Ginseng has become one of the most popular herbs in the world today, accounting for over $400 million a year in sales in the United States alone. Analysts say it is the herb of choice for many people owing to its alleged ability to fight stress and enhance immunity.

However, not everything ...Ginseng has become one of the most popular herbs in the world today, accounting for over $400 million a year in sales in the United States alone. Analysts say it is the herb of choice for many people owing to its alleged ability to fight stress and enhance immunity.

However, not everything labeled as ginseng is the real thing. Medical experts say many commercial products have no ginseng at all!

There are at least three different types of ginseng in the market today – American ginseng, Siberian ginseng, and Asian or Oriental ginseng.

American ginseng or Panax quinquefolius grows wild in Appalachia and in Canada. Because it is intensively sought in the United States, it has been declared an endangered species. However, there “is no good clinical data” that it works, according to Dr. Gail Mahady, a scholar of medicinal herbs at the University of Illinois in Chicago and co-author of a review for the World Health Organization (WHO).

Siberian ginseng is actually Eleutherococcus senticosus and is chemically and botanically different from real ginseng. It was introduced over 30 years ago by Russian scientists who were looking for a cheap and abundant substitute for ginseng. Unlike the Panax species, it contains unrelated and adulterated compounds that have no effects on humans. The plant is native to eastern Siberia, Korea and China.

Of the three types of ginseng, the most widely investigated is Asian or Oriental ginseng which is known as Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer. This plant is extensively cultivated in China, Korea, Russia and Japan and contains at least 13 saponin glycosides or ginsenosides that are believed to have a wide range of beneficial effects. Studies show that this type of ginseng acts as a stimulant and may enhance immunity.

“Hundreds of experiments have shown that Panax ginseng can prolong swimming time, prevent-stress-induced ulcers, stimulate hepatic ribosome production, increase activity of the immune system, stimulate protein biosynthesis, prevent platelet aggregation, and induce many other effects, all of which might contribute to its general tonic or adaptogenic effects,” explained Dr. Varro Tyler of the Purdue University School of Pharmacy.

Promoters say ginseng can fight obesity but there are no scientific studies to prove this. To shed those extra pounds, nothing beats a good diet and regular exercise. One product that can help is Phenocal, a safe, natural, and effective weight loss supplement that boosts your metabolism, suppresses your appetite, reduces food cravings, and increases energy levels to keep you in shape. Visit http://tinyurl.com/8jkw6ma for details.

Author's Bio: 

Janet Martin is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premiere online news magazine www.thearticleinsiders.com