14 Ginseng Benefits That You Must Know For A Healthy Life

Date
June
7
2022
Compiled By Michael Stuart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Donald Moore, MD FACT CHECKED

The treasury of herbs has been long used and explored. With time the uses and benefits keep growing and the preexisting ones tested.

Since each herb has a different origin, use, and side effect it is better to handpick one at a time and explore it. In this article, we will cover all the important points about ginseng.

This herb with distinguished looks has a lot of varieties available. More importantly, it offers quality over quantity too.

Its benefits outnumber many other herbs and it can be used as a replacement for some. It has been used in ancient Asian medication for centuries.

Since you have a basic idea about it, let us find out more about it in detail.

14 Natural Benefits Of Ginseng

Even small quantities of this herb can have benefits for the complete body.

  1. Supports Mental Health

    Ginseng has saponin which aids in the neurological benefits. It offers protection against neurological diseases and disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

    It helps to improve focus and boost memory. It refreshes the mood and increases overall cerebral and cognitive function. This helps in increasing performance and rejuvenating energy.

    A better flow of fresh and instantaneous thoughts can be observed after its regular use.

    People suffering or trying to avoid brain ailments should include ginseng in their diet. Panax ginseng is the best among all for this.

  2. Treating Erectile Dysfunction

    This is a very commonly observed problem in males that affects their overall life. Both the person and his partner start feeling the tension between them due to ED.

    Men are reluctant to take medicine for it or talk about it. Since it is not a new problem, ED and its symptoms were cured in ancient times with the help of herbs.

    One of them is ginseng. Ginseng has been used for ages for curing ED. Even modern-day medicine approves this benefit.

    Recent studies[1] suggested that ginseng can cure ED at a rate that is 2 times higher than the rate of medicines. It is a natural replacement for chemical supplements.

    It works by increasing the blood flow in the genital area and relaxation so that a person gets a complete erection that stays for long. It also improves the chances of overall satisfaction.

  3. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

    Ginseng increases the production of insulin and takes care of the pancreatic function. The absorption of sugar increases. Hence, there is no hike in the sugar levels.

    This can be useful generally as well as for diabetics. Studies have shown that when diabetes medication was accompanied by ginseng, the blood sugar level decreased[2] at a better rate.

  4. Anti-Cancer Properties

    Different varieties of ginseng are known for preventing and treating cancer. Several types of cancer such as liver cancer, skin cancer, and breast cancer and their symptoms can be controlled using ginseng.

    Research has been conducted on chemotherapy sessions especially post-surgery. The improvement[3] seen was very shocking.

    Not only does it speed up the recovery but also increases the survival chances. The symptoms of cancer were not observed again for a long time.

  5. Anti-Inflammatory And Antioxidant Properties

    Since ginseng has ginsenosides and saponin, they help in enhancing the antioxidant function. Studies[4] have highlighted the role of black ginseng and Panax ginseng for this purpose.

    They improved the antioxidant function of the liver and intestine. Since the antioxidants are great for the skin they have an anti-aging effect.

    Not just traditionally, it is still used in several anti-aging creams.  Its anti-inflammatory effect is a plus point for athletes as it can act as a natural supplement.

    It is a great choice for recovery and energy. It strengthens the immunity and protects the body from damage and stress injuries.

  6. Benefits Menstrual Cycle

    A large number of women suffer from irregular and painful periods. It worsens to an extent where it starts affecting the overall health.

    In such cases, ginseng can be a natural remedy[5] that has been used since ancient times. The most popular way of using it for the menstrual cycle was in the form of tea.

    It eases the cramps, regulates the blood flow, and eliminates the chances of uneasiness which is experienced at this time of the month.

    For menopausal women, it can work wonders. Usually, ladies complain about low libido and drop estrogen levels during this time. Ginseng extract helps in improving libido and satisfaction.

  7. Sexual Benefits

    Ginseng had sexual benefits for both men and women. Asian and American ginseng are known for their sexual benefits but the renowned one is the Indian ginseng also known as ashwagandha.

    It has been considered the most effective herb in Ayurveda for providing energy, relaxing the mood, and increasing stamina. Not only this, it provides longevity.

    It could boost low libido, and could also help your body in fighting the symptoms of low testosterone levels. For women also, it helps to cure sexual dysfunction and provides lubrication and satisfaction.

  8. Reduces Stress

    Since ginseng has antioxidants it reduces oxidative stress. Moreover, it reduces the symptoms and anxiety[6] and related disorders.

    Its extract or supplements keeps the person in a good mood. It also helps in fighting depression.

  9. Ginseng For Weight Loss

    Several studies have suggested that it has a significant role in weight loss diets. Not only does it inhibit obesity[7] but has an impact on gut microbiota.

    Regular use of ginseng tea can help a person lose a huge amount of weight. Ginsenosides reduce hunger which prevents overeating. For this reason, it can be your cutting companion.

  10. Prevention Of Flu

    Ginseng is a natural immunity booster that looks after the overall well-being of the body. It has a dual mechanism of strengthening the body and inhibiting the growth of the virus that causes flu.

    Studies have suggested that it may stop the growth of viruses and also fight infectious diseases through multiple mechanisms.

    When a person is already vaccinated, ginseng offers a double check on the virus and offers more resistance to it. It cleanses the virus better from the body.

    More research should be conducted to avail this benefit.

  11. Protection Against Cardiovascular Diseases

    Ginseng is known to balance blood pressure. It generally controls and lowers high blood pressure. But while exercising provides energy and increases the heart rate which may result in higher blood pressure.

    Some cases also observed a rise in blood pressure of people having low blood pressure. But, this is the case where it is higher to an extent that it becomes normal. Generally, it lowers high blood pressure.

    It also protects the cardiovascular system[8]. This keeps heart diseases at bay. Chances of having a cardiac arrest also decrease with regular intake of ginseng.

  12. Anti-Allergic Effect

    Ginseng can be a potential antihistamine[9]. It has been used in traditional medicine to cure symptoms like runny noses and itchy eyes.

    It may also help people dealing with asthma and allergic rhinitis.

  13. Energy Booster

    One of the most common and basic uses of ginseng for both traditional and modern medicine is its energy-boosting[10] properties.

    It enhances endurance which makes it largely popular among bodybuilders and athletes. This is possible due to the presence of polysaccharides.

    This is the main cause of ginseng being used as an energy powder.

  14. Improves Sperm Count Naturally

    Governmental studies such as this[11] and this[12] point to a scientifically proven fact that Ginseng could improve a man’s sperm quality.

    At the same time, it may help a man’s body by improving the sperm count by preventing factors that damage the sperm. Its regular consumption could improve penile erection as well. This takes place with the help of relaxation of the penile corpus cavernosum.

    Having said all this about Ginseng, it is highly recommended that you should take advice from a medical professional before consuming any additional substance.

What Is Ginseng?

Ginseng usually refers to the roots of the plant Panax. Its roots are fleshy and appear like a fork because of extensive branching. The sturdy taproot appears to be like a man.

Hence its other name is also “man root”. It is available in a lot of varieties like American, Korean,  Asian, and Chinese. The color-based distinction signifies the years taken for harvesting it.

Fresh is harvested in 4 years. The white one is harvested in 4-6 years. Red ginseng takes more than 6 years to be harvested.

It is commonly found in the woodland naturally in the region of the US and Canada. The main source is the Ozark region. 

It has 5 leaflets each for 3 leaves and red fruits(berries). It grows 8-15 inches tall and the growth is slow. It falls back and grows again in the spring season.

The roots of the plant are the main source of ginseng. The roots appear to be dark tan. 

Apart from the natural growth, it is grown for commercial purposes also after it gained popularity for being a natural supplement.

How To Use Ginseng?

Choosing the method of ginseng is a matter of choice and the benefits you want. A lot of methods are available to choose from. You can use raw root extract, tea, supplement, powder, essential oil, lotions, cream (for skin), and infusion. 

Ideally one should consider low doses of ginseng for getting maximum benefits. 

Consider taking 200 mg extract per day and then it gradually increases up to 400mg.

If you are taking raw ginseng, use 1-2 grams every day. 

Before meals and workout is the ideal time to take it. 

After 2-3 weeks consider giving a small break of a week before starting its use again. Regular use may not give such benefits that are given when you take a break in between. 

Consequences Of Using Ginseng

However, this is a natural herb yet using it excessively or in the wrong way at the wrong time could bring harm to your body.

Pregnant and breastfeeding ladies should avoid using ginseng as enough evidence of safety in such cases is still not available. Children and teens should also avoid using this energy herb. 

Though it doesn’t have any serious allergy cases, Korean red ginseng has been accused of some. American ginseng is relatively safer in cases of allergy. 

People with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels as ginseng may lower it too much. Always ask your doctor before using it. 

It may cause nausea or lightheadedness in cases of overdose. As it is an energy herb, it may lead to insomnia in some cases.

Conclusion

Ginseng is a great herb for overall health. It takes care of physical and mental well-being. This traditionally popular herb is now backed up by scientific research. 

As more research is being conducted on the potential benefits, it has a great scope in the medical and sports sector. 

Some of the benefits of using ginseng are better cognitive function, boosted energy and immunity, and anti-allergic and anti-cancer effects. 

Though it is a great herb with numerous benefits, overdose is never a smart choice. Take prescribed doses only.

+12 References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Dai-Ja Jang, Myeong Soo Lee, Byung-Cheul Shin,4 Young-Cheoul Lee, and Edzard Ernst. Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2008 Oct; 66(4): 444–450. Published online 2008 Aug 28. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2008.03236.x
  2. Wei Chen, Prabhu Balan, and David G. Popovich. Review of Ginseng Anti-Diabetic Studies. Molecules. 2019 Dec; 24(24): 4501. Published online 2019 Dec 9. doi: 10.3390/molecules24244501.
  3. Shihong Chen, Zhijun Wang, Ying Huang, et al. Ginseng and Anticancer Drug Combination to Improve Cancer Chemotherapy: A Critical Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014; 2014: 168940. Published online 2014 Apr 30. doi: 10.1155/2014/168940.
  4. Chang-Eui Hong, Su-Yun Lyu. Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidative Effects of Korean Red Ginseng Extract in Human Keratinocytes. Immune Netw. 2011 Feb;11(1):42-9. doi: 10.4110/in.2011.11.1.42. Epub 2011 Feb 28. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21494373/
  5. Mihi Yang, Ho-Sun Lee, Min-Woo Hwang, and Mirim Jin. Effects of Korean red ginseng (Panax Ginseng Meyer) on bisphenol A exposure and gynecologic complaints: single blind, randomized clinical trial of efficacy and safety. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014; 14: 265.
    Published online 2014 Jul 25. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-265.
  6. Seungyeop Lee and Dong-Kwon Rhee∗. Effects of ginseng on stress-related depression, anxiety, and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. J Ginseng Res. 2017 Oct; 41(4): 589–594. Published online 2017 Jan 24. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2017.01.010.
  7. Zhipeng Li and Geun Eog Ji. Ginseng and obesity. J Ginseng Res. 2018 Jan; 42(1): 1–8. Published online 2017 Jan 10. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2016.12.005.
  8. Chang Ho Lee1 and Jong-Hoon Kim. A review on the medicinal potentials of ginseng and ginsenosides on cardiovascular diseases. J Ginseng Res. 2014 Jul; 38(3): 161–166. Published online 2014 Apr 3. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2014.03.001
  9. Joo Hyun Jung, Il Gyu Kang, Dae Young Kim, You Jin Hwang, and Seon Tae Kim. The effect of Korean red ginseng on allergic inflammation in a murine model of allergic rhinitis. J Ginseng Res. 2013 Apr; 37(2): 167–175. doi: 10.5142/jgr.2013.37.167.
  10. Hoang Viet Bach,* Jeongseon Kim,* Seung-Kwon Myung, Young Ae Cho. Efficacy of Ginseng Supplements on Fatigue and Physical Performance: a Meta-analysis. J Korean Med Sci. 2016 Dec; 31(12): 1879–1886. Published online 2016 Oct 10. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2016.31.12.1879.
  11. Kar Wah Leung and Alice ST Wong*. Ginseng and male reproductive function. Spermatogenesis. 2013 Jul 1; 3(3): e26391. Published online 2013 Sep 13. doi: 10.4161/spmg.26391.
  12. Laura L Murphy, Tony Jer-Fu Lee. Ginseng, sex behavior, and nitric oxide. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 May;962:372-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb04081.x. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12076988/

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