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Panax ginseng

Red and White Ginseng are derived from the same plant. The chief difference between them is their mode of preparation. White Ginseng is the raw, peeled root, which is dried for further use. Red Ginseng on the other hand is steamed before it is dried. In Chinese medicine the different preparations have different qualities and thus, different applications. White Ginseng is considered cool, which makes it suitable for 'hot', inflammatory conditions, while Red Ginseng is considered 'warm' and thus suitable for conditions stemming from excessive 'cold'. Western medicine, even herbalists, pay little attention to these subtleties.

Red Ginseng is warm in nature, according to the Chinese system. Thus it is used particularly to rebuild vitality. In western medicine it is therefore marketed as a herbal remedy for loss of libido and erectile dysfunction. Ginseng does a lot more, though. It aids digestion by exerting a balancing effect on the intestinal flora and thus improves absorption and distribution of nutrients throughout the body. It is said to have a blood-sugar lowering effect and can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan in cases of diabetes type 2. Ginseng also boosts immunity and helps to protect against or overcome colds and flu. It also has a very beneficial effect on a run-down, overactive nervous system and improves mental clarity. Red ginseng should not be used during pregnancy.

Ginseng is known as 'man root' or 'life root'. It is used as a talisman or amulet for longevity, health, vitality and good fortune.

Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children, or if you are unwell, or taking any medication. If in doubt, please ask a medical herbalist or healthcare practitioner.