Over thousands of years, ginseng has been viewed as a cure all herb due to its vast use in curative and preventative treatments. The medicinal value of ginseng for hypertensive individuals and type 2 diabetics has been thoroughly researched and discussed, but many ginseng uses are not as well known, such as the following.
Ginseng has been shown to help alleviate the symptoms of a process that all people experience every day: aging. The anti-aging properties of ginseng help combat the damage done by ultraviolet radiation and give the skin a smooth, healthy complexion.
Topical treatments that use ginseng berries deliver natural vitamins and other nutrients that help protect the skin. The combination of ginseng berries and herbal supplements in skin products help repair the damage caused by sun exposure.
While ginseng capsules and tablets are quite popular, the topical use of ginseng through skincare products - such as creams, moisturizers, conditioners, and soaps - allows access to many of ginseng's benefits without the need for ingestion.
Beverage Industry Uses
One of the most popular ginseng uses is ginseng tea, but there is more than one way to have a ginseng drink. The beverage industry utilizes ginseng's popularity and benefits by adding it to drinks such as lemon-lime sodas, wine, and energy drinks.
An increasing number of people is using ginseng for its ability to boost energy and improve memory. Despite a lack of scientific evidence, the use of ginseng to enhance physical performance is widely popular. Ginseng energy drinks are a growing success, especially among young students, because of their alleged stimulating properties that increase mental activity and alertness, which are yet to be corroborated by science.
Animal Production Uses
With any medicine, extensive studies and clinical trials must be conducted to test for safety, and in most cases, the test subjects are animals. Over the years, a number of studies aiming to discover ginseng's uses and benefits were successfully conducted on a variety of animal species.
When a ban was placed on antibiotic use for growth in poultry diets, researchers sought out other feed additives that had proven non-toxic and safe. New studies have been introduced to test the efficacy and safety of ginseng on livestock body weight, feed intake, and productivity performance (for hens). However, results have consistently shown that while there are no adverse effects from the consumption of ginseng, there are no direct benefits for the livestock either.
Less Common Uses of Ginseng
As more research is done, ginseng uses will continue to expand to cover more conditions and treatments. Here are some of the less common or less frequently-discussed examples of what ginseng is used for.
Many veterinarians have turned to ginseng treatments to help strengthen sick pets. In the same way ginseng can help humans, it is thought to build resistance, reduce susceptibility to illness, and promote health in pets. While the use of ginseng is considered as a secondary treatment by veterinarians, no controlled studies for ginseng in pets have been done, and therefore, caution is advised.
Ginseng can be found in a variety of unexpected, less common forms such as toothpaste, candy, chewing gum, and cigarettes in the Far East.
The long list of ginseng uses has grown over the years due to vast research into its nutritional value and the creation of endless new methods of consumption. More discoveries are expected to be made showing the full potential of this stimulating and restorative herb.
- European Medicines Agency, COMMITTEE FOR MEDICINAL PRODUCTS FOR VETERINARY Use – GINSENG (Extension of use), 2006
- International Journal of Health Sciences, Energy Drink Consumption: Beneficial and Adverse Health Effects, 2015
- Journal of Ginseng Research, Enzyme-processed Korean Red Ginseng extracts protects against skin damage induced by UVB irradiation in hairless mice, 2013
- South African Journal of Animal Science, Effects of Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) root extract on egg production performance and egg quality of laying hens, 2013
- The Asian - Australian Association of Animal Production Societies, Influence of Fermented Red Ginseng Extract on Broilers and Laying Hens, 2011
- The Environmental Working Group, Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, Panax Ginseng (Ginseng) Root
- The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Effects of commercial energy drink consumption on athletic performance and body composition, 2010
- University of Wisconsin, Alternative Field Crops Manual – Ginseng