Panax ginseng is one kind of ginseng that is often used in herbal medicine. Ginseng is a plant that grows in the mountains of East Asia. The roots of the plant are used to make ginseng, which is often used in teas and supplements.
Traditional Chinese medicine says that each kind of ginseng has its own way of helping people get better. Some types of Panax ginseng, for example, are said to have “warming” properties that help the blood flow.
This article goes into more detail about what Panax ginseng is and how it might help your health. It also talks about how to use Panax ginseng, what side effects it might have, and what to look for when buying it.
What Is Ginseng?
Ginseng is a root that is often used in herbal medicine as a supplement. It is thought to give you more energy, make your immune system stronger, and help with some health problems.
What’s the purpose of Panax Ginseng?
Ginsenosides, which are the active parts of Panax ginseng, are thought to work like steroids to reduce inflammation in the body.1
Panax ginseng has been used for a long time to give people more energy and stamina and to make their immune systems stronger.
Even though there isn’t a lot of research on Panax ginseng right now, there is some evidence that the herb may have some health benefits.
Here are a few important research findings:
Panax ginseng may aid in diabetes management. Scientists looked at 16 studies that looked at how ginseng affects blood glucose levels in people with and without diabetes for a research review in 2014.
Most of the studies were done on people who had a pretty good handle on their blood sugar and lasted less than 12 weeks. The authors came to the conclusion that more research is needed, even though ginseng made a big difference in the fasting blood sugar levels of both people with and without diabetes.
A 2015 review of research on the health benefits of ginseng found that Panax ginseng improves cognitive performance, especially short-term memory.
A 2018 study also found that taking ginseng supplements for five years or more had a positive effect on the brains of older people.
The antioxidant properties of the root are thought to be the reason for these and many other health benefits of ginseng.
Problems with erections
A review of six studies done over 15 years suggests that Panax ginseng may be a safe and effective way to treat erectile dysfunction.
Another review of alternative medicines for sexual function also found that Panax ginseng was the only dietary supplement that could improve erectile function without causing safety problems.
Ginseng seems to only help with erectile dysfunction if it is taken every day. This is different from prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction, which are usually taken only when needed.
Panax ginseng is sometimes sold as a “cure-all,” but it may not help with all kinds of health problems. Studies have shown, for example, that Panax ginseng doesn’t help with hot flashes7 or boost athletic endurance.
Also, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that even though there have been many studies on ginseng’s benefits, more research is needed to show that it helps with many other conditions, such as:
Syndrome of constant tiredness
Flu and cold
Studies show that ginseng may improve memory, help people with diabetes get their blood sugar under control, and be a safe way to treat erectile dysfunction. Still, more research needs to be done to show that ginseng is helpful for these and many other conditions.
Possible Side Effects
Ginseng is used often and is even in some drinks, which might make you think it’s completely safe. But it can have side effects, just like any other herbal supplement or medicine.
Some of the most common side effects that people report are:
Panax ginseng may affect blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), you may want to avoid ginseng unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Panax ginseng might lower blood sugar, and it might not work well with diabetes medicines. So, if you have diabetes and want to use it, you should talk to your doctor first.
Panax ginseng should not be given to children or women who are pregnant or nursing.10
How Drugs and Supplements Work Together
Panax ginseng can make blood-thinning medicines work better and increase the chance of bleeding. If you take warfarin, clopidogrel, ticlopidine, heparin, or aspirin, or any other anticoagulant or antiplatelet drug, talk to your doctor before trying ginseng.
Some herbal supplements have been known to cause bleeding, which means that taking them with ginseng can make the risk of bleeding higher.
Panax ginseng may change the amount of chemicals that nerve cells use to send messages to other cells. It may also interact with antipsychotic drugs like chlorpromazine.
Drugs that are broken down by an enzyme called CYP3A4.14 can’t be used with Panax ginseng. Ask your doctor to check if you are taking any of these kinds of drugs.
Ginseng can give some people headaches, stomachaches, and trouble sleeping. If you take other herbal supplements or medicines, like blood thinners or antipsychotics, make sure to ask your doctor if ginseng is safe for you.
Panax Ginseng capsules
Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak
How much and how long
There is no one amount of Panax ginseng that is good for everyone. Researchers have looked at different doses.
For example, a 2018 review of 91 clinical trials on the effects of Panax ginseng found that the right doses of ginseng varied a lot because the trials were so different.15 For these clinical trials, the daily doses of Panax ginseng ranged from 0.2 grammes to 9 grammes for four to 24 weeks.
Even though Panax ginseng might give you more energy and help you deal with some health problems, you should talk to your doctor before taking it.
Where to Look
In traditional Chinese medicine, the effects of ginseng are thought to depend on how it has been prepared.
Red ginseng, for example, is ginseng that hasn’t been peeled and has been steamed before being dried. On the other hand, white ginseng is dried Panax ginseng that has not been peeled (but not steam-treated). Black ginseng, which is more recent, is made by steaming and drying it over and over again.
People think that red ginseng boosts “yang” energy, which is thought to be stimulating and warming, more than white ginseng. So, red ginseng may be too stimulating for people who tend to feel hot or who have conditions like tumours, kidney stones, gallstones, inflammatory conditions, or certain mental conditions.
White and red ginseng can be found in tinctures, powders, capsules, and liquid extracts.
Compared to other types, Panax Ginseng
Traditional Chinese medicine says that American ginseng can “cool” the body. People often say that this type of ginseng is a natural way to treat diabetes. People also say that American ginseng boosts the immune system and improves strength, stamina, and overall health.
Siberian ginseng is also used to improve strength, stamina, and immunity. It is sometimes used to make chemotherapy less painful. Siberian ginseng may also protect against atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and ADD/ADHD (ADHD).
The root of ginseng is often used in traditional medicine and is often found in herbal drinks and supplements. People think that its antioxidant and steroid-like properties can help with health problems like diabetes and erectile dysfunction. It may also improve brain function.
There needs to be more research to find out how much ginseng can help people with these and other conditions. It’s also not clear what the best amount of ginseng is.
Ginseng can cause side effects, and it might not work well with some medications, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking it.