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The Health Benefits of Ginseng Berry

Author: Dr. Edward Group 04/01/2011
 

For over two thousand years, Chinese medicine practitioners have been using the ginseng root for a variety of health applications. More than just its roots, the ginseng plant also produces bright red berries containing a wide array of medicinal applications.

Today, researchers are ardently looking into these health properties, noting that the berry may be more appropriate than the root for a variety of health concerns such as diabetes, slow metabolism and obesity.

In fact, recent research from the Tang Center for Herbal Research at the University of Chicago confirms that the rosy-hued Ginseng berry may be a clear agent for aiding weight loss and increasing metabolism. And in a country where 61% percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, it is important to uncover natural remedies for supporting the movement back towards balance.

Let’s take a closer look into six reported health benefits of Ginseng berry, as well as the studies confirming the research.

Chemical Properties

The Ginseng berry is extremely high in ginsenoside, the same chemical found in trace amounts in the Ginseng root. This chemical is thought to be related to the plant’s medicinal abilities to increase metabolism and boost energy levels. Moreover, the chemical composition of Ginseng berry is very different than the root, a medicine that has been well-studied by Western scientists.

6 Health Benefits of Ginseng Berry:

1. Weight-Loss Aid

Ginseng berry has been shown to be effective in both the prevention and management of obesity and generalized weight gain by reducing appetite. Recent research from the medical journal, Diabetes, reported that mice injected with Ginseng berry extracts showed increases in energy levels and reduced appetites. What is more, obese mice treated with Ginseng berry extracts were able to lose 10% more body weight in twelve days than mice not treated with the berry. They also showed a 15% reduction in food intake.

2.    Metabolism Booster

In the Chicago studies, mice treated with the berry were found to be 35% more active than the placebo mice, offering promising evidence for the berry’s ability to boost metabolism and overall energy levels.

3.  Diabetes Prevention and Management

Ginseng root has often been used in traditional medicine to keep blood sugar levels stabilized. But what about the berry? A 2002 study out of the University of Chicago found that Ginseng berry had seven-times the concentration of ginsenoside than Ginseng root. Ginsenoside is the plant chemical known to aid the human body in controlling blood sugar levels. Mice receiving daily injections of 150 mg/kg of Ginseng berry extract were able to reach normal blood sugar levels very quickly. They also showed improved sensitivity to insulin. These studies offer promising evidence for the use of the berries in aiding type 1 diabetes. The evidence is so promising that many researchers believe that Ginseng berry may one day replace conventional pharmaceutical medications for diabetes.

4.      Reduction in Cholesterol Levels

Research shows that Ginseng berry can help the body in its ability to burn off harmful forms of fat. In this sense, the berry may have applications in the prevention and reduction of heart disease.

5.      Antioxidant Booster

Ginseng berry, with its striking red color is chocked full of antioxidants. Studies show that the berry holds not only clear anti-oxidant effects, but also a generalized protective action on the body. The multiple aforementioned health benefits may be related to the free-radical fighting substances inside the berry. Antioxidants help the body avoid disease and slow down the overall degenerative processes of growing old- in essence, keeping us younger, longer.

6.      Immune-Booster

Due to its antioxidant and protective action, the Ginseng berry, similar to its root, may act as an overall immune booster.


Sources

  1. Effects of American ginseng berry extract on blood glucose levels in ob/ob mice. PMID: 12230007
  2. Ginseng Berry May Benefit Diabetics. May 2002. Diabetes (Vol 51, No 6, pages 1851-1858, June 2002).
  3. Ginseng Juice Eyed as Anti-Diabetic Dietary Supplement. http://tangcenter.uchicago.edu/recent_discoveries/Ginseng_berry_juice.pdf?id=79933-ginseng-juice-diabetes-dietary-supplements
  4. Ginseng berry extract shows promise for diabetes, obesity. http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2002/20020524-ginseng.html
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