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Ginseng is the dried root of one of several species of the Araliaceae family of herbs. The most common type of ginseng is Asian ginseng, often called Panax, Chinese, or Korean ginseng - but most frequently refered to as Panax Ginseng.

The Araliaceae family of plants includes the closely related American ginseng and less similar Siberian ginseng. Panax ginseng is different to American ginseng and Siberian ginseng. They are not interchangeable.

American and Asian ginsengs are best used to alleviate stress, fatigue, convalescence, and diabetes. Siberian ginseng is not only used for stress and fatigue, but is also believed to be helpful for a number of maladies including atherosclerosis, ulcerative colitis, and impaired kidney function.

Panax Ginseng

Panax ginseng contains compounds known as adaptogens. Adaptogens are believed to be helpful for people dealing with physical and/or emotional stress. Today, several Asian countries are prescribing panax ginseng as a treatment for several illnesses, including heart conditions and to enhance overall health.

Studies of Western herbal medicine show that panax ginseng's ability to regulate the immune system can assist in the prevention of colds, flu, and some forms of cancer. Case studies show that panax ginseng may also be effective in lowering the sugar content in the blood and and lower cholesterol levels. Consequently, panax ginseng may prove beneficial when used in connection with type 2 diabetes and when used by those suffering from high cholesterol. All the potential uses of the ginseng root have not been fully explored; however, in both laboratory studies of humans and animals, panax ginseng proved successful in relaxing the muscles of the lungs. By relaxing the muscles of the lungs that control the airway, ginseng may be able to provide some relief for symptoms associated with asthma, constriction of the airways, and other lung diseases.

Panax ginseng can be taken orally or applied externally. One large study involving the oral application of panax ginseng resulted in the increase of sperm count, quality, and movement, ultimately improving male fertility. An exact and thorough explanation for panax ginseng's ability to improve fertility in males has yet to be determined.

Also used for women, it is supposed that panax ginseng can cause an effect similar to that of oestrogen, by stimulating hormone production and related chemicals. In some laboratory studies, panax ginseng increased the production of breast cancer cells. It is possible that this is achieved by activating oestrogen receptors. Panax ginseng may increase blood levels of substances that the body converts into oestrogen according to some studies. More studies are being performed to verify the hormonal effects of panax ginseng.

When used with Ginkgo biloba, panax ginseng may improve memory and symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.

Siberian Ginseng

Siberian ginseng may increase your body's resistance to stress and prevent certain types of illness. It may be useful when used in connection with stress and body fatigue caused by viruses, bacteria, chemicals, extreme working conditions, noise and pollution. It has also been suggested that Siberian ginseng may help the body to recuperate when recovering from illness.

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