Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one of the world’s oldest systems of medicine that is still being continuously practiced today.   TCM is a holistic approach to health.  Holistic medicine treatments are on the rise in the United States and that includes the use of acupuncture. More and more Americans are looking for approaches that treat the whole person instead of just physical symptoms. According to a National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) that looked at a five-year period, acupuncture is one of the treatments that is on the rise.  Most people think of acupuncture when they think of Chinese Medicine.

Herbal Remedies are part of Natural Healing.

Acupuncture is a large component of care however herbs are also a very important aspect of holistic medicine.      TCM herbs, such as hawthorn and goji berries, are very common and can be found in most supermarkets today.  Some herbs like ginger might even be found in your home right now. The problems is you may only know these foods as health foods or flavor enhancers. What has been lost over the many years and with the advent of modern medicine is how to utilize these everyday herbs to provide health benefits.  Today let’s learn about one of the most treasured herbs of Chinese Medicine Ren Shen or also known as ginseng.  This herb has been used for several centuries for restoring health and healing illness.

The Natural Option

Natural herbal remedies can sometimes offer a better alternative to less healthy options. Feeling tired or lethargic? Ginseng can provide an herbal substitute to caffeine so you won’t need that “Red Bull” or cup of coffee to gain some energy.    Undeniably one of the most common Chinese herbs is ginseng.   Ginseng has long been cherished as a disease-preventative and life preserver.  Ginseng refers to eleven different varieties of a short, slow-growing plant with fleshy roots. Ginseng is believed to restore and enhance wellbeing often called an adaptogen which means it helps your body to withstand stress .  Ginseng is one of the most popular single herbal remedies and well known by most health enthusiast.

 Ginseng Uses

The herbs consist of a light-colored, forked-shaped root, a relatively long stalk, and green leaves with an oval shape. Both American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius, L.) and Asian ginseng (P. Ginseng) are believed to boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, promote relaxation, treat diabetes,  manage sexual dysfunction in men resist fatigue, increase oxygen utilization, and even improve cognitive function.

 

This makes genseng the perfect herbal substitute to another coffee or a toxic energy drink when you need an energy boost.

How to Use

Ginseng products can vary in their quality and medicinal properties. Checking the ingredients of ginseng products before purchase is strongly recommended. Some products have been found to contain a small or negligible amount of ginseng, and some contain other substances. Short-term use of ginseng is considered to be safe among adults. Asian ginseng is best taken in cycles, such as every day for two to three weeks, then taking a break for two to three weeks. In choosing a supplement, fermented ginseng may provide faster, more consistent absorption compared to non-fermented varieties. And if you choose Asian ginseng, look for the unpeeled variety (sometimes called red ginseng), as it will retain more of its bioactive compounds.

How to make a Ginseng Tea

Instructions:

  • Take a very sharp knife or potato peeler and cut the fresh root into the thinnest shavings you can manage.
  • Take about 1 tablespoon of these shavings and put them in a metal tea ball.
  • Bring water to a boil and then turn off heat. Let the water cool for about two minutes. ( Do not use boiling water it might change the properties of the herb)
  • Pour water into tea cup. Sink tea ball into cup. Let it steep for five minutes. Longer if you like stronger tea.
  • Remove tea ball and enjoy. You may eat the ginseng shavings in the tea ball for extra benefit

Whether or not you intend to or already are using herbs in your daily life,  it very important to do your research and look up the benefits, uses and potential adverse reactions of all herbs you intend to use as a healing option.    Or consult an herbalist or acupuncturist they can guide you how to get the most benefits from a natural herbal option.