Ginseng belongs to a group of 11 species of fleshy, slow-growing plants.
It grows mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, in Korea, China and Eastern Siberia.
Ginseng is an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body to regain its healthy stature without causing any significant side effects.
Traditionally this herb used to be used as an aphrodisiac and for the treatment of diabetes.
Today, it is found in the form of health drinks, capsules and is also used as an ingredient for cosmetic preparations.
Ginseng is associated with the overall development of the brain and central nervous system.
In scientific terms, ginseng is known as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances which help the body in restoration of health with no significant side effects.
Diabetics are believed to benefit from taking ginseng. In the year 2000, an experiment done at the University of Toronto showed that by taking ginseng, blood sugar levels of diabetic patients were reduced by 20%.
Ginseng is also considered to be an anti-ageing remedy. It is known to suppress the deterioration of the blood circulatory system and improve physical and mental vigor in older people.
Ginseng is also a supplement taken by cancer patients.
As Ginseng is associated with rejuvenation of physical and mental capacities of older people, it is obviously a tonic for old people or people who are reaching middle-age and tending to slow down in general capabilities.
Ginseng is also taken as a stimulant for younger people who are stressed out in their day-to-day work. It is also beneficial in the overall recovery for a person who has had a prolonged illness.
Although there are several benefits from taking ginseng, one should be wary of the possible side effects of this herb.
The most common of side effects is gastrointestinal trouble and headaches.
Nervousness and insomnia may occur as a result of taking ginseng.
Other side effects reported are vomiting, breast pain, and vaginal bleeding.
There is no scientifically proved dosage for ginseng, but about 200 mg per day seems to be a reasonable dosage for adults. It is advisable to note the dosage recommended on the packaging, as the concentration of ginseng is likely to vary from brand to brand. It is also a good idea to consult a medical practitioner before taking ginseng.