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The Many Benefits of Ginseng

Ginseng has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years to support the immune system, focus and cognitive function, and energy levels.

This ancient root has traditionally been used in culinary applications but is now increasingly found in supplements such as Blessed Wellness’ ManPower Nootropic Supplement, where it works as an essential ingredient to enhance the effects of Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the legendary ginseng root and what it reportedly does.

History of Ginseng

The first use of Ginseng was recorded over 2,000 years ago in Shangdang, China, during the Han dynasty era.

Panax ginseng soon became known as “Korean Ginseng” or “Asian Ginseng”. The use of this particular Ginseng was brought to North America by European settlers. However, in the US, natives were already using a different type of Ginseng, Panax quinquefolius, now known as American Ginseng.

Ginseng’s popularity continued to grow during the 18th and 19th centuries, leading to the cultivation of wild Ginseng and eventual regulation, kickstarting the need for commercial production to meet the demand for ginseng extracts.

Today, Ginseng is widely used in various applications, including the raw root for culinary use and dietary supplements, teas, and extracts for general wellness.

Common Types of Ginseng

While there are many other varieties, there are three main species of Ginseng commonly found and cultivated worldwide.

American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

American Ginseng is native to North America and likes to grow in shady, cool forests in nutrient-rich soil. The plant has a single stem with five green leaflets with serrated edges. Its small greenish-white flowers bloom in summer and develop into little red berries in fall.

Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng)

Korean Red Ginseng grows in East Asian countries like Korea, Japan, and China. Unlike the American variety, it has greenish-yellow flowers instead. With a thick main root and smaller lateral roots, both types of Ginseng often freakily resemble a humanoid body, giving them the nickname “man root.”

Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

Siberian Ginseng isn’t considered “true ginseng” as it belongs to the Eleutherococcus genus, not Panax. However, it, too, has adaptogenic properties, which means it helps the body adapt to physical, mental, and environmental stressors, similar to true ginsengs from the Panax genus.

Siberian Ginseng is found primarily in Russia, northern China, and certain parts of Japan and Korea. The plant’s greenish-yellow flowers will turn to black or dark red berries.

8 Potential Wellness Benefits of Ginseng

Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory

Inflammation is a body’s natural defense against foreign invaders, but uncontrolled inflammation can damage the body. Animal studies found that a Ginseng extract had anti-inflammatory effects that could help with chronic septic shock conditions. This is because ginsenosides, the active components of Ginseng, have been known to target pathways in the immune system, reducing inflammation.

Another study based on 20 healthy adults found that the effects of Panax Ginseng supported the ability to resist infections. The beneficial compounds found in Ginseng, like ginsenosides, polyphenols, and polysaccharides, were found to act as an antioxidant to clear microbial activity and reduce oxidative stress.

Brain Health

Ginseng has long been used to promote mental clarity and focus. Ginseng components with medicinal potential such as nanoparticles and liposomes could be isolated and used to treat chronic conditions such as cognitive impairment, especially in the elderly. While Ginseng has many wellness properties and certain components have medical potential, it is not a recognized medicine and should not replace treatments prescribed by medical professionals.


One study on mice showed that Ginseng could help protect against influenza, a common but dangerous respiratory illness responsible for 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths annually in the United States alone.

Oral administration of Ginseng to mice affected with the H1N1 virus found higher survival rates in mice that were dosed with Ginseng compared to those that weren’t.  

Another study found that the effects of Ginseng, with its multiple immunomodulatory functions, may be able to prevent influenza A virus infections. Although these studies show potential for certain components of Ginseng to support immune response, clinical human trials are necessary to determine its viability as a treatment.

May Help Lower Blood Sugar

Ginsenosides extracted from Ginseng have been used in China to support other medicines in treating people with diabetes as well as those with early chronic kidney disease, lung problems, and respiratory conditions, although this is not an approved medicine.

A study found that Ginseng derivatives significantly lowered blood glucose levels in patients with type-2 diabetes but had little to no effect on healthy adults.

May Help Boost Energy

A placebo-controlled study of 659 participants found that ginseng use reportedly lowered fatigue levels, increased energy, and enhanced physical performance. Despite this, ginseng is not a treatment for fatigue, and anyone suffering from fatigue should consult a doctor as this could be a sign of an underlying illness.

May Support Mental Wellness

Cortisol, the stress hormone, is produced in a control center called the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Ginseng may support mental wellness by interacting with the HPA.

In addition, Ginseng is an adaptogen, which means it helps the body regulate everyday stress and anxiety.  

Immune System Benefits

Ginseng has long been used as an immune system booster.  

One study highlights the potential of using Ginseng’s immunomodulating properties to boost immune function and support recovery from influenza, HIV-1, and bacterial infections. While Ginseng can support your immune response, it is not an alternative or replacement for professionally recommended medicinal treatments.


Countless products on the market tout their anti-cancer properties.

One study involving over 300,000 participants suggests that ginseng use had potential to lower the risk of cancer by up to 16%. Ginseng has also been used in combination with cancer treatments to support patient wellbeing. Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to prevent cancer, and you should always seek the advice of medical professionals for treatment of cancer, as with any other disease. There is no evidence that Ginseng alone can treat cancer and its effectiveness when combined with other cancer treatments requires more research.

Final Thoughts

Thousands of years of ancient medical wisdom is now being harnessed easily into many ginseng products such as capsules, teas, and extracts.

Before changing your supplement routine, be sure to check with your healthcare provider for medical advice, especially if you have a preexisting condition and are on medications. Some ingredients may interfere with your medication and your doctor can help you avoid such interference.