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From shaded, moist mountainsides, Korean ginseng is grown 180 days of the year in China, Russia, Japan and Korea. For thousands of years it has been used throughout the Orient as a powerful medicinal herb and tonic. Early Chinese pharmacists classified the herb as "superior" as it said to promote youthful vitality and longevity. The long and slender root, or contains the strongest medicinal properties, and wars had been fought over the lands where it once grew wild. The scientific name for Korean ginseng is Panax schinsen, the genus name "Panax" is Greek for "heal-all", with close relation to the word "panacea". Korean ginseng has been noted as being an adaptogen - that is, it contains anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties, and helps the body adapt to stress. Few studies have been conducted in the Western world concerning the powerful herb, but China compensates with high quality, controlled experiments. Recent studies have shown Korean ginseng to contain as many as 28 ginsenocides, that is, the active compounds in ginseng that give it its efficacy. These same experiments claimed demonstrations of enhanced physical performance, increased oxygen intake and faster recovery time for athletes; mental enhancements such as learning time and memory, as well as mood enhancements; it improves alertness and concentration and has been known to reduce overall cholesterol levels while raising the levels of "good" cholesterol. It was also shown to aid in the treatment of diabetes by elevating the release of insulin from the pancreas, and stimulates the immune system. Although the evidence is inconclusive, there is a reported effect of increased sexual-potency for males. There are many types of ginseng on the market today, such as American, Siberian and Japanese ginseng. Korean ginseng has been noted as being slightly more powerful than the Chinese alternative. While both American and Korean ginseng roots are taken orally and perform as adaptogens, stimulants and a treatment for diabetes II, Korean ginseng is more "stimulating" and therefore should be an informed addition to one's diet. Doctors and Chinese herbalists alike discourage people with disorders such as ulcers, high blood pressure and high stress levels from taking Korean ginseng. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid this herb, as it may influence estrogen levels. Overall, Korean ginseng is a potent herb that has been used for thousands of years as a panacea, or a cure-all, and is a stimulating herbal alternative for those who long for a natural antioxidant to combat today's chemical-ridden world, stimulate brain activity, boost their immune system, and maintain healthy cholesterol levels or for athletes seeking an extra skip in their step!

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The Power of Korean Ginseng