Ginseng (Panax ginseng) has a long history as a traditional medicine. Use of ginseng is particularly prevalent in Asian countries where it is revered for its regenerative properties. The active ingredients in ginseng are numerous and include steroidal saponins, protopanaxadiols, and protopanaxatriols. These components are collectively called ginsenosides and they are thought to work through interaction with the hormonal system of the human body, particularly through the ability to lower stress hormone levels and raise brain levels of certain neurotransmitters. The medical uses for ginseng are numerous but some of the most well researched effects are beneficial at preventing the development of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and neurological diseases. Ginseng use is safe and its use amongst athletes shows the potential of the herb as a general tonic to improve physical and mental performance. The higher quality extracts of ginseng will usually state an amount of ginsenosides present in the supplement.
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