For a society that worries about the physical wellbeing of its populace, it is surprising that we know and care so little about the mental health of the said populace. The issue of Mood and Mental Health has garnered prominence, especially in these COVID times possibly because of the upheavals and loss that has come about as a result of the pandemic. Since poor Mood and Mental Health is the leading cause of suicide, before we deliberate on the effects of Ginseng on Mood and Mental Health, it is pertinent that we know what those two (Mood and Mental) mean.
Mood and Mental Health
Mood is generally understood to be a temporary state of mind or feeling. This means that our mood is usually dependent on the challenges or situations we face and how we address them. The World Health Organization has defined Mental Health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to his or her community”. It is fair to say that the majority of people living today do not meet up with the standard of the WHO as to what good mental health should be. The Mood and Mental Health of a person is usually affected by certain factors, namely;
- Economic factors:
Mood and Mental Health are affected by money. Studies have shown that the unemployed usually suffer from terrible moodiness and have poor mental health as a lack of employment or a viable source of income hurts their self-esteem and mental health.
Stress is not always bad. A small amount of it is healthy enough to spur one on to meet deadlines and be productive. The harm comes from long-term stress and it can have debilitating effects on the mood and mental health of an individual.
The effects of Ginseng on Mood and Mental Health
Ginseng is a short, slow-growing herb with fleshy roots predominantly used as medicine in China, Japan, Korea, and the United State of America. Ginseng contains ginsenosides which are natural antioxidants sourced from its leaves, roots, and stems. The use of Ginseng as a mood modulator and rejuvenator and a panacea for a mental health issue is well documented. Even in an era where the use of orthodox medicine for remedy is rarely advanced, Ginseng has been used as an adaptogen to help the body better handle everyday stress. What’s more, when compared with other adaptogens, Ginseng has been discovered to be more potent. The main stress hormone in the body is Cortisol which is managed by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Ginseng can help address and rejuvenate the HPA axis that is responsible for certain mental health issues such as hypertension, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Ginseng improves mood and mental health by suppressing stress and tackling some of the effects of depression such as memory loss as it is effective in protecting the nervous system and preventing degenerative brain diseases.