Ginseng may improve insulin sensitivity and assist with weight loss.
Back home in West Virginia, ginseng is found growing in the mountains. It is a native plant that is has been a part of the mountain culture. For generations, they have traded it and used in traditional recipes and to improve health. Like the Chinese, many rural cultures from the mountains turn to natural herbs and spices to cure what ails them.
As a child, I learned to look for these and other naturally growing plants for medicinal use, flavor, and to sell in town. Ginseng had a significant value and could be bartered or sold for money as recent as the 1970s to 80s. Personally, I liked gathering it to make tea. Ginseng tea takes some getting used to, but the effect is quite relaxing.
Ginseng reportedly boosts energy, improves cognitive performance, prevents cancer, and even helps with weight loss. We will focus on the energy and weight loss properties and the research that supports these attributes.
Ginseng has been reported to have reduced body weight. A clinical trial from Korea looked at ginseng consumption and body weight and found that it significantly reduced both body weight and waist circumference,,. The mechanism appears to be through stimulating the oxidation of fatty acids and thus reduces body fat.
Ginseng helps reduce insulin resistance ,,,, and lower blood sugar,,,,. If you reduce your insulin resistance, weight loss or maintenance will occur because elevated insulin increases hunger. Although carbohydrate consumption does not increase obesity, elevated blood sugar and insulin levels do. Anything we can do to reduce insulin sensitivity and blood sugar will help reduce the risk of obesity.
The bottom line: Based on a large number of studies, ginseng appears to help with reducing insulin resistance, blood sugar, body weight and fat. Although it is is a magical cure, I recommend you continue to drink ginseng tea if you enjoy it. It may just help you with weight loss.
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