Ginseng is a plant that contains compounds called ginsenosides, which help reduce stress, improve immune system health, and increase energy levels. This herb has also been shown to balance cortisol, improve thyroid hormone levels, and improve exercise endurance.
Studies show that ginseng may lower the risk of getting a cold or the flu and may boost the effectiveness of some vaccines. It also appears to reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes.
The root of ginseng is traditionally considered a tonic. However, modern scientists prefer the term adaptogen to describe plants that benefit several body systems simultaneously, helping people cope with stress and improve their mental and physical functioning.
Researchers have found that ginseng can boost libido and sexual interest in men and women. It also increases stamina, prevents diabetes and emphysema, lowers blood pressure, promotes healthy skin, strengthens the immune system, and slows aging.
Korean red ginseng may help treat erectile dysfunction (ED). When Brazilian investigators gave 57 older men with ED a placebo or a supplement containing Korean red ginseng, those taking the ginseng had erections that were firmer and longer than those of the men taking the placebo.
Korean red ginseng might work by promoting nitric oxide production, which relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow. This is similar to how medications like Viagra and Cialis work.
Some studies have shown ginseng suppresses appetite, but it may not help with weight loss. Therefore, it is best used alongside exercise and a healthy diet.
Ginsenosides found in ginseng act like female steroidal hormones and can bring hormonal balance to the body, according to the book “Linda Page’s Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone.” This can help guard against breast cancer and endometriosis, particularly in women.
In some studies, ginseng has been shown to boost immunity and fight fatigue. It also has antioxidant properties that can promote skin health.
However, some studies have found that ginseng can interact with medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall), and methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin). It can also interfere with drugs such as morphine and furosemide, a diuretic. Therefore, talk to your doctor before taking ginseng supplements or tea. It is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
According to several studies, ginseng root has been shown to boost insulin production and decrease blood sugar levels. For example, a survey of ob/ob diabetic mice found that when given 150 milligrams of ginseng extract per kilogram of body weight on days five and 12 of the experiment, fasting blood glucose levels significantly decreased (35).
Another 8-week study showed that taking 3 g of ginseng extract daily reduced fasting blood sugar and improved hemoglobin A1c, a measure of long-term blood sugar control, compared to a placebo (36).
In addition to lowering blood sugar, ginseng also reduces insulin resistance. Furthermore, it slows the progression of diabetes-related kidney damage by inhibiting renal accumulation of advanced glycation end-products in STZ-induced diabetic rats (37). In other words, ginseng can prevent and treat the damage caused by high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
The ginsenoside compounds in ginseng encourage penile vasodilation and relaxation and thereby improve blood flow. This is similar to how erectile dysfunction medications like Viagra work. The University of Hawaii scientists gave 77 women either a placebo or a sex supplement called ArginMax, which has ginseng among its many ingredients. The ArginMax group experienced more sexual improvement than the placebo group. Researchers also analyzed the effects of red ginseng on erectile function in men with a clinical trial of SS cream, which contains Panax ginseng. The cream reduced the incidence of premature ejaculation.
The ginseng plant is an adaptogenic herb that boosts the immune system, increases energy levels, reduces fatigue, and fights certain cancers and other diseases. However, supplements may interact with some medications and have stimulant properties, so people should consult a doctor before taking them. In addition, those experiencing sexual dysfunction should visit their GP to evaluate and treat underlying conditions. In some cases, the state may indicate a more severe problem.