Chinese Ginseng

Chinese ginseng (Panax ginseng) is an herbal medication that has been employed in a variety of

Some of the most physically catastrophic injuries can occur when the person thrown by two or three teammates in a "basket toss" is not caught or otherwise lands incorrectly.
forms since the origins of the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practices almost 2,000 years ago. Ginseng roots are the part of the plant that has medicinal value; the plant is a perennial, similar in its structure to types of ginseng that grow naturally in North America and Siberia. The ancient cultures that first used ginseng in teas, medicines, and in combination with other herbs believed that it was a very powerful agent, prized for its ability to increase energy, counter gastrointestinal disorders, improve sexual function, and generally improve metabolism.

Modern science has studied the effects of ginseng with respect to both athletic performance and general health. In spite of the long history of ginseng, any definitively positive effects on performance have not proven conclusive. The active ingredient in ginseng, ginsenoside, is classed as an adaptogen (a substance that aids in the development of the restorative processes of the body, assisting the bodily systems in achieving balance). Ginsenoside, present in concentrations of approximately 4% in commercial preparations of Chinese ginseng, operates on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, one of the linkages within the endocrine system, the crucial interconnected glandular system that is responsible for the production of all human hormones—the chemical messengers that signal organs to act in a particular way. The presence of ginseng appears to increase the production of adrenal corticotropic hormone (ACTH), the chemical that stimulates sensations of motivation and intensity during sports competition.

Ginseng is a common ingredient in a multitude of commercial energy drinks, herbal teas, and athletic supplements. Many consumers recognize the name and effects of this long-used herb, more so than other natural products, in part because of its longevity as a medicinal plant. Ginseng is commonly available as a dried powder or extract, or it can be sold as the entire root of the plant.

While the objective evidence of athletic improvement from ginseng may be inconclusive, unlike many other herbal formulations consumed as dietary supplements, ginseng rarely has serious side effects. As an adaptogen, there is a significant basis for the

Ginseng root is used as an herbal remedy to promote healing and general strength.
position that ginseng has a positive effect in the promotion of internal energy balance and harmony within the body, having at least an indirect assist to sports performance.

SEE ALSO Dietary supplements; Energy drinks; Ephedra; Herbs.