The old Chinese comment that ginseng is wasted on youth has some merit to it. This herb is perhaps the best known for its ability to slow down and reverse the ravages of time. Naturally, people want to retain the youthful health of their skin, regardless of their age. Harm to skin from dehydration, from too much sunlight, or from any of many other kinds of stresses, can promote skin aging.
This is where ginseng comes to the rescue as one of the top herbs in many herbal skin care products. It is no longer an Oriental secret. Everyone sees to know about the anti-aging effects of ginseng. Ginseng has even attracted attention from those nerdy researchers who spend so much of their time in laboratories in their white lab coats.
What Makes Ginseng So Powerful?
Studies on ginseng over the past few decades have discovered quite a few beneficial constituents. The main category of these substitutes are the saponins. The name of this class of plant natural products comes from its soaplike action. Saponins are partly soluble in oil and, at the same time, partly soluble in water. This is a perfect combination for getting into the oily upper layers of skin, all the way into the watty insides of cells.
Arriving in the right places is just the start for ginseng saponins. Their activities really begin after they have permeated skin cells. More than two dozen unique ginseng saponins, called ginsenosides, have been found so far. Each one has a slightly different set of chemical properties, which compose the foundation of their multiple health benefits.
When taken orally ginsenosides have a positive impact on the central nervous system, on the cardiovascular system, on the immune system, and on the endocrine system. When used on skin, in a variety of natural skin care products, ginsenosides are a big boost to skin health. Benefits include warming the skin to enhance microcirculation, reversing skin damage from overexposure to UV light or heat, driving collagen synthesis to reduce wrinkles, and even directing the repair of skin wounds.
It is no wonder that ginseng sits at the top of the list of best-selling herbal products worldwide.
Benefits of Ginseng for Skin Health
Boosting blood flow (microcirculation) in the tiny vessels in skin, promotes the delivery of key repair factors to the cells in need. This is particularly important for the many complicated processes that skin metabolism provides for reducing inflammation. Improving microcirculation transforms dry, scaly or reddened skin to a natural, healthy glow.
Inflammation is the root cause of many health problems, especially those of skin. Undereye circles, puffiness, and wrinkles all indicate inflammation. Using topical ginseng products to boost the skin's natural anti-inflammatory activity reverses all of these unsightly symptoms.
Skin health also depends on cell regeneration. Ginseng is especially important for stimulating the production of new cells. Quickly building new cells is the basis for maintaining toned, glowing, youthful skin.
Science Behind Ginseng for Skin Health
Ginseng is one of the only herbs that is valuable enough to merit its own research journal. The Journal of Ginseng Research is a quarterly, peer-reviewed scientific publication on all aspects of ginseng research. This journal has been publishing original studies on ginseng biology, culture, pharmacology, chemistry, and clinical investigation since 1976. It is a wonderful source of information about ginseng in modern science.
Just one recent study in the Journal of Ginseng Research showed what scientists are discovering about this herb for skin health. This study was conducted in South Korea at Chonnam National University. It was designed to determine the therapeutic effects of a ginsenoside extract on wound healing. The results were positive for reducing the number of inflammatory cells and for enhancing collagen deposition.
This is just one of the many examples of scientific research that confirms the ancient uses of ginseng for skin health.
Finding Good Herbal Skin Care Products
A solid foundation of traditional knowledge is always a good starting point for evaluating herbal skin care formulas. Such knowledge is available on many of herbs. The bonus is when traditionally known herbs also have strong backing from modern scientific studies. This is where ginseng comes to the forefront. Modern research forms a solid connection to ancient wisdom. It is obvious that ginseng has a lot to offer for the health and beauty of skin. It is really the superstar in herbal skin care.