Panax Ginseng: The Many Benefits of the Asian Herb
Today’s fast-paced society leaves little room for optimal health and a balanced sense of well-being. Stress, an all too common malady of modern day living, can cause a plethora of health problems and general dysfunctions to take place in the body.
Common symptoms of stress in the body, before turning into more serious ailments and diseases, are a memory and mental focus issues, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, depression, anxiety, inflammation, and a lowered immune system. The body creates these warning signs before ballooning into more serious conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and many more life-threatening illnesses.
But luckily men have tools to help combat these signs of stress. Although it is always a good idea for a person to examine their lives to see what unnecessary stressors can be eliminated that could potentially cause health and performance issues, it is good to know that there are natural solutions that can help reduce, if not eliminate completely, these unwanted side effects.
One such natural solution that will be discussed in detail in this article is Panax ginseng, also known as Asian ginseng. This medicinal herb is becoming increasingly popular due to its powerful ability to relieve the symptoms of stress in men, namely improving mental and sexual performance as well as preventing or improving disease ailments.
What is Panax Ginseng?
Panax ginseng, or Asian ginseng, is an Asian herb that acts as a natural medicine and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat compromised immune systems, increase energy, and for general well-being in the body. The Panax ginseng root contains ginsenosides and panaxosides, both active ingredients that give this herb the ability to improve negative bodily conditions related to stress and aging.
Where is Panax Ginseng Found?
Panax ginseng is found in Korea, China, and in Siberia, although other varieties of ginseng are grown in the U.S and in Canada.
What is Panax Ginseng Extract?
In order to make Panax Ginseng easy and convenient to ingest into the body, extractions are done to the root itself. These extractions are then made available in the forms of liquid tinctures, powder, and inside capsules that are easily found in health food stores, both local and online.
Panax Ginseng for Erectile Dysfunction
It seems that the antioxidant and nitric oxide compounds contained within Panax ginseng work powerfully towards repairing tissues and blood vessels in the penis as well as helping in getting more blood flow to this area. There have been several studies that reveal the powerful benefits of Panax ginseng on erectile dysfunction (ED).
An early study done on 45 men revealed saw great improvements after eight weeks of ingesting Panax ginseng. The same pleasing improvements manifested in another study that was done on 86 men using aged Panax ginseng for the same amount of time.
Yet another study showed promising results. A group of 90 men were divided into 3 parties (30 men each). One was given an ED drug, one given a placebo, and the remaining group given Panax ginseng. The men that took the Panax ginseng saw a 60 percent improvement while the ED drug group only saw a 30 percent improvement. The placebo group did not see an improvement.
Other Panax Ginseng Benefits for Men
It seems that this power herb is the go-to natural remedy for men because of the following benefits:
Although no well-designed tests have proven a big success rate among large numbers of men, the National Institute of Health states that Panax ginseng combined with other herbs can be used to treat the condition. This comes in the form of an SS suspension cream that is administered topically to the penis one hour before intercourse.
It seems that because Panax ginseng improves memory and brain functioning, it can be used in effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease.
One study showed major improvements in Alzheimer’s patients after 24 weeks of taking Panax ginseng. They even followed up with the patients after two years and found that the improvement was sustained in the people who continued to take the herb.
Another study put 40 Alzheimer patients into three groups, all three having different dosages ranging from a mild daily dose to a strong daily dose. Although all three of the groups saw improvements after 24 weeks, the group that took the strongest dose saw improvements the fastest and also saw sustained improvement. Another similar 12-week study was done on 61 patients and saw the same levels of improvements depending on their dosage.
It has been noted with several studies that Panax ginseng seems to improve cognitive functioning such as reaction times, arithmetic skills, and abstract thinking as well as mental (emotional) health. One study using a ten-minute stress test on 30 healthy adults revealed that a single dose of Panax ginseng greatly improved mental performance.
Another study revealed a significant mood and social functioning improvement after just four weeks in 30 adults. Math skills improved over an eight-day period for 30 students taking the herb. Yet another study revealed that taking it alongside Ginkgo Biloba helped significantly in attention problems (ADD and ADHD).
The Possible Benefits of Panax Ginseng
There are other noted benefits of Panax ginseng that have been reported. However, these benefits have not been as thoroughly studied nor have they been verified by large numbers of people. Therefore, there is no way to know if the claims mentioned below have any concrete credence.
May Help with Diabetes
There have been studies that indicate that Panax ginseng improves symptoms of diabetes, although scientists do not know what compounds within the herb are the key players in improving this disease. One study revealed that insulin production was increased, blood glucose levels were lowered, and the death of pancreatic beta-cells was reduced.
Another study showed an improvement in blood sugar levels, insulin levels, and insulin sensitivity in 19 diabetics over a 12-week study. However, the Korean ginseng was given alongside diabetic medications thus making the results not so clear as to just how much the ginseng itself actually helped.
Larger and longer tests are needed in order to fully understand and prove this health claim.
Potential to Reduce Inflammation
There have been observations that indicate that Panax ginseng might help in reducing inflammation and giving antioxidant support for cell protection. The results showed a decrease in oxidative stress because of increased antioxidant action.
Another study revealed a lowered inflammation response in the bodies of 18 male athletes after seven days of taking Korean red ginseng.
In conclusion to these findings, although Panax ginseng can be a positive addition to reduced inflammation efforts, it should not be solely relied upon as the studies are not conclusive enough to demonstrate its inarguable effectiveness in this department.
Could Help Fight Against Cancer
The claim is that the ginsenosides in Panax ginseng help to fight inflammation and provide antioxidant support for cells, thus lowering the risk of cells mutating into cancer and spreading throughout the body.
From the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s findings of the many studies where people were observed over time as they took the ginseng, it does appear that it might have the potential to decrease the chances of getting certain types of cancers and even slow down the growth of cancer once it manifests in the body. However, even though this health benefit can be a great possible perk if you decide to take Panax ginseng, this claim cannot be heavily relied upon as of yet.
Possibility to Strengthen the Immune System
There have been several studies to indicate that Panax ginseng boosts the immune system in people with cancer. One study observed 39 cancer patients for two years while they took ginseng. The results were a significant increase in immune functioning. Another study revealed that taking ginseng for a period of time after chemotherapy (post-treatment) resulted in a better functioning immune system for cancer patients.
However, there have been very little, if any, studies done on the effects of Panax ginseng on people with healthy immune systems. Therefore, more research is needed in order to verify this generalized claim.
May Benefit Brain Function
Although the studies mentioned above seem to indicate that Panax ginseng helps improve mental focus, memory, and reaction times as well as people with Alzheimer’s disease, there are simply not enough studies that provide concrete proof to suggest that someone who struggles with their brain functioning should take Panax ginseng solely for this issue.
The Recommended Panax Ginseng Dosage
Before trying any dosage of Panax ginseng, it is important to first consult your doctor, especially if you are taking other medications. Also, it is crucial to start out taking smaller doses to mitigate adverse effects. You can always work your way up slowly, never exceeding recommended dosages.
To improve mental functioning (memory and focus), 200-400 milligrams divided into two daily doses is, in most cases, effective. For Erectile dysfunction, 1400-2700 milligrams divided into 3 daily doses is recommended.
For Alzheimer’s disease, 4,500-9,000 milligrams is the general recommendation although with this high of a dosage, consulting your doctor is a must before taking the herb.
Dangers of High Dosage of Panax Ginseng
It is important to be cautious of taking too much Panax ginseng because the side effects, although in most cases are not life-threatening, are nonetheless unpleasant and stressful for the body. Reported side effects of dangerously high dosages of Panax ginseng include, but are not limited to: low or high blood pressure, low blood sugar, rapid heart rate, heart palpitations, mania, and impaired blood clotting.
The Panax Ginseng Side Effects
Panax ginseng is generally considered safe if taken in the recommended dosages. The side effects generally start to manifest when your body cannot tolerate higher dosages. However, some people’s body may not be able to tolerate it at all, even in small doses.
The side effects of this herb include diarrhea, nervousness, insomnia, decreased appetite, breast pain, menstrual problems, dizziness, rash, mood swings, and an overpowering sex drive. Additionally, Panax ginseng should not be taken for more than six months at a time as it can have negative hormone effects on the body.
Determining if Panax Ginseng is For You
In determining if Panax ginseng is for you, it is important to remember that it is health supplement, not a drug or therapy that cures, although a cure is possible in some cases depending on what ails the body and to what degree it manifests.
Most likely if you choose to take Panax ginseng for the above-mentioned health maladies, you may see an improvement, whether big or small, but it is not guaranteed because everyone’s body is different and therefore, respond to the herb differently. Herbal supplements usually work best in conjunction with other healing remedies such as therapy, improved sleep, exercise, and having a healthy diet.
Taking Panax ginseng can, under the supervision of your doctor, possibly produce a positive outcome if you are looking to improve your health with the above-mentioned ailments.
Therefore, if you are struggling with mental focus, memory issues, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, diabetes, compromised immune functioning, have high levels of inflammation, or have Alzheimer’s disease, consult your doctor, do your own research, and then if you get the go-ahead, try this herb to see if the effects of ginseng can improve your health and quality of life. You will never know unless you try it.