Do you Really Know your Ginseng?

Do you Really Know your Ginseng?

I came across a particular brand of Korean Panax Ginseng called Ilhwa, when I attended the Acupuncture Symposium in San Diego. I was very impressed when I learned more about their particular manufacturing standards and decided to try it. Yes, the results have been excellent.

Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal medicines in the world. Interestingly enough, there are no natural food sources of ginseng. The benefits of Korean ginseng, in particular, have been recognized by scientists all over the world as a powerful adaptogen. The term ‘adaptogen’ means that the herb increases the body’s resistance to stresses like trauma, fatigue and illness. But most importantly, it restores the body’s natural balance.

It has been literally thousands of years that the Chinese have been using ginseng as an herbal remedy. In fact, even early books noted that ginseng could increase wisdom and enlighten the mind. Ginseng was also used to treat digestive and respiratory complaints as well as nervous disorders. It was during China’s Liang Dynasty (220–589 AD) that the life-prolonging effects of ginseng were first mentioned.

Dr Oz spoke about the value of ginseng way back in Oct 2011. He suggested Asian ginseng to improve well-being and sexual function. He mentioned that 45% of ginseng in our lab tests failed for not containing the required amount of ginseng compounds. He does suggest looking for “Korean” ginseng as these have the most clinical evidence supporting their effectiveness. He goes on to suggest a daily dose of 200 mg of an extract (equivalent of 2 Ilhwa caps)

Panax ginseng is a plant and it’s the root that is used to make medicine. Panax ginseng is not the same as American ginseng or Siberian ginseng. And although there are many other herbs that are called ginseng, like eleuthero or Siberian ginseng, they do not contain the unique active ingredients of plant sapponins that Ginseng has, called ginsenosides.

When this was discovered during the 20th Century by Japanese and Russian scientists, it resulted in the ginsenosides being catalogued and this resulted in an explosion of research. There are thousands of published clinical and research studies. This research shows that Korean Panax Ginseng has the most ginsenosides and is, therefore, a very powerful, balancing herb.

I wanted to know more about Ilhwa as I had never heard of them before and learned that Ilhwa has, in fact, been the world leader in ginseng scientific research and development for over 40 years now. Their name actually means “One Harmony”  in Korean. In 1981, Ilhwa created a research and development center, using the best in scientific research. This has resulted in breakthroughs in the understanding of ginseng growth, harvesting, processing and extraction.  Their focus is on bringing wellness to humanity across the planet.

Today, Ilhwa is a high tech pharmaceutical and nutraceutical company that has three divisions: Ginseng, Pharmaceuticals and Beverage. They are fully KFDA (Korea Food & Drug Administration) compliant as well as GMP and ISO certified. GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practices certification that ensures the integrity of food manufacturing process as well as compliance with food safety regulations. ISO stands for “The International Organization for Standardization”. They have laid out a series of standards to establish accepted practices, technical requirements, and terminologies.  Ilhwa also holds numerous patents and has published hundreds of papers and clinical studies on ginseng.

Why is Ilhwa’s Korean panax ginseng supplement different?

There are several reasons. Their supplement is fermented. They focus on the quality of the roots they use, they pay particular attention to the length of time before harvesting and they also continue to do scientific testing. All this adds up to an amazing, well-balanced supplement that takes literally fifteen times faster to absorb than other brands.

I have since found out that many of the ginseng products that are available today are fractionized ginsenosides, added to powder. This provides very limited efficacy. Another factor to be considered is that when Ginseng Extract is processed with high heat and the rootlets are peeled, it denatures the ginseng extract and it loses a lot of its adaptogenic potential. Ilhwa does not do this.

I have also discovered that Ilhwa’s Ginseng supplement is really unique. Their research has shown that, in addition to ginsenodes, Ginseng has many other key ingredients that work in combination to provide a remarkable effect. They include phenols, lipids, 18 essential fatty acids, 6 vitamins, 7 amino acids, 8 essential amino acids, fatty acids, and 18 minerals which include organic germanium and polyacetylene.

Now I understand that it’s the synergy of all these ingredients as well, that results in ginseng’s remarkable adaptogenic potential. They have developed proprietary and patented processes to retain all the ingredients and this provides the maximum balance and potential of ginseng. Their Korean Ginseng extract is able to optimize your health and your performance by promoting healthy blood glucose levels and immune system support

I find that Ilhwa’s Ginseng is really remarkable for promoting mental clarity, balancing the body’s energy and managing stress. Just a few drops of the ginseng elixir in a bottle of water has shown to be consistently effective.

Patients also report that they notice an improvement in their sleep as well as their sexual function. The effect builds up over time. It’s definitely one of my favorite choices today.