Ginseng’s Effects (on Metabolism & Weight Loss)

Does Ginseng Help Speed up Weight Loss?

First, a Recap on Ginseng

Just in case you haven’t read the FAQ about ginseng, here’s a brief overview:

Ginseng is a root plant which is often used in root form or is ground into a powder that can be useful as a medicinal supplement. Ginseng is gaining in popularity around the world as its positive health benefits are being ‘rediscovered’ by western culture.

There are two main types of ginseng: American ginseng, and the more common Asian (or Korean) ginseng.

Studies have found that the different types have different benefits.

There are other forms like “Siberian ginseng,” and “Indian ginseng” (which is actually Tumeric) –which are called by the same name, but all real ginseng belongs to the genus “Panax and is distinguished by the fact that it contains compounds called “ginsenosides.”


Benefits of Ginseng

It is important to note that although ginseng has, to some extent, been studied empirically, some of its purported benefits are not scientifically confirmed. Eastern medicine’s long history with herbal remedies ought to count for something though, right?

Chinese Doctor holding Ginseng

Here is a list of some of more established benefits of taking ginseng:

1. Ginseng Can Help You Lose Weight and Boost Your Metabolism

Several studies, including one that featured obese women, have shown that, when combined with a healthy diet and exercise, ginseng can help people lose more weight and body fat than they would otherwise.

Also, even more exciting is that in animal studies ginseng has been shown to impact the metabolism of lipids (i.e. fats) so that the body absorbs less fat and burns what fat it does absorb quicker.

Another way ginseng impacts metabolism is through its effects on leptin, insulin, and adiponectin all of which play important roles in fat and cholesterol metabolism of fat. Ginseng may do this by inhibiting what is called “angiogenesis.”

It is believed that ginsenosides, the active compound in ginseng, works to stimulate fat-loss at molecular level which in turn leads to more level insulin levels and reduced food intake leading to overall weight loss.

Running using Energy

2. Ginseng Helps Control Blood Sugar

Ginseng is also a very valuable supplement for people with diabetes or, more generally, for those just have elevated blood glucose levels.

Also useful for helping control blood sugar levels, ginseng is believed to improve the function of the pancreas and, because it is an antioxidant, ginseng also helps to reduce free-radicles in the body.

When it comes to blood sugar levels, it seems to be best to go with a fermented ginseng. Which studies have shown works best to reduce high levels of glucose in the blood.

3. Ginseng Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin sensitivity is one of the key factors in the metabolism of fat within the body. To reduce fat, and for overall weight loss, it is important to keep you insulin sensitivities low, and that is exactly what ginseng helps to do.

4. Ginseng Gives You Energy

There are a number of components in ginseng (like oligopeptides and polysaccharides) which have been shown to increase energy and reduce fatigue by lowering oxidative stress and raising energy production in cells.

There have been several major studies, one involving cancer patients, where people suffering from major fatigue issues have been given ginseng and have seen outstanding results. Aside from the obvious benefits of not being overly-tired; the fact that ginseng gives you focus and energy also leads people to do more during the day and therefore burn more calories.

5. Ginseng Improves Digestion

Gut health is one of the most important aspect of our overall health as humans.

In our intestines each of us harbours an entire microbiome which includes both good (and some bad bacteria). The good bacteria play a critical role in your overall health and constantly helps you in ancillary ways by maximizing the impact of a healthy diet and exercise.

If, for example, you are trying to eat healthy by adding more vegetables to your diet—well, that is great. BUT doing so will not be nearly as effective as it COULD BE if you have an unhealthy gut biome. That is why it is so important to do what you can to maintain a healthy digestive system.

Ginseng root in black bowl

Ginseng herbal medicine in a mortar

There are some supplements, like probiotics, which MAY have some useful benefits to your gut health. But, unfortunately, much of the research on these kinds of supplements it still pending.

However, there are other steps you can take, like supplementing ginseng and eating other so-called “pre-biotics”, which are sure to be good for you and which have almost no known negative side-effects.

6. Ginseng Can Help Fight Inflammation

It is becoming clearer to modern physicians that inflammation is one of the central roots of all medical problems. That is not to say fighting inflammation is a panacea, but it seems to be as close to one as we got.

Problems caused by or directly related to inflammation impact the cardiovascular system, as well as the respiratory system and your bones and joints and even the function of your nerves.

You cannot, in other words, underestimate the importance reducing overall inflammation in the body.

There are several herbal remedies, ginseng among them, that have been shown to combat inflammation.

The curious thing is that many of the long-known benefits of ginseng are likely related to its anti-inflammation properties, it is simply that ancient medical-practitioners did not know how to label the problem of inflammation or even really what it was.

So, they simply hailed remedies like ginseng as cure-alls. While they were not correct, ginseng can’t cure everything, they were at least close considering how much harm we know now that inflammation does to the human body.

Conclusion

There you have it, ginseng is an ancient root with modern benefits and it makes a great addition to anyone’s overall healthy lifestyle.

By burning fat, improving metabolism, fighting fatigue, and combating inflammation, ginseng can help you feel better, look better, and even live longer.

Final Note / Disclaimer

One final note is that while ginseng is generally widely tolerated and has very few (if any) harmful side-effects, it CAN have negative interactions with pregnancy and or certain prescription medications.

So, if you are pregnant or on a prescription medication please consult your physician before starting to take ginseng.

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