Ginseng is basically the “wonder drug” of Chinese Herbal Medicine. Its shape resembles the human body and can be used for a host of ailments as well as an overall tonic.
The three main types of ginseng used are:
Panax Oriental Ginseng
This is the stronger cousin to American ginseng. It can be used as an anti-oxidant, immune boost, tonic, anti tumor properties and to calm the mind. The taste is slightly sweet, warm and bitter. These flavors are believed to benefit the lungs, spleen and heart. Its calming nature helps to calm heart palpitations and reduce insomnia. Its roots generate fluid and alleviate thirst in inflammatory conditions. Also called Rea Shen, it is said to benefit our original, or hereditary qi, which is the life force we are born with.
Effective at nourishing the yin in yin deficient conditions. Yin deficiency signs include heat, night sweats, dry skin, hair and constipation. Think of menopause and fever conditions. Similar to Oriental Ginseng, its properties are bitter and slightly cold.
If Oriental Ginseng is the stronger cousin, Siberian Ginseng is the black sheep of the family. Not that its not effective but its actually a weed and is cheaper than the other two. Chinese herbal medicine uses it for arthritis- particularly the type that is worth in cold damp weather.
Ginseng can be an incredibly strong herb. So strong that it is recommended to seek an herbal practitioner for proper diagnosis and dosage. Too much of a good thing certainly applies in this case so use with caution. If you are interested in how it might benefit you please feel free to reach out with questions, book an herbal consult or a full acupuncture appointment in my Banker’s Hill San Diego acupuncture office.