Ginseng for weight loss is a subject that’s been talked about for years. In fact, you can find traces of the popular herb in Korean and Chinese medicine dating back to the 15th century. Ginseng provides many health benefits, although it has long been connected with aiding in weight loss. Additionally, it helps energy levels, increases blood flow, and supports your immune system when taken regularly.
Ginseng is the fleshy root from the genus Panax family of plants, including American ginseng, Korean ginseng, Chinese ginseng, and several others. The root has been used as an herbal remedy for things like low energy, high blood sugar and cholesterol, stress, and even sexual dysfunction. Lately, however, it’s also been studied for its effects on weight.
Ginseng has been found to help with weight loss in the past, but scientists couldn’t pinpoint exactly how this happens. For the new study, researchers suspected that it could have something to do with the gut microbiome, and they aimed to identify the effect of ginseng on gut bacteria. Their results indicated that when ingested, ginseng alters the bacteria in the gut in a way that changes the way the body burns fat. These gut bugs specifically affect metabolism, and therefore, the researchers determined that ginseng could be an effective treatment option for those battling obesity.
Traditionally, ginseng tea doesn’t have any tea leaves, but is instead prepared from ginseng roots, along with jujube fruits and Korean chestnuts. The root, the fruit and the nuts are decocted for several hours over low heat to obtain the tea. The drink is sweetened with honey and served with pine nuts floating on top of the concoction. Nowadays, ginseng tea is available in powder form, in single-serve foil packets for quick preparation and consumption. Ginseng tea capsules are also available to be taken as supplements. People who have tasted the tea have liked it and hated it in equal measure as the drink has a strong taste and smell, which some people have described as medicinal.
Ginseng is an ancient herbal remedy that was recorded in The Herbal Classic of the Divine Plowman, the oldest comprehensive materia medica, which was scripted approximately 2000 yr ago. Contemporary science suggests that ginseng has various bioactivities. At present, research studies have also indicated that ginseng might exert a potential antiobesity effect. Ginsenosides are the main ginseng component that is responsible for its various activities. Dammarane-type ginsenosides can be divided into two groups: protopanaxadiol (PPD) and protopanaxatriol (PPT) types. Those groups are based on the number of hydroxyl groups that can be joined to sugar moieties via a dehydration reaction. Common PPD-type ginsenosides include ginsenosides Rb1, Rb2, Rc, Rd, Rg3, F2, Rh2, compound K (cK), and PPD, whereas common PPT-type ginsenosides include Re, Rf, Rg1, Rg2, F1, Rh2, and PPT. Ginsenosides can be degraded to a deglycosylated form by the actions of gut microbiota.
Ginseng tea is one herbal drink that has multiple health benefits. However, as stated before, an overdose of the same can have a number of side effects as well. These include insomnia and nervousness, blood clots, nausea, vomiting, headaches, etc. One must always consult a certified nutritionist or dietitian before adding anything to their diet, especially in cases of chronic or potentially fatal illnesses.
Ginseng can help you lose weight:
1. Ginseng contains brown adipose tissue or BAT, which can convert fat into energy faster. That’s one of the reasons why after consuming ginseng you are high on energy.
2. This herb induces the production of gut bacteria that changes the pattern of calorie burn. This impacts our metabolism, ultimately leading to weight loss.
3. Ginseng is known to keep the blood sugar level in check, thus helping the cause of weight loss.
Ginseng also helps in better absorption of fat
Another study, published in the journal Elsevier, says that ginseng is known for better absorption of fat and other nutrients in the body. Due to this property, the herb reduces fat accumulation majorly.
Health Benefits of Ginseng Tea
There are two kinds of ginseng- Asian (from China and Korea) and American ginseng root. Korean or Asian ginseng is a warmer variety, while the American ginseng is cooling in nature. While American ginseng is said to be safe for consumption over longer periods of time, Korean ginseng shouldn’t be consumed on a daily basis for long periods of time. The healing properties of ginseng root are credited to the presence of natural chemicals called ginsenosides. These chemicals are known to have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and vasorelaxative properties. This is why Koreans have traditionally used ginseng extracts to renew body and mind and improve their overall well-being.
Here are some ways that drinking ginseng tea may benefit you:
1. Weight Loss: Ginseng tea may aid weight loss, as it is known to be a natural appetite suppressant, according to the book ‘The Miracle of Herbs and Spices’ by Dr. Bahram Tadayyon. However, only drinking this tea along may not help you lose weight and it has to be accompanied by regular exercise and a healthy diet.
2. Controls Hypertension:Drinking ginseng tea is said to be a natural home remedy to control hypertension or high blood pressure. According to ‘Linda Page’s Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-healing for Everyone’, some clinical trials on high blood pressure patients proved that consumption of ginseng tea can bring about a regular reduction in blood pressure.
3. Restores Hormonal Balance:Ginseng tea is particularly good for women, as it can help bring about a hormonal balance in their bodies and may consequently guard against breast cancer, endometriosis and other problems caused by hormonal imbalances. This is because ginsenosides are chemically similar to female steroidal hormones, which means that the root has mildly estrogen-like effects, according to ‘Linda Page’s Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-healing for Everyone’.
4. Revitalises Body And Brain:A lot of people claim to have improved cognitive abilities and better attention span, after drinking ginseng tea. This is because, according to the book ‘Prescription For Herbal Healing’ by Phyllis A. Balch, ginseng is an adaptogen, which improves the body’s ability to tolerate stressful situations. This is why it’s usually taken to improve energy and beat anxiety and stress.
5. Promotes Heart Health: Ginseng tea is a rich source of antioxidants, which are good for heart health. Moreover, according to the book ‘Prescription For Herbal Healing’ by Phyllis A. Balch, ginseng has been shown to slow the heart rate and reduce the heart’s demand for oxygen. The book says that ginseng root can increase the strength with which heart muscle can contract and hence, protects the heart from myopathy.
6. Promotes Skin Health:Antioxidant-rich herbs and spices like ginseng can promote skin health, due to the inflammation-fighting properties of their active chemicals and compounds. According to the book ‘The Miracle of Herbs and Spices’ by Dr. Bahram Tadayyon, ginseng has anti-ageing properties for the skin, due to the presence of free radical-fighting antioxidants.
7. Strengthens Immunity:Ginseng tea has been used in traditional medicine to fight cold and flu and it has been known to strengthen the immune system of the body.
According to the book ‘Linda Page’s Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-healing for Everyone’ ginseng stimulates phagocytic action and antibody response to harmful bacteria and viruses
Alongside obesity, Ginseng also affects other metabolic functions that indirectly regulate obesity and overweight issues. Those are as follows:
1. Blood sugar: Ginsenosides regulate blood sugar levels by raising glucose uptake, and activating the biochemical pathways that foster leptin and insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity enhances insulin’s effectiveness and anti-glucose metabolism, thereby putting an overall effect on obesity.
2. Digestion: Consumption of Ginseng over a period of 8 weeks may bring significant and favourable change in human gut microflora.
3. Capacity and Stamina: Ginseng is mixed in many energy drinks to boost stamina and act as an ergogenic (that enhances athletic performance) aid. Ginseng alone or with caffeine at high doses, may significantly foster endurance.
Ginseng for weight loss
Suppress appetite to prevent overeating
Daily calorie balance: that’s the ultimate governing “entity” determining whether you’re gaining or losing weight. Eat fewer calories than your body requires, and you’ll lose weight. Sounds simple enough, right? But talk to anyone who’s tried to resist an extra serving of crunchy, crispy fries, tantalizing donuts, or piping hot pizza slices, and you’d fully understand the challenges in curbing one’s daily calorie intake. Your appetite can truly feel like an untamable monster on some days.
Decrease body’s fat absorption from foods
More than simply suppressing your appetite, ginseng could also work for weight loss by limiting your digestive systems’ ability to absorb fat from consumed foods. So, most of the ingested fats simply get passed out as “waste materials”. Meaning? You take in fewer calories from fat (which will likely translate to weight loss). But wait. How does ginseng accomplish this impressive fat-blocking feat? Well, the answer lies in its bioactive components known as ginsenosides. More specifically, research shows ginsenosides to significantly suppress pancreatic lipase (note: an enzyme the body uses to break down fats in food) activity. This causes most ingested fats to pass into your feces undigested, decreasing the amount of energy your body takes in.
Alters gut microbiota to promote weight loss
Interestingly, there’s a growing body of evidence highlighting an association between gut microbiota (i.e., the microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts) and obesity development. While scientists are still figuring out the exact mechanisms at play, there’s one thing they know: obese individuals’ gut microbiota appears more efficient in energy extraction from dietary intake – and subsequent fat storage – than lean individuals. Okay, but … so what? It’s not like you could alter your gut microbiota, right? Wrong. You could.
Does ginseng reduce belly fat?
Results of this study indicate that ginseng exerted a weight loss effect and slight effects on gut microbiota in all participants. In addition, its antiobesity effects differed depending on the composition of gut microbiota prior to ginseng intake.
Is ginseng tea good for weight loss?
Weight Loss: Ginseng tea may aid weight loss, as it is known to be a natural appetite suppressant, according to the book ‘The Miracle of Herbs and Spices’ by Dr. Bahram Tadayyon. However, only drinking this tea along may not help you lose weight and it has to be accompanied by regular exercise and a healthy diet
Ginseng or ginsenosides may help control appetite and prevent the overintake of food energy by attenuating the HFD-induced chronic inflammation of the hypothalamus, improving leptin resistance, and reducing the secretion of neuropeptide Y. Once food is consumed, PPD-type ginsenosides can inhibit the activity of pancreatic lipase and prevent digestion of TAG. Ginsenoside Rg1 suppresses the expression of SGLT1 and blocks the absorption of glucose. In this way, the energy harvested by an organism from the consumed lipids and carbohydrates can be reduced. Through the activation of AMPK, metabolism is switched from anabolism to catabolism. In liver, TAG synthesis, cholesterogenesis, and gluconeogenesis are downregulated through the suppression of FAS, HMGCR, PEPCK, and G6Pase. Moreover, PPAR-α is activated downstream by AMPK, and it stimulates oxidation and export of fatty acids. In this way, liver steatosis induced by an HFD may be improved. Furthermore, ginseng and ginsenosides stimulate the synthesis of bile acid from cholesterol, upregulate the expression of LDL receptor, and thereby mediate cholesterol clearance from blood and liver. Ginseng and ginsenosides also activate the AMPK pathway and inhibit TAG synthesis in adipose tissue. Results describing the effects of ginseng on adipogenesis via PPAR-γ and C/EBPα have so far been inconsistent. However, many researchers have reported that HFD-fed mice administrated with ginseng have low adipose tissue weights and small adipocytes. Ginseng and ginsenosides may have a dual regulatory effect on adipogenesis and maintain homeostasis of lipid metabolism. In addition, inflammation due to hypoxia in adipose tissue is ameliorated by ginseng. Ginseng and ginsenosides also stimulate the AMPK pathway in skeletal muscle. Glucose uptake and fatty acid oxidation are upregulated via stimulation of GLUT4 and mitochondria biogenesis. Ginseng may downregulate blood glucose and lipids by facilitating energy expenditure in muscle.
In summary, ginseng and ginsenosides not only modulate appetite and reduce energy input in the intestine, but also inhibit lipid synthesis and stimulate energy consumption in skeletal muscle and liver via the activated AMPK pathway. Therefore, to some extent, the antiobesity effect of ginseng may be explained by the principle of energy conservation. In addition, ginseng treatment can result in a two-way adjustment of adipogenesis under HFD-induced obese and diabetic conditions. Nevertheless, previous studies into the antiobesity effects of ginseng are mostly restricted to animals. There is limited evidence supporting the suggestion that ginseng exerts an antiobesity effect in humans. Additional study and verification through longitudinal human studies are required to elucidate the antiobesity effects of ginseng in humans.