- 1 Who is Mr Ginseng?
- 2 The role of medicinal plants
- 3 The role of roots, bark, leaves, flowers, mushrooms…
- 4 Different plants for different individuals…
- 5 Ineffectiveness of medicinal plants?
- 6 Be careful about the quality of medicinal plants!
- 7 Danger of medicinal plants?
- 8 My vision of medicinal plants: Ginseng, Rhodiola, Maca, Ginkgo…
- 9 My favorite medicinal plants
- 10 Mr Ginseng Forum
- 11 Contact Mr Ginseng
- 12 Help Mr Ginseng
Who is Mr Ginseng?
After experiencing several health problems including repeated instances of angina, mono and constant fatigue, I became interested in traditional remedies (especially herbal medicine), as an alternative to modern medicine, which presented limitations that I could not accept. I wanted to get better without the side-effects that medication can cause, such as diarrhea or the weakening of certain organs. As such, I discovered the benefits of medicinal plants and what they can bring to anyone desiring a stronger body, a quicker mind, and lasting emotional stability – all without any major side-effects. In addition to taking medicinal plants, I also changed my diet due to food intolerances that were causing me serious problems (see the article on how to combat food intolerances, especially Gluten intolerance).
The role of medicinal plants
The primary function of medicinal plants is not to treat illness, but to reinforce and fortify the body, and as such they are very effective as a preventative measure. However, in synergy, they can be a remedy to many ills, stimulating the immune system and providing many of the vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the healthy functioning of our bodies. Despite this, it is important to recognize that traditional medicine has its limits, just as modern medicine has its limits, and that it all depends on the problem in question. That said, we are far from having discovered all the virtues of nature. There are reputed to be more than 300,000 species of known plants, while less than 1% of these have been studied for their medicinal benefits. On top of this there are the various algae and underwater species still unknown to scientists. It should be noted that plants are not without danger, but even then they are much less dangerous than the chemical substances used in modern medicine, and the internet is the perfect resource for researching and developing an informed opinion about plants that are useful for the body. As one herbalist said: (when you) try a certain plant, even if all the books assure you that it is good for the specific problem you have, do not force it upon yourself if you do not feel comfortable with it.
The role of roots, bark, leaves, flowers, mushrooms…
It is also important to note that in traditional medicine, such as Ayurvedic and Chinese (which are the most ancient medicines in the world), it is not the leaves or flowers but the roots of plants that are most often used for prevention and treatment. Based on analysis, here is my vision of the effects of the different parts of medicinal plants::
- Roots, bark, seeds: fortify and revitalise the body, stimulate the immune system, protect the body from disease and help to prevent cancer, tone sexual functions, revitalize, regain foothold with reality, balance the nervous system (especially roots), protect and purify the intestines, lymphatic drainage (especially bark), reduce allergies, protect the skin. (Ginseng, Ashwagandha, Maca, Rhodiola, Cat's Claw, Lapacho, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Ginger, Eleutherococcus, Devil's Claw, Alder, Oak tree...) - Leaves, flowers, buds: revitalize, provide vitamins and minerals, protect and promote the healthy functioning of certain organs such as the stomach, liver, kidneys, bladder, the lungs..., facilitate blood circulation, digestion, sleep and relaxation, reinforce the skin, hair, nails and eyes. (Nettle, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Cannabis, Camomile, Gingko biloba, Desmodium, Milk thistle, Dandelion...) - Fruits and berries: provide many vitamins in large quantities, powerful antioxidants, help to prevent cancer, stimulate general metabolism, improve concentration, enhance clearness of thought,stimulate sexual functions, purify the intestines, stimulate the digestive process, stimulate the liver, heal the skin, protect eyes. (Tribulus, Kiwi, Acerola, Sea Buckthorn, Goji berry, Guarana, Acai berry, Blueberry, Lemon...) - Marine algae: revitalize the body, provide all minerals and vitamins necessary for healthy functioning, detoxify, strongly reduce acidity. (Spirulina, Chlorella, Lithothamnium...) - Mushrooms: help the body to prevent cancer and disease, reinforce the immune system and promote its healthy functioning.(Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake...) - Beehive products: promote growth, protect the skin, mucosae, reinforce effectively the immune system. (Royal Jelly, Propolis, Pollen, Honey...)
Different plants for different individuals…
Every body is different, and everyone has their own sensibility and needs. As such, I am convinced that it is by testing and experimenting (at least a certain amount) that we learn the most about ourselves, our bodies, and the effects of different medicinal plants. Moreover, even if certain plants have a specific reputation as is the case with: Panax Ginseng and Royal Jelly (fatigue), Rhodiola Rosea (stress), Cat’s Claw and Turmeric (help to prevent cancer), Liquorice (ulcers), Lemon Balm and Cannabis (relaxation), Arnica (injuries), Tribulus Terrestris and Maca (sexuality), Peppermint (nervousness), Star Anise (swine flu), Propolis (flu, loss of voice, sore throat), Meadowsweet and Devil’s Claw (tendonitis, joint pains, arthritis), Ginkgo Biloba (blood circulation), Guarana (combat fatigue, improve vigilance), St. John’s Wort and Griffonia simplicifolia (depression), Echinacea, Astragalus, Thyme and Cinnamon (immunity), Ashwagandha (sleep), Aloe Vera (skin problems)… the majority of these act on a variety of problems, and often have very interesting effects when they act in synergy together, thereby multiplying their effectiveness.
Ineffectiveness of medicinal plants?
Sometimes we may be led to think that certain plants are ineffective for treating a given problem. This can be true, but often the real reason is incorrect dosage or method of ingestion. Naturally, if you use the plant incorrectly, you will not obtain the desired effects. Plants and trees are composed of roots, bark, seeds, stem, leaves, flowers, and fruits that all have different virtues. In addition, all plants of a certain kind are not necessarily the same: for example, red Panax Ginseng from Korea has a much better reputation than its American cousin. The method of drying plants also plays a role, and it is necessary to be wary of certain unscrupulous companies with little regard for quality. Finally, it is easy to forget that many plants are used externally. Thus, Arnica is a tonic plant when used internally (except for homeopathic use) but, used externally, is very effective in the case of bruises, injuries or tendonitis. Similarly, St. John’s Wort which, used internally, is known for treating light to moderate depression, reveals itself to be an excellent remedy in the treatment of wounds and burns when used externally.
Be careful about the quality of medicinal plants!
It is important to be careful about the quality of the medicinal plants that you purchase. When possible, I will point you towards the store(s) where you can find the best quality plants in my articles on mr-ginseng.com. Beware of sellers that attempt to lure you with low prices – very often these products are so cheap because they contain far too few active ingredients. For example, Ginseng, Rhodiola, Maca and Tribulus are all relatively expensive plants; this is to be expected as the roots require several years in order to accumulate all their active ingredients, and it is thus difficult to find high quality products. On the other hand, Ginger, Thyme, Clay, Lemon Balm, Blueberry… should be much more accessible. In addition, you should favor plants carrying the organic label, because this is another good indication of quality. Beware of companies offering prices that defy all competition. Although it is not always the case, when I know of a reputable store, I will add at the bottom of the article: “Name of medicinal plant : Where to find high quality” (before the section on Combination with other plants), e.g. Maca and Rhodiola.
Danger of medicinal plants?
It cannot be denied that medicinal plants sometimes have undesirable effects. On Mr-Ginseng.com, the side-effects of each plant are clearly identified in their articles. However, every body is different and if you suspect undesirable effects caused by any plant, you should cease treatment immediately. It is up to you to find the plants that best suit you. Certain plants such as Camomile can be toxic in strong doses, but for this you would need to drink more than 45 cups per day (this would not even enter our minds). Moreover, the side-effects of plants will always be less strong than those of commercial medicines for the simple reason that these medicines contain specific molecules that act strongly against a specific problem, while the roles of plants are not specific to any particular problem – they are general and respond to a variety of bodily needs. Finally, the body recognises natural molecules much more easily than generic molecules, and the effects of plants are removed from the system rapidly, often within a day (unlike medication). It can be observed that several plants such as Cannabis, Mandrake, Salvia and Tayuva, despite their effectiveness in treating various problems, cannot legally be sold in numerous countries, often due to their psychotropic effects. These plants, when used in strong doses, can indeed have pronounced undesirable effects. This is why it is recommended to start by testing in small doses – in the worst case you will be sick for a day. As a general rule, within the recommended dosage and a reasonable period of use (not more than 2 months in a row), undesirable effects are mostly rare.
My vision of medicinal plants: Ginseng, Rhodiola, Maca, Ginkgo…
Personally, I believe that certain plants are much more effective than others. It is not an accident that plants such as Ginseng, Maca, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Aloe Vera, Ginkgo biloba, Turmeric, Cannabis or Devil’s Claw have been used for over 4,000 years, by ancestral peoples such as the Vikings and Inuits; or that certain plants were reserved for Chinese and Mongolian emperors, while civilizations as advanced as the Greeks and Romans used various medicinal plants for prevention, treatment and healing. It is also interesting to note that several civilizations that garnered the benefits of certain medicinal plants in fact relied on the reputation of their benefits from other preceding civilizations.
Finally, I believe that to approach plants is to approach something more real, more true to oneself and to the natural world which we are part of (and which we tend to forget too easily), and that plants are thus an effective way of curing many ills.
My favorite medicinal plants
Like every herbalist, I have a preference for certain plants. However, it is necessary for each person to test the effects of plants on their own bodies. Sometimes it is enough to smell and taste small quantities to know if a plant suits you or not, and/or if it responds to a need. Let your body, your emotions, your wants, needs and instincts guide you in choosing which plants suit you. My favorite plants in no particular order are: Maca (for its tonic properties, and because it provides strong sexual vigor), Thyme (for its great boost in immunity and strength), Ginseng (because it is an excellent plant for combating physical and nervous fatigue), Rhodiola (because it restores joy to the heart), Turmeric (because it is a very powerful anti-inflammatory), Activated Carbon and Cinnamon (because it is the solution to a large number of intestinal problems), Garlic (because it is of great help in treating numerous illnesses), Lemon Balm and Griffonia Simplicifolia (because it is the best plant for disengagement), Ashwagandha (because it restores strength and vigor, while also improving sleep), Cat’s Claw and Echinacea (because it seems to me the strongest plant for protecting the immune system), Cannabis and its oil (because it is of great help against autoimmune diseases, pains and depression), Lemon (because it is a cheap and underestimated plant that contains numerous medicinal benefits), Spirulina (because it is the best friend of the athlete and the convalescent), Lapacho (Pau d’Arco) (because its bark is of great help against all infections and bacteria) and finally Blueberry (because it is excellent for the eyes). I have a reservation concerning plants such as the Goji Berry which, despite some confirmed medicinal benefits, can easily be replaced by other, far less expensive alternatives.
Mr Ginseng Forum
Soon you will have a new english forum where you can ask any questions about medicinal plants, herbs, dietary supplements and traditional medicines, share your knowledge, experience, testimonials, recipes and health problems! Come and participate on the new forum: you are welcome to ask questions, write articles, and also to help others! http://odlg.org <= Ask all your questions in this forum (in french only).
Contact Mr Ginseng
Warning: given the many emails I receive each day, I can’t answer to everyone. That’s why I only answer on the french forum (see above) and developing an english one, in order to share as much knowledge as possible, about medicinal plants. Also thanks for everyone who actively participate in making more famous mr-ginseng.com on Internet, and talk about the website in forums, blogs, videos…! Contact me at contact[at]mr-ginseng.com (replace at with @). I do not answer questions by email, only on the forum.
Help Mr Ginseng
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