With 2017 set to be the year of botanicals it's an exciting time for Botanic Lab as many of the ingredients that we champion come into the spotlight. Botanical complexity is at the heart of everything we do (the clue is in our name). We have relished the challenge of incorporating these powerful and interesting ingredients into drinks that will excite your taste buds. That's not always the easiest of tasks. In meaningful quantities many potent botanicals have a challenging flavour and are avoided by mainstream food producers.
In this series of posts we'd like to share with you some of our favourite botanical ingredients - the history, origin and traditional uses and give you an insight into the very special plants that we put at the centre of our drink creations.
A favourite in the Lab, the adaptogen Panax ginseng, or Asian ginseng as it is commonly known, is one of the most highly regarded herbal medicines in East Asia, revered for its positive influence on the central nervous system, immune, endocrine and adrenocortical systems.
There are many different types of ginseng from around the world but Panax is the King! Panax contains 29 types of ginsenosides whilst others contain only 8-9.
Ginsenosides are a diverse group of natural molecules with a steroid like structure that produce different effects from one another. This means that panax can produce multiple actions in the same tissue, for example it can simultaneously stimulate and relax the nervous system.
Panax increases capillary circulation thus significantly decreasing the effects of stress and improving cognitive function and general wellbeing.
Early results from laboratory studies show that chemicals in panax ginseng may promote the growth of blood vessels, which could be valuable in treating injuries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) supports the use of ginseng as an agent for enhancement of mental and physical capacities, in cases of weakness, exhaustion, tiredness, and loss of concentration, and during convalescence (WHO, 1999). Traditionally, panax ginseng is used as a tonic, stimulant, aphrodisiac, immune booster, blood pressure modulator (lowering or raising, depending on needs), and a modulator of blood sugar level (lowering or raising, depending on needs). Panax ginseng more than lives up to its royal reputation, don't you agree?