Sun damaged skin and wrinkles scaring you into spending oodles on skin cream? The secret to young skin may lie in a common Chinese herb. In exciting beauty news, red ginseng was shown to improve the appearance of wrinkles in women over 40 in a recent study. The active ingredients in ginseng, Ginsenosides have been linked with improved collagen production, and therefore wrinkle reduction. For this reason, ginseng is becoming a common ingredient in skin care products. In this study however, the ginseng was given as a dietary supplement and significant results in wrinkle reduction were still noted.
Ginseng is a plant that has been cultivated in Asia for centuries, and the root of the plant is dried to make the herbs and dietary supplements we see commercially available. Ginseng has been linked to improved sexual performance, energy boosting and as an alternative treatment for diabetes. Its efficacy in sexual and energy enhancement seems to be more of a myth, unfortunately.
The subjects in this study were given 2.72 grams of ginseng per day with only one person experiencing side effects. Side effects noted in other studies include headaches, insomnia, anxiety and gastrointestinal upset. However, these studies were not blinded and therefore they are not necessarily due to the ginseng itself.
Ginseng is widely available in teas and dietary supplements. Commercially available supplements range in dosage from 250 to 6000 mg per capsule so step wisely before purchasing. (1 gram equals 1000 milligrams. A 6000 milligram supplement is more then double the dose.) As a supplement, the FDA does not regulate the content of these supplements, and they cannot assure their safety. Plus, more is not better when it comes to supplementation, overdoing could be harmful. For a safer way to incorporate ginseng into your diet, look for teas containing ginseng as they contain less and it will be much milder on your stomach.
So if you’re thinking of trying ginseng to keep wrinkles away, consult a health professional first. In the meantime, other foods scientifically proven great for your skin are berries and orange vegetables.