There are many people who prefer the notion of turning to Mother Nature instead of the pharmacy to prevent colds, improve immune function and more. When discussing natural methods of healing the body, ginseng often comes up, and it's no surprise why—ginseng is currently one of the most popular supplements in the world.

What is Ginseng?

Ginseng is an herb. It has a light, fork-shaped root and a fairly long stalk with green leaves. The word ginseng comes from the Chinese word rénshen, which means "man root." It is believed to have been given this name because the plant resembles the legs of a man. There are two types of ginseng: Asian ginseng and Korean ginseng. They provide different benefits.

What are the Benefits of Ginseng?

Several studies have found that ginseng can lower blood sugar levels, boost the immune system and even decrease the severity of colds in adults. Some studies have even found that ginseng could improve learning and focus, but experts believe more evidence is necessary to confirm this. Inconclusive evidence suggests that ginseng could improve mood, treat cancer and heart disease, boost endurance, help fatigue and many other conditions.

Side Effects of Ginseng

While ginseng certainly boasts numerous benefits, it could also have certain side effects. Consider these before taking ginseng and consult a physician before adding a new supplement to your diet. Ginseng can cause: headaches, nausea, difficulty sleeping, restlessness and elevated heart rate. It is even possible to overdose on ginseng.

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