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The Ginseng Promise

  1. It is available as a powder and in pill form. It's in cream and coffee. And in Asia, where it comes from, they even put ginseng in toothpaste and cigarettes. What does that carrot actually do?

  1. Ginseng, an ivy-like plant from Korea and China, has been associated with medicinal properties for over 1,000 years. According to Asian tradition, that power lies in the fleshy root: eating it would make you vital and energetic. The plant scientifically named Panax Ginseng is now widely cultivated for commercial purposes. The roots grow slowly and are only usable after three years. The longer you wait, the higher the concentration of active ingredients and the stronger the healing power. In Korea, a lot of money is paid for Panax Ginseng that is over ten years old.

Even in the supermarket

  1. Today, Panax Ginseng and its variants are also grown in the West. The roots are then processed into pills, drinks and even coffee. In Asia they go crazy: there ginseng is also found in soap, cosmetics, toothpaste, drinks and even cigarettes. Now that the root is widely available, more and more beneficial properties are attributed to it. Ginseng would not only be good for vitality, it would also boost resistance, help against stress, reduce the risk of cancer and give strength to psychological problems. The root is even recommended for non-insulin dependent diabetes and erectile dysfunction. Nowadays you can find ginseng products in almost every health food store and also in many supermarkets. For those who want to run to the store right now: ho. The medicinal properties of ginseng have never been properly researched.

Mapping side effects

  1. The Food and Drug Administration, the US government agency that monitors the safety of food and medicine, has no reports on the effects and risks of ginseng in humans to date . Recent research does confirm the stimulating effect in laboratory animals, so that a slightly stimulating effect in humans (the effect that the Koreans originally described) cannot be ruled out. It is certain that the current juggling with beneficial effects is greatly exaggerated and only serves to increase popularity and thus sales. In addition, if a product does indeed have an effect, it also has side effects. This golden rule applies not only to pharmaceuticals, but also to food supplements and herbal remedies. Some side effects of ginseng have now been identified: the root extract interacts with enzyme systems, making chemotherapy drugs used to treat certain types of cancer less effective.

Not during pregnancy

  1. Some of the active ingredients from the ginseng root, the ginsenosides, have a structure that resembles the structure of the female hormone estrogen. These substances cause abnormal embryos in pregnant rats. This effect appears to be dose-dependent: the more ginseng, the more serious the abnormalities. It is not certain whether this also applies to pregnant women. Pending further clarification, the use of ginseng during pregnancy and breastfeeding is strongly discouraged. So if someone recommends ginseng to a pregnant woman as a morning sickness cure, immediately shout very loudly: don't.

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