Ginseng 人参 in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Qi in traditional chinese medicine, or the Vital energy of our body is the most important element that is needed for the proper functioning of our internal organs. If the Qi of the body deteriorates, the internal organs do not function as well, and the blood and fluid production will be compromised. A compromised Qi, blood and body fluid will result in languishing state with sallow and dry skin.
Ginseng is able to rejuvenate the vital energy, blood and body fluid that is so essential to reduce the rate of skin degeneration, nourishes the skin, reduce wrinkles and promoting smooth skin growth. It increases oxygenation to the skin hence promoting cell regeneration and enhances collagen synthesis. Ginseng is also found to detoxify the blood which in turn benefits the skin giving a clearer complexion and healthier skin. Ginseng also prevents UV damage to the skin.
There are 2 main types of ginseng, American ginseng and Chinese ginseng. American ginseng is native to North America and is said to be cooling to the body. Chinese ginseng(Panax ginseng) is native to China and said to be warming to the body. Korean ginseng (red ginseng) is derived by steaming panax ginseng and is commonly further processed into tea, extracts, capsules or slices.
The benefits of the Ginseng come from the plant’s high concentration of medicinal compounds known as ginsenosides. These compounds are also known as adaptogens- that it is intelligent, or rather adaptogenic, meaning that it works to bring the body into greater balance and harmony. For example, when one is stressed out and anxious, ginseng may act to calm them down. Whereas when one is tired and fatigued, ginseng will energize them. It's this unique action that makes ginseng and other adaptogens special.
Other known benefits of Ginseng:
- Boosts the immune system
- Stimulate physical and mental activity, improve cognitive function, reduce stress
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Lowers blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes
- Prevents balding and hair loss in men, stimulates hair growth
- Helps in weight loss by regulating sugar and boosting energy levels and fights fatigue
- Increase libido and sexual health for both males and females
- Eases hot flushes in menopausal women and normalizing menstrual disorders
How can we incorporate Ginseng into our food and daily lives? Here are some tips:
1) Drink Ginseng Tea
Drinking ginseng tea is good for refining and rehydrating the skin effectively. It also helps to fight fatigue and boost energy levels. Packaged Ginseng tea can be bought off the shelf. You can also buy the ginseng from the herbal stores and make your own tea. Do not drink too late at night since it may keep you awake. There are some simple ginseng tea recipes here.
2) Apply Ginseng externally on the skin for its skin benefits
Our Renew Serum contains high concentration of Ginseng and Danggui to increase blood circulation to the skin and nourish the skin from the inside. It regenerates the skin and hydrates the skin. You can read more about our Renew serum here.
3) Boil Ginseng Tonic soup
Ginseng is also commonly boiled in soups in both Chinese and Korean cuisines. There are many ginseng soup recipes online. Some of my favorite recipes are Chinese Ginseng Chicken soup or Korean Chicken Soup (Samgyetang).
4) Take Ginseng in capsules/extract form
Some pharmacies /chinese medical shops/ tcm medical halls in Singapore do sell grounded ginseng powder or the extract. This is very convenient for those who do not have time to boil the tonics or do not like the bitter taste ginseng.