this issue

AU$59.95 / 12 month(s)

Subscribe Online NOW »

Tienchi ginseng

Paul Keogh on 09 November 2010. Posted by WellBeing Natural Health & Living News



Tienchi ginseng (Panax notoginseng) is a medicinal plant cultivated in the Southern Chinese provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan, where it\'s called tien chi or san chi. One of its other popular names, jin bu huan, means "more valuable than gold", which attests to the priceless reputation of this ginseng variety.

Active constituents

The active constituents of tienchi ginseng root include saponins (ginsenosides), flavonoids (antioxidants), polysaccharides (immune modulators), sterols (beta-sitosterol) and essential oils. Scientific research demonstrates the ginsenosides have profound pharmacological effects on cellular metabolism, haematopoiesis (blood production) and blood function, endocrine and hormonal activity, liver metabolism and protection, blood sugar and cholesterol regulation, immune function, aerobic performance, injury prevention and recovery, cognition and cardiovascular health, especially the heart and circulation. While the ginsenosides of tienchi ginseng are common to other species of Panax, constituent analysis using liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis demonstrated that tienchi ginseng contains considerably higher levels of ginsenosides than any other species of ginseng.

 

Therapeutic benefits

The haemostatic effect (ability to stop bleeding) both internally and externally, without causing blood stasis, is one of the most important benefits of tienchi ginseng. It also has the ability to promote normal circulation, assists in the dispersal of congealed blood and enhances the resorption of blood clots. The haemostatic effect can also assist a wider range of bleeding conditions than soft tissue injury and bruising. Tienchi ginseng can help stop vomiting and the coughing of blood, nosebleed, as well as gastrointestinal and urogenital bleeding such as occurs with gastric ulcers, Crohn\'s disease and menorrhagia (excessive menstrual bleeding). Tienchi ginseng also reduces associated swelling and helps alleviates pain in the affected organ. Following injury or surgery, tienchi ginseng helps relieve bleeding, pain, inflammation, swelling and contusion (bruising). Tienchi ginseng is more than an anti-trauma remedy for the treatment of soft tissue injuries; it\'s an all-round sports medicine that can be used for pre-treatment and recovery from injury or surgery.

Injury prevention is facilitated through tienchi ginseng\'s ability to inhibit microscopic injury and bleeding into soft tissue, which commonly follows strenuous exercise. The only symptoms at this early stage of injury to a muscle or tendon might be mild pain and stiffness. Tienchi ginseng not only stops bleeding, inhibits swelling and relieves pain but also resolves small clots that can slow the healing process. This action, together with tienchi ginseng\'s ability to increase the supply of fresh blood to the affected area, ensures faster healing of micro-injury before it develops into major injury, disrupting training and competition.

During exercise tienchi ginseng enhances energy production and economises oxygen utilisation to improve stamina and endurance, increase muscle strength and enhance aerobic performance. After exercise tienchi ginseng helps heal associated micro-injury by reducing inflammation, pain and swelling, while enhancing recovery and increasing protein synthesis to produce a mild anabolic effect on muscle tissue.

Energy metabolism and oxygen utilisation are economised through Tienchi ginseng\'s ability to retard the breakdown of high energy phosphates during hypoxia (period of insufficient oxygen). This is particularly beneficial for athletes but research demonstrates tienchi ginseng inhibits hypoxic damage to neurons (brain cells) during transient ischemic attacks and to hepatocytes (liver cells) during transplant-induced ischemia. Further research is necessary but this action may have profound implication for people at risk of stroke or heart attack and during transplant or other surgical procedures that cause hypoxia.

Metabolic-enhancing effects of Tienchi ginseng find special application in weight management when combined with exercise and an appropriate diet. During exercise, tienchi ginseng conserves glycogen (stored energy) and stimulates muscles to burn fat for energy. This allows the muscle to sustain longer periods of activity with less lactic acid buildup, which could otherwise cause muscle fatigue.

The cardiovascular effects of tienchi ginseng lead to increased coronary blood flow, enhanced collateral circulation (around blocked coronary arteries) and reduced blood insufficiency or stasis due to myocardial ischemia (lack of blood to the heart muscle). Its vasodilation and analgesic actions help relieve chest pain associated with angina pectoris and decreases myocardial oxygen consumption. Tienchi ginseng has antiarrhythmic action (corrects irregular heartbeat) and helps normalise blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides levels.

Blood sugar levels are lowered in Type 2 diabetics (non-insulin dependent) through tienchi ginseng\'s ability to enhance the action of insulin without increasing blood insulin levels. Tienchi ginseng also increases the synthesis of liver glycogen, a preferred storage form of excess blood sugar (glucose) that might otherwise be converted to fat for storage.

Male infertility caused by inferior sperm motility and progression is enhanced by ginsenosides Rc and Rb2 found in tienchi ginseng. Two separate studies published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine demonstrate that sperm motility is increased by ginsenoside Rc, while sperm progression is enhanced by Rc and Rb2.

An adaptogen is a normalising herb that helps the body maintain an adequate "stress response" while improving its adaptation to stress during times of particular demand. Adaptogens achieve this by enhancing the adrenal cortex stress hormone response, which produces more efficient and effective physiological processes in the body. This in turn results in greater resistance to the stressor and the preservation of energy reserves within the body. Tienchi ginseng is a powerful adaptogen not only for people feeling "stressed out" but for anyone in need of a general tonic, anti-fatigue remedy, performance enhancer or longevity aid.

Research shows that when tienchi ginseng is taken during radiation therapy the tumours shrink faster and collateral damage to normal tissue is minimised. In addition, tienchi possesses significant chemo-protective properties that work against the harmful side-effects of chemotherapy used to treat various forms of cancer. Tienchi ginseng also shows valuable anti-tumour and immune modulating action and contains antioxidants to enhance general disease resistance.


Print article

Article Tags: cardiovascular health,  fitness,  metabolism,  diabetes,  stress relief,  
  1 2 [Next][Last Page]

 

This article was published in WellBeing magazine, Australasia's leading source of information about natural health, natural therapies, alternative therapies, natural remedies, complementary medicine, sustainable living and holistic lifestyles. WellBeing also focuses on natural approaches within the topics of ecology, spirituality, nutrition, pregnancy, parenting and travel.