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What does ginseng do?

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Quick Answer

Ginseng is used to help strengthen the immune system, decrease blood sugar levels, and boost learning and concentration in small increments for a short time, according to WebMD. The popular herb has been used for several centuries in North America and Asia.

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Full Answer

Even though ginseng has been used to treat a variety of conditions, WebMD reports that only a few of those medical uses have actually been researched thoroughly. Ginseng comes in two different types: Korean or Asian ginseng and American ginseng, and each one has its own unique properties. In Chinese medicine, American ginseng isn't considered to be as potent as the Asian variety.

Studies have been done on ginseng to test how well it can increase endurance, notes WebMD. The herb has also been studied as a treatment for a number of health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, fatigue and symptoms associated with menopause.

It's difficult to prescribe a specific dose of ginseng because of variations in the active ingredients and quality, according to WebMD. Individuals are better off purchasing ginseng from a reputable and trusted company because untrustworthy companies might cheat customers on the quality and amount of ginseng in a bottle.

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