Clayton's Health Facts: Ginseng.

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.
1. What is it and where does it come from?
Ginseng is a member of the Araliaceae family. It is a widespread, perennial herb. There are several variations of ginseng, such as American ginseng, Siberian ginseng, and Korean ginseng.

The Chinese have used ginseng for over 5,000 years to treat a number of ailments. The root of the plant is the part that is used. This great supplement can be found at Bodybuilding.com.

2. What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?
Ginseng has some amazing and powerful effects. It has been shown to elevate mood, increase energy, and give a positive sense of well being to those who supplement their diets with it. It has been used as a tonic, stimulant, and regenerator for years. Quite a bit of research has been conducted on ginseng. Studies conducted in New York at the College of Osteopathic Medicine found that ginseng might prevent breast cancer, at least in a test tube. Studies conducted by Chinese scientists found ginseng possessed anti-aging characteristics because of its ability to remove highly toxic age-causing chemicals from the body. Not only does it show potential in preventing breast cancer, but also it shows potential in fighting numerous types of cancers, including: lip, throat, liver, and pharynx cancer. Studies also show ginseng increases immune function.

3. Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?
Those who use ginseng swear by its effects. Some conditions that ginseng has been used to treat are: Alzheimer's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, the common cold, diabetes, infertility in males, stress, the flu, fibromyalgia, infection, and atherosclerosis; just to name a few.
Bodybuilders and athletes have found ginseng to be a very valuable supplement for a number of reasons. First, ginseng helps the body adapt to higher levels of stress. Next, ginseng has the ability to increase endurance and help recovery rates. Finally, ginseng is a remedy for fatigue and nervous breakdown.

4. How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?
Usually experts recommend one to two grams per day. Taken at recommended doses, ginseng causes no ill effects; however, ginseng is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women, or for persons with high, uncontrolled blood pressure.