Ginseng: Its Origin, Benefits, Interactions, and Side Effects

For ages, people in both Asia and North America have used ginseng. They believe in different ginseng uses like increasing mental clarity, focus, memory, and physical stamina.

Additionally, it is used as a natural remedy for chronic fatigue, depression, and anxiety. This well-known plant has a reputation for strengthening the immune system, warding off infections, and aiding erectile dysfunction in males.

The herb was originally used by Native Americans as a stimulant, headache therapy, and cure for indigestion, fever, and infertility.

You may be surprised that approximately 6 million Americans regularly benefit from the confirmed ginseng benefits today.

What is ginseng

In the past, China used ginseng as a medicinal remedy. Interestingly, some of the recorded accounts of its properties go as far back as the year 100 A.D.

It became so well-liked by the 16th century that ownership of the ginseng fields became a problem. Today, it is marketed in over 35 nations, with sales of over $2 billion, with South Korea accounting for half of those sales.

Not only that. Projections indicate that the global market will grow to $12.6 billion by 2027.

There are 11 different types of ginseng, all of which are members of the Araliaceae family’s Panax genus. Panax, the botanical name, translates to “all heal” in Greek.

Both Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) are referred to by the term “ginseng”. Other species, such Siberian ginseng, and crown prince ginseng, have distinctly different uses because only the Panax genus contains actual ginseng plants.

Ginsenosides, the distinctive and advantageous chemicals of the Panax species, are currently the subject of a clinical study to examine their potential for medical use. Ginsenosides are present in both Asian and American ginseng, but they are present in varying degrees and in various forms.

Although there has been a wide range of research, and some experts aren’t yet convinced that there is enough evidence to categorize the medicinal properties of ginseng, people have long believed in its beneficial components and outcomes.

There are additional adaptogenic herbs that have comparable effects and are also known as related to ginseng. However, they are not from the Panax family (Asian and American) kinds are the only “true” types of ginseng due to their high quantities of the active component ginsenosides.

Available Ginseng varieties

Asian Ginseng

Panax ginseng, sometimes referred to as red ginseng and Korean ginseng, is the traditional and the original well-known panax. It is frequently prescribed in Traditional Chinese Medicine for those who are experiencing exhaustion as a result of low qi, coldness, and a yang deficit.

Additionally, this type of ginseng can help with erectile dysfunction, poor memory, type 2 diabetes, weakness, and exhaustion.

American Ginseng

Panax quinquefolius is a plant that grows in the northern parts of North America, including Ontario, Canada, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. It has been demonstrated to lessen anxiety-related stomach distress, balance blood sugar, treat depression, increase focus, and strengthen the immune system. The American variety is typically used to cure yin deficiency rather than yang deficiency and is milder than the Asian type, however, it is still quite beneficial.

Siberian Ginseng

Eleutherococcus senticosus, grows untamed in Asia and Russia. It has significant concentrations of eleutherosides, sometimes known as plain eleuthero, which are similar to ginsenosides found in Panax species of ginseng in terms of benefits. According to studies, Siberian ginseng may raise VO2 max to improve tiredness, improve cardiovascular endurance, and support immunity.

Indian ginseng

Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a well-known herb in Ayurvedic medicine for extending life. It shares some characteristics with traditional ginseng but also differs greatly from it. This type of ginseng has been demonstrated to help reduce anxiety, balance cortisol, improve cholesterol, manage blood sugar, and increase fitness levels. It can be used more frequently over a long time.

Brazilian ginseng

Pfaffia paniculata, commonly referred to as suma root, is a plant that thrives in the South American rain forests and derives its name from the Portuguese phrase that means “for everything” due to the variety of health advantages it offers. 

Ecdysterone, which is present in suma root, appears to maintain normal testosterone levels in both men and women. It may also support healthy muscles, lower inflammation, fight cancer, enhance sexual performance, and increase endurance.

Benefits of Ginseng

Ginseng has a number of tetracyclic triterpenoid saponins (ginsenosides), polyacetylenes, polyphenolic chemicals, and acidic polysaccharides, which all have pharmacological benefits.

Some of the benefits include:

Improves Mood and Reduces Stress

30 volunteers participated in a controlled trial at the Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre in the UK. They received three rounds of ginseng and placebo treatments. The goal of the study was to obtain information regarding ginseng’s potential to elevate mood and cognitive performance.

The findings showed that taking 200 milligrams of ginseng for eight days delayed the individuals’ response to mental arithmetic, but it also slowed the decline in mood. Throughout the eight-day course of treatment, the 400-milligram dose increased mental arithmetic and calmness.

Ginseng also has significant anti-stress properties and can be used for the treatment of stress-induced disorders.” Panax is a potent medication for chronic stress and an excellent approach to dealing with ulcers and adrenal fatigue. A 100-milligram dose of Panax decreased the ulcer index, adrenal gland weight, and plasma glucose levels.

Ginseng Enhances Mental Performance

Ginseng increases focus and cognitive abilities by stimulating brain cells. There is proof that ingesting Panax ginseng root every day for 12 weeks will help Alzheimer’s patients perform better mentally.

An investigation of the impact of ginseng on Alzheimer’s disease patients’ cognitive function was conducted by the Department of Neurology at the Clinical Research Institute in South Korea. The patients displayed benefits following ginseng therapy, and this upward pattern persisted for three months.

The improvements regressed to control group levels after the medication was stopped. This implies that ginseng may help with cognitive health and Alzheimer’s symptoms.

It Possesses anti-inflammatory qualities

An intriguing Korean study examined the advantages of Korean red ginseng for kids who had undergone chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant for advanced cancer. 19 patients participated in the trial and got 60 milligrams of Korean red ginseng every day for a year.

Every six months, blood samples were taken to monitor the effects of the treatment. Cytokines, or tiny proteins, which are in charge of signaling to the brain and controlling cell proliferation, significantly dropped after the treatment. The difference from the control group was sizable.

According to this study, Korean red ginseng after chemotherapy appears to stabilize inflammatory cytokines in children with cancer.

Supports Weight Loss

The potential of ginseng to function naturally as an appetite suppressor is yet another pleasant effect. Additionally, it increases metabolism and speeds up fat burning in the body.

Helps with erectile dysfunction

Men with erectile dysfunction and sexual dysfunction appear to benefit from taking Korean red ginseng. 28 randomized clinical studies that examined the efficacy of red ginseng for the treatment of erectile dysfunction were included in a 2008 systematic review.

The assessment offered circumstantial support for the usage of the herb, but scientists feel that more thorough research is required before drawing firm conclusions.

Six of the 28 trials that were analyzed showed improved erectile function when red ginseng was used as opposed to a placebo. Red ginseng’s effects on sexual function were evaluated using questionnaires in four studies in comparison to placebo, and each experiment found positive results.

The ginsenoside components of ginseng, according to research conducted in 2002 at the Department of Physiology at Southern Illinois University’s School of Medicine, aid penile erections by directly triggering the vasodilatation and relaxation of the erectile tissue. The erectile tissue is immediately impacted by the release of nitric oxide from perivascular neurons and endothelial cells.

Additionally, according to research from the university, ginseng has an impact on the central nervous system and significantly alters the brain activity that promotes hormonal secretion and behavior.

6. Enhances Lung Performance

Lung bacteria dramatically decrease following ginseng therapy. 

Another advantage of ginseng, according to research, is its capacity to cure chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung condition characterized by persistently inadequate airflow that often gets worse with time. According to the study, consuming Panax orally may help with some COPD symptoms and lung function.

Ginseng Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

According to numerous studies, American ginseng helps persons with type 2 diabetes reduce their blood sugar levels, which lessens the symptoms of the disease.

An investigation at the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit in the UK revealed that Panax lowers blood glucose levels an hour after glucose consumption, supporting the notion that ginseng has glucoregulatory properties.

The body’s inadequate response to insulin is one of type 2 diabetes’s main challenges. Another study found that Korean red ginseng increases insulin sensitivity, further supporting the herb’s capacity to benefit people with type 2 diabetes and lower blood sugar levels.

Strengthens the immune system

Ginseng’s capacity to strengthen the immune system, aiding the body in fending off illness and infection, is another well-researched advantage. The leaves, stems, and roots have been utilized to boost resistance to disease or infection and maintain immunological homeostasis.

American ginseng enhances the functionality of immune system cells, according to numerous clinical trials. All immune cell types, including macrophages, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, T cells, and B cells, are regulated by it.

Ginseng extracts generate antibacterial substances that serve as a line of defense against viral and bacterial illnesses. Its polyacetylene molecules have been shown in studies to be beneficial against bacterial infections.

Menopause Symptoms Relief

Menopause is frequently accompanied by bothersome symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, irritability, anxiety, depressive symptoms, decreased sex drive, weight gain, sleeplessness, and thinning hair. According to research, ginseng may be used as a natural menopause treatment to lessen the intensity and frequency of these symptoms. One of the most popular menopause vitamins is this one.

According to a systematic review of randomized clinical trials, Korean red ginseng was more effective than a placebo in improving menopause symptoms as measured by the Kupperman index and the Menopausal Rating Scale in three different trials that looked at sexual arousal in menopausal women, overall health, and well-being. In a fourth research, there was no discernible change in hot flash frequency between the ginseng and placebo groups.

How to Include in Diet

Ginseng roots and their root hair-like offshoots are used to make various ginseng products. The herb is available in dried, powdered, capsule, and tablet form.

Additionally, it comes in a variety of combination formulas. Be warned, though, that Panax ginseng supplements aren’t always what they promise to be. Products with the Panax ingredient listed on the label may contain little or no Panax in some cases.

Always buy products from a trusted and reputable company, and make sure to carefully read the ingredient labels. Look for Korean, red, or Panax ginseng when purchasing Asian ginseng. Look for Panax quinquefolius when purchasing the American variety.

Would you like to include ginseng in your diet? Try taking Ginsomin, a Panax red ginseng supplement for men from Mega We Care with your breakfast every day

Side effects, risks, and interactions

In healthy people, ginseng’s negative effects are typically minimal. It may function as a stimulant in some individuals, which may result in anxiety and insomnia but only when used in very high dosages.

High doses or prolonged use may result in headaches, vertigo, and stomachaches. Regular users may have vaginal bleeding, and monthly fluctuations, and there have also been a few instances of allergic responses to the herb.

Ginseng is not advised for use by children, pregnant women, or nursing mothers due to a lack of safety data.

Additionally, caffeine may intensify its stimulant effects.

Patients with autoimmune diseases like MS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis should speak with their doctors both before and while taking Panax because there is some worry that it worsens the symptoms of these conditions.

People with bleeding disorders shouldn’t take it because it might interfere with blood clotting.

It may not be appropriate for those who have had organ transplants because it raises the possibility of organ rejection.

Because it has estrogen-like effects, ginseng may interact with female hormone-sensitive diseases like breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids.

Additionally, it might interact with the following drugs:

  • Diabetes medications
  • Blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin and coumadin
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotic medication
  • Stimulants
  • Morphine


Ginseng is a plant that was first utilized as a natural remedy in ancient China. Today, it is marketed in over 35 countries, with sales of over $2 billion, with South Korea accounting for half of that total.

Only the Panax genus contains the true plant, so Siberian and Crown Prince species serve noticeably different purposes.

A number of tetracyclic triterpenoid saponins (ginsenosides), polyacetylenes, polyphenolic chemicals, and acidic polysaccharides are among the pharmacological elements found in this herb. It has a reputation for improving mood, supporting the immune system and cognitive function, reducing inflammation, and other benefits

These herbal medications come in a variety of formats, including powder, pills, and tea.

Also read, Ginsomin: Your Ultimate Guide to Vitality, Increased Energy, and Good Health

Acha Maoni

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