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Is Drinking Ginseng & Green Tea Good for the Body?

By Owen Bond

Drinking green tea with ginseng provides many benefits to the body, primarily involving energy boosting and fat burning. Green tea is derived from the tea bush, Camellia sinensis, and contains caffeine, unlike herbal teas. Ginseng can be made into an herbal tea by itself, or combined with green tea for synergistic effects. Green tea and ginseng are grown in Asian countries, mainly China, Japan, Korea and India.

Green Tea and Metabolism

Green tea has many health-promoting properties that are good for the body, including causing thermogenic effects. Thermogenic effects produce heat and slightly increase body temperature, which is what occurs when metabolism is stimulated. Specifically, green tea contains catechin polyphenols, which stimulate the production of norepinephrine, a chemical transmitter that increases the rate of calorie burning. A Japanese study published in a 2005 edition of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” discovered that catechin-rich green tea extracts lead to loss of body fat and reduced blood cholesterol levels. The caffeine in green tea leaves stimulates the adrenal glands to produce testosterone, which boosts energy and increases metabolism secondarily.

Other Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea may also be useful as a glucose regulator, which moderates the rise in blood sugars following a meal, and to inhibit the storage of carbohydrates as fat, as cited in “Nutritional Sciences.” These actions, along with its effect on metabolism, explain why green tea is often touted as a weight-loss product, with or without ginseng. In addition, green tea is a rich source of antioxidants, which eliminate free radicals that damage blood vessels and other tissues. Further, green tea has an alkalizing affect on body fluids and tissues, which deters the proliferation of pathogenic microorganisms and disease processes, such as cancer, according to “Human Biochemistry and Disease.”

Types of Ginseng Root

The roots of ginseng plants contain its sought-after benefits. The three general types of ginseng root are Asian, American and Siberian varieties. Asian ginseng, or Panax ginseng, is further divided into Chinese and Korean sub-types due to the way the roots are processed. Korean ginseng is considered the most potent type and is distinguished by its brownish-red color, which has lead to its nickname “red panax.” Ginseng is usually consumed as a tea, either solo or mixed with green tea, or as a capsule. Korean ginseng may not be appropriate for young children, due to its potency.

Benefits of Ginseng

In traditional Chinese medicine, ginseng root is thought to promote “yang energy,” which reduces fatigue, improves blood circulation, revitalizes body organs and speeds recovery from illnesses, as cited in “Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica.” Korean ginseng is the most potent form and commonly used in Asia to improve work efficiency, increase physical stamina, enhance athletic endurance and as a general rejuvenating tonic, according to MedlinePlus. Combining ginseng with green tea may boost the effects of each, which is why they are sometimes found together in “energy drinks” or weight loss products.

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