Immune health has long been a hot topic but right now it’s on fire. For a good reason, too: A robust immune system helps shield you from viruses and diseases, improves longevity, and supplies you with the energy you need to live life to its fullest. While you may be doing plenty already to bolster your immune system—from eating vitamin-rich foods to taking immune-supportive supplements—one thing may be missing from your list: American ginseng.
What is ginseng?
Technically known as Panax quinquefolius, American ginseng is a perennial herb that grows in eastern North American forests. Derived from the Asian name for the root, “Jin-chen,” and the Native American label, “garantoquen” (both of which translate to “man root”), ginseng contains abundant amounts of what’s known as ginsenosides—active compounds that aid in protection from free radical damage.
Indeed, ginseng was so revered by ancient Asian cultures that texts reveal it was “valued more than gold and often reserved for treatment of royalty,” Frontiers reports. Today, American ginseng is huge in the alternative health scene, with roughly 6 million Americans using it on a regular basis.
Intrigued? Here are five potential health benefits of American ginseng—and how to start supplementing with it now.
What are some known ginseng benefits?
1. Naturally promotes energy
One reason for American ginseng’s popularity may be due to the ancient herb’s potential to organically uplift energy. This is thanks to the compounds ginseng contains, including polysaccharides and oligopeptides, which not only reduce oxidative stress but also lead to higher energy production in cells. The result? Less fatigue and greater vitality.
Take it in…a liquid herbal extract. Gaia’s quality product supplies 250 mg of American Ginseng per serving, and is noted for supporting normal levels of stamina and endurance.
2. Organically encourages memory and concentration
Bill Russell once remarked that “Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory”—and American ginseng may help you achieve this. One of those aforementioned ginsenosides, RB1, is known to support spatial learning and memory.†
Take it in…an oral liquid. Prince of Peace's American Ginseng with Royal Jelly and Bee Pollen is a nutritional supplement containing a number of essential nutrients, as well as 400mg of the superstar herbal remedy.
3. Acts as an adaptogen
The beauty of adaptogens—therapeutic plants that “adapt” to the needs of your body—is that they can naturally assist you in dealing with physical and mental stress. Ginseng falls into this category, thereby helping you cope with both life’s inevitable curveballs and its daily worries.†
Take it in…a VegCap. Solaray’s 100% vegan, non-GMO capsules deliver 480 mg of American ginseng per serving.
4. Backs healthy immune function
A 2012 study published by the National Institutes of Health found that ginseng has the potential to naturally foster a variety of healthy immune functions, including the ability to “maintain homeostasis of the immune system” and “enhance resistance to illness or microbial attacks.” Translation? The coveted herb may support your body’s natural defense system.†
Take it in…an herbal tea. Triple Leaf Tea's American Ginseng tea—which is popular with American and Chinese herbalists—contains 100% of American ginseng root, the maximum amount of this beneficial plant.
5. May support cardiovascular health
A healthy heart doesn’t just render you capable of running a marathon: A happy ticker may reduce your chances of depression, help maintain ideal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of dementia. American ginseng may encourage cardiovascular health, in part through its ability to support blood circulation and oxygen delivery.†
Take it in…a multivitamin. Rainbow Light's Certified Organic multivitamin combines American Ginseng with spirulina, green tea, red clover, acai, kale and milk thistle—adaptogenic herbs and whole foods that may leave your body vibrant (and your metaphorical heart glad).†
†These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
Ready to go for ginseng? Try these supplements and products available at Vitacost.com: