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Panax Ginseng (includes both Chinese and American) also called Ren Shen Actions: adaptogenic, tonic, circulatory stimulant, nervine, anti-depressive, hypoglycemic, hyperglycemic Indications: Panax Ginseng has been used for around 7,000 years and is the most famous Chinese herb in their entire herbal repertoire. It was so revered that wars have been fought for control of the forests where it grew in China. Chinese ginseng was first introduced to the West by an Arab physician, who brought it to Europe in the 9th century, however, the U.S. has its own ginseng, called American ginseng, or panax quinquefolius. These ginsengs have very similar properties, with the main difference being that the American root is considered to be, in the traditional Chinese medicine terminology: cooling, whereas the Chinese root is warming. American ginseng is also slightly less potent than its oriental cousin. The plant takes at least 4 years to achieve the most active constituents. It is then harvested and steamed before being dried. Ginseng has been used to increase alertness, reduce reaction time, and increase visual and motor control. New research has proven that ginseng is valuable to diabetics to assist in the maintenance of blood sugar levels. To achieve the best results for this purpose, take two capsules, 30-60 minutes before meals. Similar results can be achieved by sufferers of hypoglycemia. Ginseng will raise lowered blood pressure to a normal level, but paradoxically, in small doses it produces a sedative effect when the body requires sleep. In China, the root is taken mostly as a restorative and tonic for those weakened by illness or old age. In fact, it has been reported to help in the skin regeneration process and reduction of wrinkling. As an immune tonic, it increases the body's resistance to infection and also supports liver function. Eleuthero root (Eleutherococcus senticosus) Actions: adaptogenic, tonic, circulatory stimulant, immune system protectant Indications: Eleuthero root is a powerful herb not related to Panax Ginseng which in the past was known as Siberian ginseng, useful for maintaining and restoring health and immune function. It aids the body in withstanding heat, cold, infection, and even radiation. It has been given to astronauts to counter the effects of weightlessness. In cases where mental or physical stamina has been impaired due to stress, Siberian ginseng is excellent for renewing the system and enhancing resilience. In Russia, it is used to increase mental agility for students and to decrease recovery time during physical training. Athletes have experienced up to 9% improvement in stamina when using the root. It can also help detoxify the system after exposure to toxic chemicals. It was given to people following the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in 1986. For the savvy consumer: It is important to note that the wide variety of products on the market will produce mixed results, many not as encouraging as those listed here. Consumers are advised that whole aged roots, (4 or more years) generally produce the best results. In addition, ginseng distributors always use the small rootlets (considered less potent) for powdering, but retain the larger pieces for selling whole.
Preparation and dosage for any ginseng roots:
Capsules: take 1-2 caps, 3 x daily.
Decoction: blend 1 teaspoon roots into 1 cups boiling water. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Strain and drink 3 x daily.
Tincture: take 1 teaspoon, 2-3 x daily.
Powder: blend 1 cup water with 1/2 teaspoonful of the powdered root, bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Stir and drink 3 x daily.
Eat: in China, dried root is often chewed to provide an energy boost. Soup is a common way to take the herb. Just add a root to any soup and cook for normal amount of time (up to several hours).