Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

This slow-growing, short plant with fleshy roots can be classified three ways, depending on how long it is grown: fresh, white or red.

Fresh ginseng is harvested before 4 years, while white ginseng is harvested between 4–6 years and red ginseng is harvested after 6 or more years.

There are many types of this herb, but the most popular are American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng).

American and Asian ginseng vary in their concentration of active compounds and effects on the body. It is believed that American ginseng works as a relaxing agent, whereas the Asian variety has an invigorating effect.

Ginseng contains two significant compounds: ginsenosides and gintonin. These compounds complement one another to provide health benefits.

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Ginseng has beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Some test-tube studies have shown that ginseng extracts and ginsenoside compounds could inhibit inflammation and increase antioxidant capacity in cells.

Here are some potential health benefits of ginseng:

For example, one test-tube study found that Korean red ginseng extracts reduced inflammation and improved antioxidant activity in skin cells from people with eczema.

The results are promising in humans, as well.

Lastly, a larger study followed 71 postmenopausal women who took 3 grams of red ginseng or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Antioxidant activity and oxidative stress markers were then measured.

Researchers concluded that red ginseng may help reduce oxidative stress by increasing antioxidant enzyme activities.

SUMMARY Ginseng has been shown to help reduce inflammatory markers and help protect against oxidative stress.

Ginseng May Benefit Brain Function

Ginseng could help improve brain functions like memory, behavior and mood

Some test-tube and animal studies show that components in ginseng, like ginsenosides and compound K, could protect the brain against damage caused by free radicals

One study followed 30 healthy people who consumed 200 mg of Panax ginseng daily for four weeks. At the end of the study, they showed improvement in mental health, social functioning and mood.

However, these benefits stopped being significant after 8 weeks, suggesting that ginseng effects might decrease with extended use

Another study examined how single doses of either 200 or 400 mg of Panax ginseng affected mental performance, mental fatigue and blood sugar levels in 30 healthy adults before and after a 10-minute mental test.

The 200-mg dose, as opposed to the 400-mg dose, was more effective at improving mental performance and fatigue during the test (16Trusted Source).

Could Improve Erectile Dysfunction

Research has shown that ginseng may be a useful alternative for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

It seems that compounds in it may protect against oxidative stress in blood vessels and tissues in the penis and help restore normal function.

Additionally, studies have shown that ginseng may promote the production of nitric oxide, a compound that improves muscle relaxation in the penis and increases blood circulation.

One study found that men treated with Korean red ginseng had a 60% improvement in ED symptoms, compared to 30% improvement produced by a medication used to treat ED.

Moreover, another study showed that 86 men with ED had significant improvements in erectile function and overall satisfaction after taking 1,000 mg of aged ginseng extract for 8 weeks.

SUMMARYGinseng may improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction by decreasing oxidative stress in tissues and enhancing blood flow in penile muscles.

May Fight Tiredness and Increase Energy Levels

Ginseng has been shown to help fight fatigue and promote energy.

Various animal studies have linked some components in ginseng, like polysaccharides and oligopeptides, with lower oxidative stress and higher energy production in cells, which could help fight fatigue.

One four-week study explored the effects of giving 1 or 2 grams of Panax ginseng or a placebo to 90 people with chronic fatigue.

Those given Panax ginseng experienced less physical and mental fatigue, as well as reductions in oxidative stress, than those taking the placebo.

Another study gave 364 cancer survivors experiencing fatigue 2,000 mg of American ginseng or a placebo. After eight weeks, those in the ginseng group had significantly lower fatigue levels than those in the placebo group.

Furthermore, a review of over 155 studies suggested that ginseng supplements may not only help reduce fatigue but also enhance physical activity.

SUMMARY Ginseng may help fight fatigue and enhance physical activity by lowering oxidative damage and increasing energy production in cells.

How much you should take depends on the condition you want to improve. Overall, daily doses of 1–2 grams of raw ginseng root or 200–400 mg of extract are suggested. It’s best to start with lower doses and increase over time.

Look for a standard ginseng extract that contains 2–3% total ginsenosides, and consume it before meals to increase absorption and get the full benefits.

SUMMARYGinseng can be eaten raw, made into tea or added to various dishes. It can also be consumed as a powder, capsule or oil.

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The Bottom Line

Ginseng is an herbal supplement that has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine.

It is commonly touted for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It could also help regulate blood sugar levels and have benefits for some cancers.

What’s more, ginseng may strengthen the immune system, enhance brain function, fight fatigue and improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

Ginseng can be consumed raw or lightly steamed. It can also easily be added to your diet via its extract, capsule or powder form.

Whether you want to improve a certain condition or simply give your health a boost, ginseng is definitely worth a try.

Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

This slow-growing, short plant with fleshy roots can be classified three ways, depending on how long it is grown: fresh, white or red.

Fresh ginseng is harvested before 4 years, while white ginseng is harvested between 4–6 years and red ginseng is harvested after 6 or more years.

There are many types of this herb, but the most popular are American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng).

American and Asian ginseng vary in their concentration of active compounds and effects on the body. It is believed that American ginseng works as a relaxing agent, whereas the Asian variety has an invigorating effect.

Ginseng contains two significant compounds: ginsenosides and gintonin. These compounds complement one another to provide health benefits.

Ginseng has beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Some test-tube studies have shown that ginseng extracts and ginsenoside compounds could inhibit inflammation and increase antioxidant capacity in cells.

Here are some potential health benefits of ginseng:

For example, one test-tube study found that Korean red ginseng extracts reduced inflammation and improved antioxidant activity in skin cells from people with eczema.

The results are promising in humans, as well.

Lastly, a larger study followed 71 postmenopausal women who took 3 grams of red ginseng or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Antioxidant activity and oxidative stress markers were then measured.

Researchers concluded that red ginseng may help reduce oxidative stress by increasing antioxidant enzyme activities.

SUMMARY Ginseng has been shown to help reduce inflammatory markers and help protect against oxidative stress.

Ginseng May Benefit Brain Function

Ginseng could help improve brain functions like memory, behavior and mood

Some test-tube and animal studies show that components in ginseng, like ginsenosides and compound K, could protect the brain against damage caused by free radicals

One study followed 30 healthy people who consumed 200 mg of Panax ginseng daily for four weeks. At the end of the study, they showed improvement in mental health, social functioning and mood.

However, these benefits stopped being significant after 8 weeks, suggesting that ginseng effects might decrease with extended use

Another study examined how single doses of either 200 or 400 mg of Panax ginseng affected mental performance, mental fatigue and blood sugar levels in 30 healthy adults before and after a 10-minute mental test.

The 200-mg dose, as opposed to the 400-mg dose, was more effective at improving mental performance and fatigue during the test .

Could Improve Erectile Dysfunction

Research has shown that ginseng may be a useful alternative for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

It seems that compounds in it may protect against oxidative stress in blood vessels and tissues in the penis and help restore normal function.

Additionally, studies have shown that ginseng may promote the production of nitric oxide, a compound that improves muscle relaxation in the penis and increases blood circulation.

One study found that men treated with Korean red ginseng had a 60% improvement in ED symptoms, compared to 30% improvement produced by a medication used to treat ED.

Moreover, another study showed that 86 men with ED had significant improvements in erectile function and overall satisfaction after taking 1,000 mg of aged ginseng extract for 8 weeks.

SUMMARYGinseng may improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction by decreasing oxidative stress in tissues and enhancing blood flow in penile muscles.

May Fight Tiredness and Increase Energy Levels

Ginseng has been shown to help fight fatigue and promote energy.

Various animal studies have linked some components in ginseng, like polysaccharides and oligopeptides, with lower oxidative stress and higher energy production in cells, which could help fight fatigue.

One four-week study explored the effects of giving 1 or 2 grams of Panax ginseng or a placebo to 90 people with chronic fatigue.

Those given Panax ginseng experienced less physical and mental fatigue, as well as reductions in oxidative stress, than those taking the placebo.

Another study gave 364 cancer survivors experiencing fatigue 2,000 mg of American ginseng or a placebo. After eight weeks, those in the ginseng group had significantly lower fatigue levels than those in the placebo group.

Furthermore, a review of over 155 studies suggested that ginseng supplements may not only help reduce fatigue but also enhance physical activity.

SUMMARY Ginseng may help fight fatigue and enhance physical activity by lowering oxidative damage and increasing energy production in cells.

How much you should take depends on the condition you want to improve. Overall, daily doses of 1–2 grams of raw ginseng root or 200–400 mg of extract are suggested. It’s best to start with lower doses and increase over time.

Look for a standard ginseng extract that contains 2–3% total ginsenosides, and consume it before meals to increase absorption and get the full benefits.

SUMMARYGinseng can be eaten raw, made into tea or added to various dishes. It can also be consumed as a powder, capsule or oil.

.

 

The Bottom Line

Ginseng is an herbal supplement that has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine.

It is commonly touted for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It could also help regulate blood sugar levels and have benefits for some cancers.

What’s more, ginseng may strengthen the immune system, enhance brain function, fight fatigue and improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

Ginseng can be consumed raw or lightly steamed. It can also easily be added to your diet via its extract, capsule or powder form.

Whether you want to improve a certain condition or simply give your health a boost, ginseng is definitely worth a try.