It only takes one to two days to feel the effects of ginseng. This is because ginseng doesn’t have to build up in your body. How quickly you feel the effects depends on the dosage you are taking, what kind of ginseng you are taking, and how your body reacts to the plant.
There is so much to know about the health benefits of ginseng. Read on to learn more about this incredible plant!
What is ginseng?
Ginseng is a name for 11 different varieties of plants. They all have fleshy roots and grow slowly.
The two most popular kinds of ginseng are American ginseng and Asian ginseng. Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.
Now researchers are studying the effects that ginseng can have on people.
How can you identify ginseng?
Ginseng can grow up to 15 inches tall.
There tends to be three large leaves on the stalk with two small leaves attached to the base of ginseng. For the first few years of life there are only three leaflets on the plant, which helps you know how old the ginseng is.
There are wide bases and serrated edges on the leaves.
Flowers show up around the third year. Around the fourth or fifth year, berries are produced.
What are the health benefits of ginseng?
Health benefits of ginseng include: boosted energy, reduced stress, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, relaxation, and diabetes treatment.
Ginsenosides are chemical components in ginseng that cause the many health benefits of the plant.
While Eastern medicine is based on traditional knowledge, Western medicine likes to prove things with studies. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative health, no conclusive evidence exists to prove ginseng’s true effects. But that doesn’t mean the effects don’t exist. Scientists are still studying ginseng to try to uncover its effects.
Ginseng products vary in quality and medicinal properties. It is important to check the ingredients of your ginseng product. Some products only have a tiny bit of ginseng in them, and others contain fillers or additives.
How do ginsenosides work?
Ginsenosides are the active compounds in ginseng that are responsible for ginseng’s health benefits.
In studies, ginsenosides get extracted from the leaves, stems, fruits, and roots of ginseng.
Over 60 ginsenosides have been isolated and identified.
Almost all of them contain 30 carbon atoms.
They are divided into three types based on the differences in their molecular positions and sugar moiety.
Each ginsenoside has a different pharmacological role. Studies show that they have many benefits when isolated.
How long does it take to feel the effects of ginseng?
You can feel the effects of ginseng in as little as one or two days. This is because ginseng doesn’t need to build up in your body.
The speed at which you feel the ginseng will depend on the kind of ginseng you’re taking, what form it’s in, what dosage you’re on, and how well your body reacts to the ginsenosides.
Ginseng can be taken in doses ranging from 100-3000g daily for as many as 12 weeks. It is only meant to be used short-term.
What are some potential side effects of ginseng?
Like all herbs, supplements, and medications, ginseng runs the risk of having side effects.
Ginseng can cause insomnia, digestive problems, and headaches.
It may also affect blood pressure.
Pregnant or nursing people, as well as children, should avoid ginseng.
Ginseng can also lower blood glucose levels and might interact with diabetes medication, so talk to your doctor before using it.
What are some of the drug and supplement interactions of ginseng?
Ginseng can heighten the effects of blood-thinners such as aspirin, according to a study called “Metabolism of ginseng and its interaction with drugs.” This can increase the risk of bleeding.
Other herbal supplements also can increase the risk of bleeding, which would be compounded with ginseng.
Ginseng can get in the way of the metabolism of MAO inhibitors.
It can also affect your level of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters carry messages between nerve cells and other cells.
Ginseng can potentially interact with antipsychotics.
How do you grow ginseng?
First, choose a location that is well-shaded and has good drainage. You want a sloping ground with about ¾ shade. Plant your ginseng where there won’t be many weeds or much foot traffic.
One way to create these conditions is to put netting over raised beds.
You can also grow ginseng indoors if you use containers that have drainage reservoirs and place them out of direct sun.
Plant seeds in the fall about 1 ½ inches deep. If you are growing from roots, plant them 3 inches deep in early spring.
Ginseng thrives in moist conditions but doesn’t need much attention. Don’t fertilize your plant.
If conditions get very dry, you can water your outdoor ginseng.
What are the rules on harvesting wild ginseng?
The majority of people collect wild American ginseng from forests, while there are others who grow it in plots. Regardless, it is important to consider how to keep populations healthy.
It is not permitted to collect wild ginseng on state lands.
Collect mature plants that have red berries and, at the minimum, three five-pronged leaves.
Only collect wild ginseng during the harvest season, which is September 1 through November 30.
If you want to be sure that there will be future ginseng plants, plant your seeds near where you harvested it.
How do you dig up wild ginseng?
Wild American ginseng roots get dug up in the fall. Next, the roots are washed vigorously to get rid of any dirt that may be on the surface.
It is important to be very careful with the root if you want to keep its circular markings and natural color.
Start digging your ginseng up many inches away from the base of the stem so as not to accidentally damage the plant.
Only dig up mature plants. You can dig up the plants once their seeds are dark red. Dig carefully and be sure to plant some of the seeds back into the ground.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.