Have you ever come across Panax Ginseng on the ingredient list of supplements in your pharmaceutical or wellness stores, and wonder what they do? Today, we shall discuss all you need to know about the Panax Ginseng and the various benefits this herb offers for overall health and wellbeing.
The Ginseng plant is a short, slow-growing plant with fleshy roots that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to maintain viability and sustain longevity.
Ginseng has 11 varieties and the Panax Ginseng, also known as Asian Ginseng, is one of the several types commonly used in herbal medicine.
However, according to traditional Chinese medicine, each ginseng variety is thought to possess unique healing properties. For example, the Panax ginseng is said to have “warming properties” which aids the free flow of blood, and it offers several other benefits which we shall be discussing below.
Before then, let’s understand Panax Ginseng better.
What More About Panax Ginseng?
Panax ginseng is commonly described as the “True Ginseng” because it is the most researched of the Ginseng plant family.
Panax ginseng grows more commonly in China, Korea, and Siberia. It is usually considered an adaptogen – natural substances that support the body’s resistance to stressors.
More so, Panax ginseng contains many active ingredients. The most important of these ingredients are the ginsenosides and gintonin, which are known to complement each other to produce health benefits.
Furthermore, Panax ginseng is a good source of minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, thallium, copper, zinc, strontium, and manganese.
In the ancient times, Panax ginseng was notable for its ability to increase energy and stamina, and boost immune system function.
Today, research has gone deeper to explore the numerous health benefits of this herb, and how to add them to diet.
What are the Benefits of Panax Ginseng?
Several kinds of research have confirmed the active ingredients in Panax ginseng to offer several health benefits, including:
This is the most popular benefit of Panax ginseng. This herb helps to boost your energy levels when you feel weak or tired during a physical or mental activity.
One study looked into the effect of ginseng on 21 men and 69 women, and the result showed that this herb helped promote energy levels in the participants with chronic fatigue.
Another study was conducted on people receiving cancer treatment. After taking ginseng, researchers noted energy-boosting effects on people who are still undergoing treatment.
Improves thinking and cognitive function
Panax ginseng supports sharper cognitive function.
A report examined the effect of ginseng on the brain, and the result showed that this herbal supplement helped treat some cognitive deficits.
The studies in this report reveal that ginseng helped reduce oxidative stress, and this contributed a boost in cognitive function.
Chronic fatigue is often associated with lack of concentration and altered mood. Panax ginseng helps in relieving mental fatigue.
The ginsenoside present in this herb helps boost your concentration levels and thinking skills. This keeps you mentally active and alert.
More so, ginsenoside increases the activity and survival rate of brain cells. It also aids in the transmission of signals from the brain to other body parts. This makes this herb helpful for improving cognitive function in people living with Alzheimer’s disease.
It helps tackle erectile dysfunction
Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an aphrodisiac. It helps enhance sexual behavior and boosts the quality of sperms and sperm count in men. This function has been traced to the presence of ginsenosides in ginseng.
Panax ginseng has been shown by several studies to offer benefits for erectile dysfunction.
One study conducted on 119 men suffering from mild-to-moderate erectile dysfunction showed an improvement in overall sexual function after taking ginseng berry extract.
Panax ginseng promotes the production and release of nitric oxide, which helps to relax the muscles and allow the blood to enter the erectile bodies, leading to erection.
Ginseng also boosts the release of testosterone (the male sex hormone).
Lower cholesterol level
Several studies have shown that taking ginseng daily can reduce the level of bad or LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood after a few weeks. Besides, ginseng also causes an increase in the level of good or HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
Also, ginseng has been shown to increase the activity of superoxide dismutase – an antioxidant, which helps reduce the synthesis of cholesterol.
This herb has also been found to reduce the level of malondialdehyde – a harmful compound that increases oxidative stress and the level of LDL cholesterol.
Lower blood sugar level
Ginsenosides present in Panax ginseng have an effect on the rate of insulin production in the pancreas. This active ingredient helps improve insulin resistance, leading to lower blood sugar level and decreased risk of diabetes.
More so, ginsenosides improve the uptake of glucose by the muscles. More of the glucose left in the blood is then used as a source of energy for the body.
A study showed that participants who took 2.7 grams of fermented ginseng after a meal experienced an increase in insulin levels and a drop in blood sugar.
Produce Anti-aging Effects
Panax ginseng has strong anti-aging properties.
When you’re exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, it causes the generation of free radicals which damages the collagen fibers of your skin.
More so, the ultra violet rays disrupt the antioxidant defense system of the skin, triggering the process of aging.
Panax ginseng helps reduce oxidative stress, thereby supporting skin rejuvenation. The active ingredient in this herb protects the collagen fibers and reduces the free radical attack.
Ginseng has also been shown by studies to help hydrate the skin and inhibit the formation of wrinkles.
Ginseng is highly effective against hepatic, colon, gastric, and prostate cancers. It works by reducing the size of the tumor and preventing its spread to other body parts.
The active compounds in Panax ginseng help to lower oxidative stress and inflammation – two factors which play a main role in cancer development. Ginseng helps clear toxins out of the body and triggers the death of cancer cells.
The active compounds in Ginseng also help reduce fatigue, stress, and anxiety associated with cancer, boosting energy levels and improving the quality of life.
Dosage and Duration
There is no particular dosage recommendation for Panax ginseng. How much you take should depend on the condition you’re trying to tackle. However, taking 200-400 mg of extract or 1-2 gram of raw ginseng is suggested. But always start with lower doses and increase the dosage over time.
You can look for a standard ginseng extract containing 2-3% total ginsenosides, and consume it before meals to enjoy the full benefits.
You can stew Panax ginseng in water to make tea. You can also add ginseng to various recipes like stir-frys and soups.
Does Panax Ginseng Produce Side Effects?
Panax ginseng is natural and safe, but if you have high blood pressure, you may want to get approval from your doctor before adding it to your diet.
More so, if you’re diabetic, this herb may interact with your medications, so be sure to always speak with your doctor.
Children and nursing mothers should avoid taking this herbal supplement.
Panax ginseng is an herbal supplement loaded with active compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This herb has been found to offer several health benefits from boosting energy levels, to supporting weight loss, lowering cholesterol level, tackling erectile dysfunction, and preventing cancers.
You can add this herb to your diet via capsule, extract, or powder form. You can also consume it raw or lightly steamed.
However, you should always speak with your doctor, especially if you’re already on medications.