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(4 pages total)

Page 2 - Ginseng the Mysterious Root of Heaven

This problem was addressed by a company in Lugano Switzerland. This particular company makes two products, Ginsana and Geriatric Pharmaton. The Ginsana is packaged in soft gelatin capsules which have 100 mg of ginseng extract (this value is equivalent to 500 mg of Korean ginseng root in activity).

The other product, Geriatric Pharmaton, contains 200 mg of ginseng, 400 units of the antioxidant vitamin, vitamin A; 60 mg of another antioxidant, vitamin C; 26 mg of DMAE (DMAE or DiMethyl AminoEthanol is a powerful antioxidant substance which is a precursor of the brain neurotransmitter, acetylcholine); as well as other ingredients including calcium.

A double blind study (in which neither subjects nor experimenters know who was receiving what) using the two compounds made by the Swiss company, showed that in a group of 40 to 60 year olds, use of these preparations led to increased levels of sex hormones, better reaction times, and improvement in lung functioning.

In two tests which aim at gauging the health status of the respiratory system (i.e. vital capacity and forced expiratory volume measurements) an average improvement of 10% was found in the ginseng group.

Even further evidence of the worth of this valuable root was found in a study in Argentina. The Ginsana preparation was found to be able to reverse arteriosclerotic damage damage in the brain which resulted from decreased blood circulation. The statistic was that 90% of the 200 patients suffering from a stroke or "premature aging" were helped by the ginseng according to this study and significant blood flow increases were found in the carotid and cerebral arteries. The other preparation, Geriatric Pharmaton, was used in a German study with 540 patients who suffered a number of aging related problems. The results were astounding! Hypertensive patients had blood pressure lowered, diabetic patients gave evidence of more normal pancreatic activity, and a general improvement of mental function and awareness was noted in all patients.

In an Austrian double blind study which used the Geriatric fully half of the patients showed "marked improvement" in mental and intellectual functioning after use of the ginseng preparation.

Ginseng seems to have anti-stress, as well as anti-aging properties. In a Bulgarian study at the Institute of Physiology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Dr. V. Petkov using animals given ginseng found that ginseng has "normalizing" function which means that ginseng can either inhibit or stimulate biochemical and physiological processes in response to the needs of the body. This normalizing effect is especially noticed during times of environmental and emotional stress.

In other studies, ginseng's ability to enhance performance was demonstrated. A study done by I. Forgo and A.M. Kirchdorfer using twenty male athletes from the fields of karate, boxing, and wrestling, found that ginseng was able to improve athletic performance and reduce recovery time post fatigue (a bicycle ergometer was used). There was also evidence that ginseng was able to increase oxygen usage, reduce heart rate and decrease lactic acid levels in the blood. Another study was done in Hamburg, Germany. Sixty untrained men and women were measured in regards to fitness, alertness, behavior, sleep, attitude,etc. before and after receiving a daily amount of ginseng (two 100 mg capsules). The ages ranged from 22 years to 80 years of age. The results were that those taking ginseng were able to exercise longer and recover quicker than the group not using ginseng. The studies have indicated that a pharmacologically active dose of ginseng is equal to two 100 mg capsules taken in the morning and two taken at midday. At this level there are negligible side effects and at higher does, the main side effects reported are fleeing feelings of fatigue and lethargy (extreme yang going to yin).

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