Ginseng’s metabolic impact on the human body has been studied in a few experiments. I am presenting one such study to illustrate the impact of chemicals on the body is immediate irrespective of the source- herbal or chemical. As you would observe in the abstract below, the impact measurements were taken at 1, 2, and 3 hours after the intervention and changes were observed.
Ginsenoside Rg3, present in steamed ginseng (Panax Ginseng C.A. Meyer), is thought to be a potent modulator of vascular function. Acute effects of ginsenoside Rg3–enriched Korean red ginseng (Rg3-KRG) on measures of arterial stiffness and peripheral and central blood pressure (BP) parameters in healthy volunteers were studied. Using a double-blind, randomized, crossover design, 23 individuals (9 males:14 females; age, 25 ± 2 years; body mass index, 22 ± 0.6 kg/m 2; systolic BP/diastolic BP, 113 ± 3/70 ± 2 mm Hg) were administered 400-mg Rg3-KRG extract or 400-mg wheat bran control on two separate visits with a 7-day washout period.
Measurements were taken at baseline and 1, 2, and 3 hours after the intervention. Compared with control, there were significant reductions in augmentation index (−4.3 ± 8.9%, P = .03), central (−4.8 ± 6.8 mm Hg, P = .01), and brachial mean arterial pressure (−4.4 ± 6.6 mm Hg, P = .01), central systolic (−5.0 ± 7.9 mm Hg, P = .01) and diastolic BP (−3.9 ± 6.6 mm Hg, P = .01), and brachial systolic (−4.4 ± 10.0 mm Hg, P = .048) and diastolic BP (−3.6 ± 6.4 mm Hg, P = .01) at 3 hours after the intervention compared with control. (Jovanovski, E., et al., 2014)
Several studies have found that ginseng may help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. For example, a 12-week study in people with type 2 diabetes found that taking 3 grams of American ginseng before meals improved blood sugar control and reduced HbA1c levels compared to a placebo.
Ginseng has also been found to improve physical performance, which can impact overall metabolism. One study found that taking American ginseng before exercise improved endurance and decreased fatigue in healthy adults. Another study found that taking Korean red ginseng improved physical performance in healthy adults.
Ginseng may also have anti-inflammatory effects, which could impact metabolism. One study found that taking Korean red ginseng reduced inflammation in people with type 2 diabetes. Another study found that taking American ginseng reduced inflammation in healthy adults.
Most of the modern medicines used today were discovered and isolated from plants. When the impact of these medicines is instant, how this can be different in the case of ginseng is a question for pondering. I have seen the same phenomenon during my research on other herbs. Still, scientific studies on ginseng and many other herbs have rarely proceeded to the human clinical trial stage. These are critical to measuring ginseng’s metabolic impact, speed and effectiveness, and the herb’s safety.
To know more about herbs, herbal medicine, and natural solutions, you have a selection of books you may wish to explore.
Jovanovski, E., Bateman, E. A., Bhardwaj, J., Fairgrieve, C., Mucalo, I., Jenkins, A. L., & Vuksan, V. (2014). Effect of Rg3-enriched Korean red ginseng (Panax ginseng) on arterial stiffness and blood pressure in healthy individuals: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Society of Hypertension, 8(8), 537-541.