Weight loss is one of the most prevalent concerns among adults in the world today. Aside from the fact that being overweight comes with health challenges, it also affects an individual’s self-esteem and psychology. You don’t have to be overweight before attempting to lose weight. Keeping fit and maintaining your body goal requires you to put your weight in check consistently.
Interestingly, there are several ways to lose weight, but the major challenge is getting a safe and effective way to go about it. Herbs and other natural means have proven to be the safest and most effective ways to lose weight actively. There are numerous herbs and natural plants that will safely support your weight loss plan, and ginseng is one of them.
Ginseng is fast gaining popularity around the world because of its positive health benefits. This root herb has been useful for various medicinal purposes since time immemorial. However, recent discoveries have further validated its effectiveness for various health and medicinal purposes, particularly weight loss.
What is Ginseng?
Ginseng is a popular word amongst weight loss enthusiasts. Nevertheless, if you haven’t heard about it before or you don’t have much insight about it, it’s time to brace yourself up for one of the best natural herbs for weight loss.
Ginseng is a root plant with a lot of medicinal benefits. It is considered a staple in traditional Chinese medicine, but it is gaining more popularity in the western world in recent years. This root plant is distinct in its appearance, with a lot of fibers attached to its body.
It is a perennial shrub that can grow up to 50-80cm at full maturity. It has inconspicuous flowers that develop into red berries. Their root, which happens to be the most medicinal part, has a turnip-shape. The root has various branches like thick fibers that often make it look like a human figure.
Under the broad name” Panax,” several types of ginseng are derived from the Greek word “Panakeia.” This word translates to “all healing,” highlighting the optimal health benefits of the ginseng plant.
Some common types of ginseng are:
- Panax Ginseng: Panax ginseng is also popularly regarded as Korean ginseng among many users. This type of ginseng is widely cultivated in China and Korea. It is distinguishable from others because of its lateral root that takes a funny human shape.
- Panax quiquefollum L.: This type of ginseng is also known as American ginseng. It is cultivated mainly in regions such as US Virginia, Wisconsin, Quebec, Canada, and Ontario. It is usually characterized by its lateral and short tap roots and its weak growing roots.
- Panax Japonicus: This ginseng is otherwise known as Japanese ginseng. It is widely cultivated and more prevalent in Japan; hence, its name. It has a bamboo shape with an uneven outlook.
- Panax notoginseng Burk: This Ggnseng is also known as Tienchi seng. It is mostly cultivated in Guangxi, China, and Yuan. It is typically known for its black and rugged roots.
Ginseng can be used in various forms. It can be made into powdery, capsules, and liquid forms or processed and taken as a tea.
How Does Ginseng Help With Weight Loss
One of the primary reasons behind the popularity of ginseng is its potency for weight loss. Likewise, it also offers a host of other health benefits to make it a highly medicinal plant. There are five key ways this potent plant helps with weight loss.
Conversion of Fat into Energy
Expending high energy is one of the best ways to lose weight. This action explains why some people trust physical exercise as a medium for losing weight. Using high energy will help your calorie output overweight your calorie input; hence, leading to weight loss. Ginseng contains Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) that aids the rapid conversion of fat into energy. This composition explains why most people are high on energy after consuming ginseng.
Changes in the Pattern of Calorie Burning
Ginseng triggers the production of certain gut bacteria that can change the pattern of calorie burning. This induction implies that it influences the rate and pattern of metabolism; thus, leading to weight loss.
Regulation of Blood Sugar Level
One of the factors that aid ginseng’s weight loss performance is its ability to regulate the blood sugar level.
Absorption of Fat
A study in the journal Elsevier reveals that ginseng can ensure better fat absorption than other body nutrients. Consequently, this herb reduces the accumulation of body fat; thus, leading to weight loss.
Enhanced Liver Function
Ginseng improves liver functions; thereby, leading to more digestive juice secretion. This juice aids digestion to limit the accumulation of body fat. This process also limits the development of fatty liver due to the rapid breakdown of fat-rich foods. It enhances the functioning of the liver while also enhancing weight loss.
Other Benefits of Ginseng
One of ginseng’s most fantastic qualities is that its benefits are not limited to weight loss alone; it also has a host of other benefits. It has a lot of constituents that give it anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and relaxing effects.
Other benefits of ginseng include:
1. Regulation of Blood Sugar
Ginseng is a valuable herb or supplement that helps in the regulation of blood sugar levels. It is beneficial for individuals with an elevated blood sugar level, particularly people who have diabetes. As part of its ability to control blood sugar levels, ginseng improves the pancreas’ function because of its antioxidant properties. Therefore, it will also reduce the number of free radicals in the body.
Also, if you want to use ginseng to reduce blood sugar levels, it is best to use fermented ginseng. Fermented ginseng will lower blood glucose compared to all other forms of ginseng. Similarly, ginseng serves as a home remedy for hypertension and high blood pressure control.
2. Energy-Boosting Ability
Ginseng is also popular because of its energy-boosting ability. This herb contains several constituent compounds, particularly polysaccharides and oligosaccharides that are active in reducing oxidative stress. Ginseng increases energy production in the cells and reduces fatigue.
Studies reveal that ginseng is useful for cancer patients suffering from significant fatigue issues, producing remarkable results. Aside from the fact that ginseng will prevent these patients from being excessively tired, it encourages more activities during the day leading to more calorie loss.
3. Improvement of Metabolism
Ginseng has shown to have a significant impact on the metabolism of lipids or fats. Its action pattern ensures that the body absorbs less fat and ensures that the absorbed ones are used up at a higher rate.
Another way this potent herb impacts metabolism is by enhancing the actions of leptin, insulin, and adiponectin. These three compounds play significant roles in the metabolism of fats and cholesterol by inhibiting the process of “angiogenesis.” Similarly, the actions of Ginsenosides, which is an active compound in ginseng, triggers fat-loss at muscular levels.
4. Improves Hormonal Balance
Ginseng helps in improving and balancing the hormone levels of individuals, particularly in women. This hormonal balance can mitigate the possibility of developing major health problems like endometriosis and breast cancer. This immense benefit can be attributed to ginsenosides’ presence in the herb, which is quite similar to the female steroidal hormones.
5. Improves Heart Health
Like most other medicinal herbs, ginseng can serve as a rich antioxidant source that enhances the heart’s proper functioning. It acts by slowing the heart rate and reduces the level of oxygen consumption by the heart. Likewise, it strengthens the heart muscle to contract more; thus, protecting the heart from myopathy.
6. Strengthens Immunity
Ginseng contains compounds that strengthen the resistance of the body against various diseases and infections. It is particularly useful in fighting flu and cold. It stimulates phagocytic action and promotes antibody response to fight harmful bacteria, viruses, and other foreign bodies.
7. Improves Sexual Health
Men in Korea and other parts of Asia are fond of consuming ginseng because of its ability to improve sexual health. This herb is known to be one of the very few herbs that serve as a rich Phyto testosterone source. If you are wondering what Phyto testosterone is, it is the plant source of testosterone.
8. Facilitates Healthy Skin
Ginseng is very rich in antioxidants that improve skin health. Likewise, it has anti-inflammatory properties because of its active chemical compounds. Ginseng also has free-radical-fighting antioxidants that confer anti-aging properties on the skin.
9. Improve Cognitive Functions
Many users of ginseng claim that they pay more attention after consuming the right dose of ginseng. Likewise, the herb can also increase the attention span of an individual. This ability results from the adaptogen that helps the body adapt better to stressful situations. Consequently, ginseng improves energy, manages anxiety, and mitigates stress.
Side Effects of Ginseng
There is no perfect herb or perfect medication. As beneficial and medicinal as ginseng is, there are certain limitations to its use.
Some of the side effects of ginseng include:
- Trouble sleeping, which can lead to insomnia in some cases.
- Stomach upset
- Breast pain
- Menstrual problems
- Mood Changes
However, it is essential to note that the side effects of ginseng are limited when it is taken in the right dosage. These side effects are usually mild and would most likely reverse as soon as the dose is corrected without any special medication.
Nevertheless, if this herb’s symptoms persist even after stopping its usage completely, you should consider visiting your doctor. Similarly, if you have any underlying health condition or are actively on medication, you should ensure no adverse interaction between ginseng and the medication.
In case you are using a processed or packaged form of ginseng, ensure that you are not allergic to any ingredients. It is equally essential to ascertain the quality and purity of any of these products that you intend to take. Purchasing your products from a trusted and reliable source is an added advantage.
Precautions to Take When Using Ginseng
If you are a regular or part-time user of ginseng, there are certain precautions you need to take to keep you on the safe side. Taking these precautions will mitigate the possibility of experiencing any side effects of ginseng. Likewise, it will prevent any health complications that can lead to any form of health complications.
Some of the necessary precautions of ginseng include:
- If you are using a packaged or processed ginseng, ensure that you are not allergic to any of its ingredients.
- Please consult your doctor and be sure that you are not allergic to any of its constituent compounds.
- Ensure that you consult your doctor before using ginseng if you are on prescribed medication.
- You should also inform your doctor before taking ginseng if you have an underlying health condition. Examples of these conditions are; heart problems, bleeding/Blood clotting problems, overactive immune system disorder, fibroid, cancer of the breast, and other conditions that are affected by estrogen.
- Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes and using ginseng at the same time.
- Avoid taking the liquid form of ginseng if you have diabetes because it contains sugar.
- The product is not recommended during pregnancy; consult your doctor if you have to use it unavoidably.
- Although it is not known if ginseng passes into breast milk, it is safe to avoid taking it during breastfeeding.
How To Use Ginseng
Ginseng, like every other substance for clinical use, must be taken in the right dosage for optimal performance. Likewise, taking the proper dosage will limit your risk of getting exposed to various dangers that might accompany the inappropriate use of ginseng.
The dosage and pattern of consumption of ginseng are largely dependent on the form you choose to take. If you are using a packaged product, you should check the manufacturer’s appropriate dosage. Do not use any dosage that is higher than what is recommended by the manufacturer.
Also, you should avoid using different formulations by different manufacturers for proper accountability of dosage. If you use ginseng in a more passive form like tea, it is best to leave a reasonable space between its consumption to lower the possibility of overdose.
Regardless of the form or dosage of ginseng you are consuming, it is best to stay away from ginseng at least two weeks before special operations like dental work or surgery. Taking an extra dosage in a bid to make up for a missed dose might do more harm than good.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Ginseng’s Effects on Weight Loss
Does Ginseng burn belly fat?
One of the most remarkable actions of ginseng is its activity in burning fats. It increases body action that accelerates the rapid conversion of fat to energy and limits the rate at which fats get stored up in the body.
Can I drink Ginseng tea at night?
It is not advisable to take ginseng tea or any other form at night or before bedtime. Ginseng promotes anxiety, boosts energy, and increases the activeness of the body and brain. Consequently, it can cause trouble sleeping and restlessness. In extreme cases, it can even lead to insomnia and other sleeping disorders.
Does Ginseng induce weight gain?
Ginseng is known to have a counteraction on weight gain. No studies link ginseng herb to any form of weight gain even if it is overdosed or underdosed. Contrarily, ginseng will only induce and facilitate weight loss when used appropriately in the right dosage.
Is it legal to grow ginseng?
There are no legal laws that restrict the proper growth, use, or sale of ginseng. It is not illegal because it does not contain any compound or substance that is regulated or proven harmful to human health. However, ginseng’s growth and harvesting in the right season are enforced in some regions to protect wild ginseng and prevent it from going into extinction.
How long does it take to grow ginseng from seeds?
Planting of ginseng is of high value, but it requires a little patience. It takes about 18 months for the plant to germinate and grow from seed. You can get fertile and well-treated seeds from reputable dealers to ease the planting and growth processes.
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A Final Word on Ginseng and Weight Loss
Ginseng is an ancient plant with a lot of modern benefits. It proves to be highly beneficial to human health to earn its reputation as one of the most potent herbs. It is particularly useful for weight loss and other general body functions.
It is potent for burning fat, improving metabolism, combating inflammation, and promoting overall healthy living. Nevertheless, the benefit of ginseng is limitless, and it is a work in progress. Several research types are going on to establish this herb’s potency further and harness its full benefits.