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10 Benefits Of Ginseng That You Need To Know

10 Benefits Of Ginseng That You Need To Know

Most everyone has heard at some point or another that Ginseng is good for you, but what are the benefits of Ginseng? This is one of the most renowned tonic herbs in history and at times has traded for more than it’s weight in gold.There two different types of Panax Ginseng, and even more with regional names or other tonic herbs that get called “ginseng”. I want to share with you some of the benefits of Red Ginseng, the type of ginseng you may have seen in a Bruce Lee movie. When people say ginseng, that is typically what they are referring to.

The benefits I am going to share with you are from a more eastern perspective. There is a lot of support for some of these benefits in western studies, but the following should not be considered medical advice.

1. Ginseng is a powerful adaptogen.

Whether it is stress from work, cold, heat, problems at home, or any other form of stress, ginseng greatly helps improve the body’s ability to adapt to change in your environment both mentally and physically. It aids your body while it adjusts to stress, balancing and stabilizing any areas that need correction. It also has replenishing properties, and is held in the highest place when it comes to increasing natural Qi energy. This makes it the perfect herbal tonic for those who have lack of energy or are feeling a little run down by life. It rejuvenates Qi energy at the root, thereby giving energy that will last throughout the day.

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2. Ginseng is known as a natural aphrodisiac.

Another benefit of ginseng is that it is said to increase libido and overall sex drive in both men and women. It is one of the go-to tonic herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) when it comes to treating men with erectile dysfunction. It stimulates male sexual function and improves sperm production.

3. Ginseng helps balance metabolism.

Ginseng is great for people suffering from obesity. Along with exercise and proper diet, drinking ginseng tea can give an energy boost making a person more active and vital. It is good for weight loss, because it speeds up digestion and metabolism while helping sustain vital energy when on a diet.

4. Ginseng is a natural analgesic.

This herb is said to relax and soothe muscle tissues. It has anti-inflammatory property which is great for alleviating minor aches and pains.

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5. Ginseng is a Nootropic.

Cognitive abilities are brain-based skills needed for us to carry out simple to complex tasks. Ginseng is an excellent brain food that naturally stimulates your brain cells. Preliminary studies have shown some incredible brain benefits. It appears that ginseng may help to prevent early onset Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease by improving memory and concentration, boosting the function of the brain cells, and stimulating the cerebral cortex (which is the most important part of the brain). It appears that ginseng directly influences brain cells, activating and enhancing cognitive strength and endurance.

6. Ginseng acts as an anti-aging agent.

Ginseng has many anti aging effects. It promotes skin cell regeneration and is a source of antioxidants, which counteracts the damaging and harmful effects of free radicals in the body. Drinking ginseng tea also helps slow down the signs of aging with its detoxifying property. It is also effective for refining and re-hydrating the skin, as well as improving blood circulation. All of these benefits have been linked to extended life.

7. Ginseng helps regulate female hormones.

Many women today have challenges with their menstrual cycle. Ginseng is a excellent herb when it comes to challenges such as irregular cycles, cramps, and heaving bleeding. One of the many benefits of ginseng is that it regulates female hormones, maintains secretion balance, and ensures smooth and healthy flow during that time of the month.

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8. Ginseng is good for hair growth.

Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of hair loss for men and women. Studies found out that ginseng prevents this process, and, by extension, hair loss, stimulating the scalp and promoting hair growth.

9. Ginseng helps control blood sugar and lower cholesterol.

Studies found that ginseng also aids in improving blood sugar levels. It has been used in the treatment for diabetes, as it creates sugar-lowering effects in fasting and after-meal blood sugar levels. This makes it a wonderful herbal remedy for people with high cholesterol levels to help get them under control before you need medical intervention.

10. Ginseng benefits your major organs.

Ginseng is a herb that benefits almost the whole body and helps promote health and vitality. It invigorates the heart, lungs, kidneys, spleen with its relaxing and calming effect. It also protects the liver, and aids in stimulating the regeneration of liver cells and reducing the chances of liver necrosis (liver cell death from toxicity). Not only that, ginseng improves kidney functions by helping a person urinate with ease. It also contains vitamins and active components like amino acids, Vitamin A, C, B1, B2 proteins, enzymes, and many more.

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Ginseng is an herb of legend, but after reading those benefits it should come as no surprise. Supporting your health on almost every level, it is a tonic herb that can help you to live a longer and healthier life without adverse side effects. So why not make a change and try ginseng tea this fall?

Featured photo credit: Image of A Panax Ginseng Root © Nick Eberle, Courtesy of Urbol.com via urbol.com

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Nick Eberle

Massage Therapist and Herbalist

10 Benefits Of Ginseng That You Need To Know

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

1. Salmon

Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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2. Blueberries

Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

Curcumin has also been shown to:

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  • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
  • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
  • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
  • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

4. Coffee

Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

Coffee can also:

  • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
  • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
  • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
  • Improve your memory.
  • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

5. Broccoli

What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

6. Bone broth

Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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8. Eggs

For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

9. Dark chocolate

You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

Conclusion

Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
[2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
[3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
[4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
[5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
[6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
[7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
[8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
[9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
[10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
[11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
[12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
[13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
[14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
[15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
[16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
[17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
[18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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