BOOST IT WITH GINSENG
Ginseng is said to resemble a human body in shape, and it has been used for years in Asia. Recently, it has become a popular item in Western culture. Many claims about this root have been advertised, such as its reputation for extending longevity and its use for stamina and endurance.
Let’s look at the types of ginseng and the differences.
There are three main types used:
Panax Oriental Ginseng:
This ginseng is stronger than American ginseng. It is used as a general tonic, immune booster, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer herb and to calm the mind. The taste, which in Chinese medicine indicates the organ it benefits, is sweet, slightly bitter and warm. This benefits the heart, spleen and lungs. As it is calming, it also helps relieve heart palpitations and insomnia. A main function in Chinese medicine is that this root generates fluids and quenches thirst in heat conditions. Ren shen benefits the “Original Qi,” hereditary energy we are born with and can help rid exhaustion.
American ginseng nourishes the yin of the body, especially in cases of the deficiency of yin. When one is deficient in yin, there are signs of heat in the yang that has become more exuberant. This root also helps fire excess, or exuberance of yang, because it generates fluids and helps dryness, heat, thirst and fever. Its taste properties are bitter and slightly cold.
Siberian ginseng is not in the same category as the previous types mentioned. It is a weed, cheaper, and is used in Chinese medicine to help arthritis due to its benefit of dispelling cold and damp from the body, otherwise known as cold bi syndrome.
It is best to see a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist who specializes in herbal formulas to see what formula is appropriate for your particular constitution. Some people should not have ginseng in their herbal teas as it can have serious side effects such as heart palpitations, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, high blood pressure and anxiety. Those with excess yang energy should avoid it. In addition, those taking ACE inhibitors, blood pressure medications, blood thinners, diabetes medications, stimulants and antidepressants should also avoid consuming it.
Ginseng is best used as a preventative tonic rather than a medicine, as it can prevent a pathogen from leaving the body’s “comfortable house”. At Starting Point, we assess which herb is right for you and how to include it in a formula. It is not advisable to self-diagnose and take new herbs that may harm your health.
At the Pain Relief Project, it is our mission to help people become pain-free! We are a local 501c3 nonprofit clinic offering free or low-cost natural medicine and acupuncture and pain management services in Bothell and the greater Seattle Area. To learn more visit, www.painreliefproject.orgor give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498.