Chinese Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) Root
Ginseng is most often used to improve mood and relieve stress and boost brain function, memory and alertness as well as energy levels, which is why it is often found in energy drinks. Ginseng is an anti-inflammatory and a natural appetite suppressant, which makes it an effective natural ally if you are starting a weight loss and exercise program. It can also help lung function by decreasing the bacteria that causes cystic fibrosis. It is also known for lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, treating diabetes, and managing sexual / erectile dysfunction in men. It’s also utilized to help with depression, anxiety and as a chronic fatigue natural treatment. It’s known to boost the immune system, fight infections and relieve menopause symptoms.
How to use:
Before attempting to treat yourself with ginseng or add it to your nutritional program, consult your physician or a licensed herbalist; ginseng interacts negatively with some medicines, including those used to treat depression.
Straight From the Root
Refresh your energy levels and increase alertness throughout the day by tucking a small piece of dried ginseng root into your cheek. Press it gently between your molars or between your tongue and the roof of your mouth rather than chewing on it. You can keep this tiny piece in your mouth all day, or toss it when it loses flavor. Do not use more than one piece about the size and thickness of your pinkie nail per day or it may keep you awake and cause jitters, dizziness and a racing heartbeat.
Make Ginseng Tea
Put ½ a teaspoon into a tea ball, a tea bag or the bottom of your cup or mug. Add water that has been boiled. Let the tea steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea ball or bag, or strain the tea. Add honey if you prefer your tea a little sweeter, though Chinese tradition dictates that it should be enjoyed as is.
Ginseng as a Cooking Spice
Place a few dry pieces of dried ginseng into gently simmering broth and let it sit for about an hour. This adds flavor to the broth without adding any sodium. The ginseng root piece can be left in the soup, or fished out before serving. Add a sliver of dried ginseng to locally sourced honey to offset its sweetness just a bit and to enhance its health benefits.