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American Ginseng and the Common Cold

Worried about catching a cold or the flu because everyone around you is sick? You know you just don't have time to be sick, but winter is here, and that means it's cold and flu season. What can you do to protect yourself?

Colds are contagious viruses, and unless your immune system is in top shape, you stand a good chance of coming down with one yourself. There is much that can be done to avoid catching a cold. Well-known tips include staying away from crowded places, keeping your distance from those who have cold, keeping your hands away from your nose and eyes after coming into physical contact with someone who has a cold, washing your hands after blowing your nose, and keeping your room well ventilated.

But how do you strengthen your immune system's infection-fighting ability? It is essential to eat a healthy diet with minimal processed food, especially sugar. You need to get sufficient Sleep and exercise. In addition, you can take a good herbal complex containing Echinacea and Ginseng.

These kind of herbal complexes are formulated with the root of the herb American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), which has a long history of use as a medicine by native North Americans. American ginseng has also been exported to Asia since the eighteen century. In both cultures, this herb has been prized as a tonic to replenish energy and build resistance. In North America native culture, it was also given magical properties and was used as an ingredient in love potions.

Recently, there have been serious clinical studies done with American ginseng, and there is now strong evidence to support the immune-enhancing properties of this herb. These studies show that not only can American ginseng help to prevent colds and flu, but it can also reduce the severity of symptoms and significantly reduce the number of days a person suffers with an infection. The scientific explanation is that Ginseng is an adaptogen, therefore helps the body cope with stress better, including the stress that comes with changing seasons and cold temperature.

In clinical trials and a documented from usage in the general population, American ginseng has been shown safe and well-tolerated. No known interactions have been found with any medications, diseases, or other herbal products. However, as specific clinical trials have not been conducted to investigate these interaction potentials, it is advised that individuals with serious medical conditions or those taking medications consumed a Health care practitioner prior to use of any product containing American ginseng.

Ginsenosides are the active constituents of ginseng, and they are thought to fight fatigue and stress by supporting the adrenal glands. Several clinical studies have shown that American ginseng works by stimulating the immune system's natural killer cells (NKC).

So if you want to give yourself the best chance of avoiding that sore throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and general run-down feeling, then eat well, get sufficient sleep, exercise, add Ginseng to your shopping list to reduce the possibility of catching a cold.

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by Dr. Anca Martalog, N.D
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.