Ginseng Acne & Skin Care Soap
The term ginseng covers Asian, Chinese or Korean ginseng, botanical name Panax ginseng, and American ginseng, or Panax quinquefolius. Siberian ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus, is a different plant, lacking ginsenosides, the purported medicinal ingredient in Panax. University of Maryland Medical Center and Mayo Clinic researchers cite clinical studies demonstrating that Asian ginseng improves immune function and resistance to infection. A 2009 Mayo Clinic report recommends thorough skin cleansing with antiseptics and high-quality soap in acne care. Traditional herbalists and modern soap makers combine these benefits.
Mayo Clinic physicians report several research studies indicating that ginseng can boost your immune system. Patients with acute bronchitis experienced improved antibiotic effectiveness when treatment was accompanied by ginseng. A study reported by University of Maryland researchers showed that a group of people given flu vaccine and ginseng had 2/3 fewer flu cases than one given vaccine alone. Studies such as these are consistent with traditional views that ginseng boosts the body's defenses and support including ginseng in soaps to treat acne.
Traditional Asian medical practitioners ascribe many healing and curative properties to ginseng. Among them are acne scar healing, general skin care and soothing of skin irritation, wrinkle prevention, wound healing, relief of herpes outbreaks, anti-inflammatory properties, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-infective abilities. Taken together, these purported benefits of ginseng support including it in soaps to treat acne.
New Directions Aromatics, an Australian company specializing in herbal care products, provides books and craft supplies for making your own herbal soaps at home. They claim that American ginseng, containing 5 percent ginsenosides, as an ingredient in soap provides revitalizing and cell-activating properties. They offer ginseng tinctures, recommending 20 g of extract in 100 ml of liquid soap base, for its reputed ability to refresh aged skin and dull, lackluster complexions. New Directions also offers an Asian ginseng extract containing 80 percent ginsenosides, only 0.2 g of which is needed for an effective skin care soap formulation.
A product called Superior Ginseng Soap blends ginseng herb with glycerin and natural emollients to provide mild but thorough cleansing. This product is only lightly scented, because skin that requires medicinal care may be sensitive to highly scented ingredients. Other ginseng soaps, SoMiGeon Korean Red Ginseng Weak Acid Liquid Soap and SoMiGeon Red Ginseng Solid Soap, are said to be specially formulated with mild vegetable oils and red or Korean ginseng, Panax ginseng, to treat acne.
As noted by the Mayo Clinic studies, most traditional medicinal claims for ginseng are unsupported by adequate scientific research. None of the traditional uses are judged to be harmful in themselves, but if used instead of proven modern medical treatment, serious skin infections, which can occur in acne, may be left untreated. While significant research does support the immune system-boosting properties of ginseng, its specific efficacy against acne has not been established. Consult your physician before using ginseng soaps for acne. Products described are for illustrative purposes and not intended as product endorsements.
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