Can Ginseng plant draw inspiration from flowers?
Ginseng (Ginsulgus indica L.) is the world’s most famous, widely grown and valued medicinal plant.
It is the root of many traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) herbs and medicines, including the popular Chinese medicine tea, oolong.
Ginseng also plays an important role in a number of modern Chinese medicine treatments, including acupuncture, herbal tea and acupuncture.
It has a long history of use in Chinese medicine as a tonic, anti-inflammatory and painkiller.
But in recent years, some researchers have begun to question its use as a medicinal plant, particularly in Western cultures.
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) sheds light on this, and suggests that Ginseng’s ability to draw on the human body can help with healing from common ailments.
Ginsenosides are found in Ginseng as well as in other plants, including blueberries, rosemary, peppermint and black pepper.
A paper published in PLoS ONE showed that the plant has a wide range of medicinal uses, from a medicinal ingredient in Chinese medicines for treating inflammation to the anti-bacterial properties of some herbal teas.
The researchers from China’s Chengdu Institute of Integrative Medicine and the University of Wisconsin-Madison examined the pharmacokinetics of two different Ginseng extracts, the green tea and red tea, to see if they could influence how well different people metabolise the substances.
They found that the extracts had similar effects on blood levels of the compounds.
“We found that Ginsenoside A (GABA), a precursor of GABA, activates the receptor in the cerebral cortex, which is critical for memory and attention,” says Professor Wang Wei of the Chengdu University of Integral Biology.
“GABA activation in the brain is the main factor for the ability of Ginseng to enhance cognition.”
He says that in people who have a high blood GABA concentration, Ginsenosine A has been shown to help boost cognitive performance.
But it is not clear if this effect is the same for all people.
In another study, Wang found that people who were treated with Ginseng and given a GABA blocker showed significant improvement in cognitive performance when compared to those who were given a placebo.
“These results support the hypothesis that Ginsens are able to improve cognition in people with low blood GABA levels,” he says.
The findings support the idea that Ginsen has a beneficial role in enhancing cognition in humans.
Ginsens have also been shown in previous studies to increase the amount of calcium ions in the blood.
“Ginsenosides may also exert beneficial effects on the development of nerve cells and other cells in the body,” says Dr Sarah Pender, from the University’s Institute of Molecular Pharmacology.
“It’s possible that Ginsenes may also enhance the function of these cells in treating a range of conditions, including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.”
The researchers used three different extracts, and tested the effects on different biomarkers in a range to see how they affected the results.
“To our surprise, there was a clear improvement in the markers of inflammation in the participants after the administration of either the green or the red tea extracts,” says Pender.
“There were significant improvements in inflammation markers in the people taking the green extract as compared to the red extract, which was surprising, given that we have previously shown that green tea reduces inflammation in humans.”
They found similar results for blood pressure and glucose levels.
“The results are consistent with our previous research that indicates that the effects of green tea are mainly in the central nervous system,” says Wang.
The study, which involved participants in Chengdu, Chengdu and the UW-Madison, is published in PLOS ONE.
The research is published on the PLOS website.
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