What You Should Know
Panax ginseng (also called Korean or Asian ginseng) is plant that grows mostly in Russia and other parts of Asia. There are many kinds of ginseng that grow throughout the world, however, the panax ginseng has been shown to have health benefits whereas many others do not.
The main part of panax ginseng most frequently used is the root. The root is dried and powdered and can be used in capsules or teas, or in creams to be used topically. Traditionally, panax ginseng was used for many medicinal purposes, including inflammatory conditions like arthritis and asthma, cancer and immune deficiencies. More recently, panax ginseng’s effects have been studied with respect to weight loss and ginseng appears in many weight loss aids on the market today.
The results of clinical studies on the effectiveness of panax ginseng have been mixed over the years. The immunity boosting and anti inflammatory effects have not been as pronounced in studies but increases in concentration, sexual pleasure and focus have all been documented.
The word “ginseng” appears on the labels of many nutritional supplements and weight loss aids but only panax ginseng has the beneficial properties, so it is important to know exactly what you’re getting.
Panax ginseng’s main claim in the weight loss industry is its ability to boost metabolism. A higher metabolic rate means that the body can utilize energy faster and break down fat stores as needed. At the time of this review, there do not appear to be any credible clinical studies supporting this effect. There are many reports of increased alertness and concentration while taking panax ginseng but this does not necessarily translate into increased metabolism. Proof of the effectiveness of ginseng on weight loss does not appear to exist yet and, in fact, side effects have been reported. It is recommended that weight loss aids that contain both ginseng and caffeine be avoided as hypertension can result.
Other side effects can include diarrhea, headaches, nausea, vaginal bleeding and fluctuating blood pressure. Ginseng can also negatively react with medications like caffeine, insulin, and warfarin.
- Ginseng is a natural product.
- Has been used as a medicinal product for hundreds of years.
- There appear to be no credible studies supporting the effectiveness of ginseng on weight loss.
- May cause adverse side effects.
- Dosages are not standardized so may not be getting an effective dose.
Panax ginseng has been used in Eastern medicine for hundreds of years. A frequent claim in the weight loss industry is that natural traditional products can end up being the “magic pill” we’re all looking for to drop pounds. However, there is not enough study to show that panax ginseng can do that. Fortunately, there are weight loss products on the market today that contain proven ingredients such as green tea extract and caffeine. Drinking ginseng tea is likely to keep you alert and focused but may not be able to help you to lose weight.