Panax ginseng root has been used for centuries and even today practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western herbalists promote the use of Panax ginseng as an adaptogen; a herb known to promote healthier responses to stress both physical and mental. Given that stress is one of the root causes for a number of health issues, Panax ginseng plays an important role in keeping you happy and healthy.
Scientific studies undertaken on Panax ginseng have validated a number of the claims about traditional uses of the herb, including verifying that it can be used as a sexual stimulant for men.
What is Panax Ginseng?
The Panax ginseng plant can be found growing in Asia. Because of this it might be found under the name of Asian ginseng, Korean red ginseng, or Chinese ginseng.
It’s important to avoid confusing Panax ginseng with Siberian ginseng or American ginseng. These are two completely different plants and they serve entirely different needs to Asian ginseng.
Ginseng root can be found in supplements to provide natural relief. For ginseng to be most effective, the plant has to be grown for a full five years before being harvested and used. As such, there is a high price tag on this high-quality ginseng.
There is a also a dried, unprocessed variation of the root known as white ginseng. If the root is dried and steamed then it is known as red ginseng.
Traditional Uses of Panax Ginseng
The use of Korean red ginseng has been part of traditional Chinese medicine as a supplement for boosting overall wellness for centuries now. The traditional uses of Panax ginseng include:
- Boosting immune system
- Improving heart health
- Fighting diabetes
- Increasing energy
- Decreasing stress
- Treating impotence
People say that the root is comparable to the human body, but it has shoots rather than arms and legs. Traditional herbalists believe that this similarity to the human body is one of the main reasons that the root is such a potent treatment for the whole body. These days, research has shown the power of ginseng as a natural remedy, giving credence to traditional claims.
Panax Ginseng Benefits for Men
Increasing Sexual Performance
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have a long-standing belief that Panax ginseng is able to improve the sexual performance of both men and women. While there haven’t been many studies investigated the exact beneficial effects of ginseng, the Maryland University Medical Center have suggested that the root can boost libido/sexual desire.
The exact relationship between Panax ginseng and sex drive isn’t completely understood, but scientists believe that ginseng reduces stress which, in turn, prevents sex drive from being hindered by stress.
The National Institues of Health have suggested that Panax ginseng is able to reduce the symptoms of erectile dysfunction and male impotence.
Men who take Panax ginseng could get firmer and longer-lasting erections easier. However, it’s not all good news as the NIH also report that more studies must be done to establish the safety and efficacy of ginseng as a natural treatment for erectile dysfunction.
The National Institutes of Health also suggest that Panax ginseng can improve male fertility. Men who take Panax ginseng supplements will receive a boost to their sperm count and also sperm mobility.
Having more sperm (and more active sperm at that) greatly boosts the chances of pregnancy. This is why herbalists will commonly recommend ginseng as a treatment option for men who have a low sperm count and are dealing with infertility as a result.
The University of Maryland Medical Center weighed in on this benefit themselves, adding that when animals were given ginseng supplements it boosted their sperm production levels. Further studies must be done to determine the most effective dosage level for using Panax ginseng to treat male infertility.
The National Institutes of Health suggest combining herbs such as Panax ginseng can help to treat premature ejaculation in men. Their suggested treatment involves applying 0.20 of suspension cream topically to the genitals.
While early studies have supported the use of this treatment as an effective option, there have yet to be any well-designed tests that investigate whether or not Panax ginseng is effective by itself or if you need to combine it with other ingredients.
Ginseng Benefits for Women
One of the more common side effects of the menopause in women is a reduced sexual function. Other studies have looked into the effects that Korean red ginseng has on women going through menopause.
One such study involved 32 women who were provided either three ginseng capsules a day or a placebo. The women taking the supplement saw an improvement in sexual function with absolutely no side effects.
The researchers concluded that women could improve their sexual function by taking red ginseng.
Other Benefits of Ginseng
Some research has suggest that ginseng may be able to help people dealing with cancer. Panax ginseng has been shown to prevent colon/colorectal cancer. When ginseng is combined with chemotherapy it can also help people suffering from cancer recover better and feel better.
Research has also suggested that taking ginseng can prevent tumors from growing and prevent cancer from spreading around the body. Additionally, research has also shown ginseng is able to relieve the chronic fatigue that can affect people with cancer.
Ginseng might also be able to help prevent colds and reduce the severity of symptoms of heart disease. Ginseng could also help to improve alertness, relieve stress, and improve overall endurance.
Side Effects of Ginseng
Use of red ginseng in the short term is considered to be completely safe for most people. It is possible that the plant may affect the body in the long term however.
Side effects of ginseng don’t always present. Some people can take it and not have any side effects at all. The most common side effect of ginseng is that it can cause some trouble sleeping. The less common side effects of the herb include:
- Increased heart rate
- Menstruation problems
- Elevated blood pressure
Risks and Warnings
There is a moderate risk that taking red ginseng may interfere with the medication that you’re taking. Please consult with your doctor before taking red ginseng if you are on the following medications:
- Blood pressure medicine
- Blood thinners
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI)
- Immune system suppressants
- Insulin for treating diabetes
Avoid mixing ginseng and caffeine. One of the properties of ginseng is being able to intensify the stimulant effects of caffeine. Check with your health care provider before using Panax ginseng or other medicinal herbs, especially if you have a medical condition.
Forms of Ginseng
When you purchase ginseng, make sure that you can clearly see which kind of ginseng you are buying. You can buy red and white ginseng, but research on ginseng is mostly performed on red ginseng.
Red ginseng can be taken as a liquid, as a powder, or in capsule form. You could also buy dried ginseng root and use it to create your own tea. Panax ginseng is typically found in testosterone hormone supplements. If you want to use panax ginseng to improve your sex drive and performance, you need to buy only the best testosterone supplements like TestoMax and TestoGen.
Discuss the correct dosage for you with your doctor, and never take more than the recommended dose.