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Health Benefits of Ginseng
(Panax Ginseng)

What are all the health benefits of ginseng supported by scientific studies? Below is a detailed list of all the health benefits that are supported by research. Comments are provided to give you a sense of the type of studies done and the results that was seen.

See our article Ginseng to get a quick summary and a list of all the health conditions that ginseng may be able to treat.

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Evidence of Benefits - Comments on Scientific Studies

See the article Ginseng for a quick summary of the informatin below.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects
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Erectile Dysfunction (ED) / Impotence

In Asia, this supplement is commonly included in herbal supplements used for treating sexual dysfunction. Recent studies in laboratory animals have shown that both Asian and American ginseng increase libido and sexual intercourse performance and frequency.

There are good evidences that ginsenosides can enhance erection by increasing blood flow to the penis. Researchers believe that ginsenosides (the active ingredients) help to increase nitric oxide (NO) production, a chemical needed to cause an erection.

In one clinical study, the subjects taking this herb reported stronger erection (penile rigidity), libido and a higher sexual satisfaction than those taking the placebo.

Another well-designed clinical study in 60 men showed a significant improvement in the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5), a standard used to measure the level of erectile dysfunction in men.

The health benefits of ginseng for ED is supported by clinical studies.

Click here for many other natural remedies that are used to treat ED.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Menopause Symptoms / Sexual Performance in Women (ArginMax and Phyto-Female Complex)

Research has been done on combination products such as ArginMax (containing L-arginine, ginseng, ginkgo, damiana, multivitamins, and minerals).

The results showed significant benefit in levels of sexual desire, satisfaction with overall sex life, frequency of sexual desire, frequency of intercourse, satisfaction with sexual relationship and vaginal dryness.

Combination products such as Phyto-Female Complex (containing black cohosh, dong quai, milk thistle, red clover, American ginseng and chaste-tree berry) showed significant benefit in treating hot flushes and insomnia.

In combination products, it is very difficult to tell which one (or more) of the multiple ingredients are responsible for the benefits seen.

Research does not support the use of a ginseng as the only ingredient to treat menopause symptoms or sexual performance problems due to menopause. It is best to use product with multiple ingredients.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Improving Memory in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

Recent experimental evidences suggest that there are protective effects of ginseng for improving the memory function and mental performance of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD).

The study showed, surprisingly, that it is as effective as a prescription drug for treating AD. Some studies show that the herb helps with memory in those with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

It appears that ginseng has greater benefit in those with AD than those with normal memory function of health adults. The supplement was also shown to reduce the accumulation of the Alzheimer's amyloid beta peptide in the brains of animals.

However, keep in mind that not all studies show positive results.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Common Cold / Influenza (Flu)

There are some clinical studies to show that this herb may be helpful in boosting the immune system, treating and shortening the duration of the common cold.

Note: Recently, there over ten clinical studies done on a proprietary extract of North American ginseng (COLD-FX). These studies showed that COLD-FX can significantly reduce the risk of catching the cold and shortening the duration by about 50%.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Diabetes (Non-Insulin Dependent / Type 2), Glucose Intolerance & Insulin Resistance

In many research studies, ginseng showed the ability to reduce the standard 75 gram oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) by 10% and increase the insulin sensitivity index by 33%.

One study showed that the herb improved the microcirculation and reduced urinary albumin (kidney leaking out protein) in diabetic patients with early stage kidney disease.

In another clinical study, ginseng was also shown to reduce blood sugar levels after a meal in human subjects that did not have diabetes. However, this only worked if ginseng is taken 40 minutes before the meal.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Adaptogen (Resistance to Stress) / Well-Being / Quality of Life

The health benefits of this herb is recognized by many, especially those living in Asian countries.

A research study conducted in Mexico city showed that ginseng significantly improved quality of life such as energy, sleep, sexual satisfaction and general well-being.

A study showed that 200 mg daily of the herb, "elevated mood, improved psychophysical performance, and reduced fasting blood glucose (FBG) and body weight."

Another study showed that taking the supplement resulted in improved task performance throughout the day.

And in another study involving 332 individuals, the herb reduced fatigue.

Other smaller studies showed similar positive results. The health benefits of ginseng for boosting resistance to stress is one of the main reason Asians take this herb.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Enhance Immune System / HIV Infection

There are several studies in animals that show that ginseng can enhance the immune system. It is thought that this would help the body defend against bacterial and viral infections. These findings suggest that it has adaptogen-like effects and can help fight off stress and create a sense of well-being.

In one study done in humans, long-term intake delayed the progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-type 1) infected patients. The supplement also prevented the loss of immune cells (T cells) in the body. It also made the AIDS prescription drug zidovudine work longer before the virus became resistant to it.

Another well-designed study showed that ginseng extracts had positive effects in stimulating the immune cell production in healthy adults.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Enhance Sexual Performance / Increase Fertility

Animal studies show that ginseng is able to increase sperm production, sexual performance and activity. A study conducted in 46 men showed that taking ginseng increased sperm production and motility.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects

Cancer Prevention

Note: The positive benefits of using ginseng to prevent cancer is only shown in population studies and not in clinical studies.

Smokers taking ginseng showed lower cancer risks for cancers of lung, lip, oral cavity and pharynx and liver compared those those not taking any.

As well several studies show that the risk for stomach and lung cancers was significantly reduced among those who took ginseng.

Studies in rats showed that ginseng reduced the incidence of cancer.

For complete information, see the list of supplements used by lung cancer patients.

Researchers believe that the ability of this herb to prevent cancer might be due to its ability to stimulate the immune system.

Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Alcohol Detoxification

A small research study done in human subjects showed that taking ginseng reduced the blood alcohol levels by 35% to 51%.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Premature Ejaculation

In a double-blinded, randomized, placebo controlled clinical study done in 50 human subjects using SS-cream, it significantly prolonged time to ejaculation by 10 minutes compared to the placebo cream. Subjects also reported an increase in sexual satisfaction.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Menopause Symptoms / Sexual Performance in Women

In one study the herb did not have any significant effect on the mood, anxiety levels, menopausal symptoms or sleepiness on post-menopausal women.

However, another study reported that using ginseng in postmenopausal women causes improvements in mood and anxiety."

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS, 2004) recommends first considering lifestyle changes, either alone or combined with a non-prescription remedy, such as dietary isoflavones, black cohosh, or vitamin E.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Weight Loss / Obesity

A recent study reviewed all the research data to see which herbs helps with weight loss. Ginseng (as well as ephedra, Cissus quadrangularis, bitter melon and zingiber) was found to be effective for bringing down weight. These studies included human and animal trials.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Aphrodisiac / Increase Libido (Sex Drive)

It has been shown that the saponins from ginseng can relax blood vessels and thus treat impotence but the aphrodisiac effect of ginseng may be overstated.

Click here for other natural remedies that is used to increase sex drive.
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Anti-inflammatory benefits

A new research study done in the lab setting shows that ginseng have anti-inflammatory benefits. While human studies are not currently available, it could help those suffering from inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Enhance Athletic Performance - Not Likely Effective

Ginseng has been one of the most popular herbs said to improve human exercise performance. However, all the research studies we reviewed do not support this claim (Allen, 2008 / Engels, 1997 / Kulaputana, 2007 / Vogler, 1999 / Morris 1996).

The health benefits of ginseng for improving physical performance doesn't seem to be strongly supported by clinical studies.

Ginseng and General Information

Our main guide provides information about this popular Asian supplement.

Ginseng Facts

Discover interesting facts about ginseng in this short article.

Side Effects, Toxicity. Warnings and Possible Interactions

Discover all the side effects of ginseng to watch out for when you take this herb.

Dosage & How to Take It

What is the recommended ginseng dosage to use for various health problem? 
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Related Topics and Resources on the Health Benefits of Ginseng

Cure Erectile Dysfunction with Natural Remedies

Treating Dementia - Which natural remedies help?

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