior have been found in people with diabetes who consume Asian Ginseng.
Due to its iron content, it is considered that its regular intake could be beneficial to combat ferrous anemia; that is to say: caused by lack of iron.
Improve hangover symptoms
Have you overdone the drinks and feel a headache and want to vomit? Infuse this root and soon you will feel better. At least that is what experts in ancient Chinese medicine maintain.
Has antioxidant effect
A clinical trial found that ginseng has compounds with antioxidant potential; that is, these substances fight free radicals, thus preventing oxidative damage. Let us remember that oxidative stress is the cause of different degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s or cancer.
On the other hand, the antioxidant properties act, too, preventing the dreaded premature aging.
Helps lower high blood pressure
While the data is inconclusive, research found that those who took 1,000 mg of ginseng strange three times a day for 3 months managed to control high blood pressure.
Contributes to athletic performance
Another of the benefits attributed to it is the improvement of sports performance due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions.
How to prepare a ginseng tea
Making Ginseng tea is extremely easy, even if you decide to make it at home using the root instead of a tea bag.
- 1 ginseng root
- 1 cup of water
- Optional: honey or lemon juice
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Before it breaks the boil, add the sliced root.
- Turn off the heat and let stand 7 minutes.
- Strain and serve.
- Add honey and/or lemon juice to taste.
Ginseng tea may be what your body needs to be more alert and, at the same time, to prevent diseases this winter… or at any time of the year!