Certain icons throughout history are so important we are unable to overlook them. They have left such a lasting impression on our society that their mark will go down in history, forever remembered for their strength. In the world of herbs and natural health, Ginseng is one of those icons.
Ginseng – an Herbal Icon of Life
By the early 1900s, stories of ginseng’s soul-strengthening, eye-brightening, and heart-opening abilities had spread so far that Korea could no longer keep up with the world-wide demand. Deep in the Manchuria Mountains of China, Ginseng was originally used as food, but the positive effect the root had on villagers was undeniable. By the third century AD, ginseng was so highly valued for its strength-giving and rejuvenating powers that it had become an emblem of life itself. The demand for ginseng root had become so high that it fueled the Chinese silk trade in Korea. Many Chinese emperors revered the herb so strongly that they were willing to pay buckets of gold for a single root, in hopes of becoming the strongest and most agile emperor in history. Ginseng became an icon of health and life.
Modern research has provided us with copious amounts of information about the miracle root Ginseng. With more than 28 therapeutic elements, ginseng is rich in vitamins and minerals, and can truly help the body in a natural way. Ginseng is one of the few herbs known as an adaptogen. Ginseng has led the way for adaptogen herbs throughout most of the world, and is now widely available as an herbal tincture.
The Power of Adaptogens
Adaptogen herbs get their name from their “adaptable” traits. Adaptogens interact with each body in a unique way. By regulating various hormones, these powerful herbs can provide all-over body support. Cherished in ancient medicine as “longevity herbs,” adaptogens harmonize with your body, providing a multitude of benefits. Among the most well-known adaptogens in the western world is Schizandra, made popular by Dr. Oz, who called the herb a miracle remedy for anti-aging. Schizandra is called the “Eastern Prince” for its power and strength. Several herbs provide benefits similar to Schizandra and Ginseng. In fact, other herbs may even address your personal needs more directly.
An Elixir of Life – Tulsi
Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is referred to as an “elixir of life” in Ayurveda. Also thought to promote longevity, Tulsi helps balance hormones in the body. The herb will benefit type 2 diabetics by reducing blood glucose levels, and may reduce cholesterol. Like many adaptogens, Tulsi is rich in antioxidants, which gives it strong anti-tumoral properties, protects the body from radiation, and scavenges for free radicals. As a cardioprotective medicine, Tulsi promotes good heart health. Its beneficial properties do not end there—an immunity booster, Tulsi preparations have been used to treat the common cold and ward off infection!
Ashwagandha – Ginseng’s potent and undiscovered cousin
Also an Indian herb, Ashwagandha is slowly gaining popularity among health and wellness enthusiasts. Known as Indian Ginseng by some, Ashwagandha interacts with the body’s Thyroid. By regulating Thyroid hormones, Ashwagandha can provide relief for a number of ailments. In ancient times, the herb was applied directly to tumors. Its antioxidant properties may slow the growth of cancer cells. As with many adaptogens, the herb will help regulate blood glucose levels and therefore may be beneficial to diabetics. Ostearthritis patients may also take interest in Ashwagandha, as it can provide symptom and pain relief. The herb is naturally sedative, and can help ease stress and anxiety. Along with antioxidants and medicinal compounds, Ashwagandha is a great source of iron. Its high iron content will increase hemoglobin levels, which is beneficial to anemic patients.
Looking for more on adaptogens? Get a little bit of background information, or read about how they support the entire body. If you’re deciding which adaptogen is best for you, take a look at this article on Rhodiola Rosea.
Check out this infographic about adaptogen herbs and their uses!