Ginseng benefits
Asian ginseng, Korean and Panax ginseng, September 11, 2011
Asian Ginsengs
Ginseng is an herb used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. In Mandarin Chinese, the word Ginseng
literally means "root of man". It was so named because the root of this plant resembles the shape of a human
body. Almost 2,000 years ago, the great Chinese medical directory stated that ginseng increased longevity.
The main active ingredients in ginseng are called ginsenosides. The higher the quantity of ginsenosides, the
better the quality of the ginseng.

Some people classify ginseng as an adaptogen; a substance that helps the body resist the effects of physical
and environmental stress. Some people also claim that ginseng can increase physical endurance under stress,
improve mental alertness, memory, thinking ability or even resistance to infection. Based on the Herb Bible by
Earl Mindel, PhD and Ginseng by Betty Kamen, PhD, ginseng facilitates the reduction of cholesterol and blood
pressure. Ginseng may also reduce the risk of metastasis (spread) of tumor (cancer). In addition, ginseng may
also helps protects the user from viral infection and reduced cellular oxygen. Ginseng helps reduce discomfort
caused by menopause.

There are two major types of ginseng: American and Asian. Asian ginseng contains high contents of the active
ingredients, while American ginseng is mild. Siberian ginseng belongs to different family of herbs. The
"ginseng" in this article refers to Asian ginseng particularly Korean ginseng and Panax ginseng.
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Asian Ginseng Benefits
Asian ginseng may have multiple health benefits on people at risk or even suffered from various conditions.
However, most scientific supports arose from either animal or in vitro studies. Here outlines some recent
research findings:

a.
Ginseng Benefits - Cold Symptom Complex Kaneko et al confirmed the preventive effects of medical
ginseng on the common cold symptom complex, including flu, by clinical observation. [12]

b.
Ginseng Benefits - Learning and Memory Deficits Nishijo H. found that red ginseng has ameliorating
effects on learning and memory deficits due to hippocampal lesions and aging in rats. [13] In a clinical study of
61 patients suffered from Alzheimer's disease, high doses of Korean ginseng (Dosage 9 g/day) showed
significant improvement on the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale and Clinical Dementia Rating after 12
weeks. [D12] Panax ginseng also shows benefits on the cognitive performance of Alzheimer disease patients.
[D13]

c.
Ginseng Benefits - Cancer Kim et al concluded that ginsenosides Rg3 and Rh2 could inhibit the
proliferation of prostate cancer cells. [14]

d.
Ginseng Benefits - Immunoglobulin Production Enhancement Ginseng extract was prepared by boiling
the ginseng root in 50% ethanol. Then, this extact was injected into mice. The researchers found the serum
levels of immunoglubulins IgM, IgG and IgA were significantly elevated. [15]

e. Lim et al extracted water-soluble ginseng marc polysaccharide and studied its effect on murine peritoneal
marcrophages. They found this chemical significantly increased the lysosomal phosphatase activity and the
phagocytic index of peritoneal macrophages. [16]


Ginseng benefits on Erectile dysfunction
In September, 2011, researchers from University of Exeter, UK, released a report that Cautiously positive
conclusions were drawn for
yohimbine and ginseng as treatment options for erectile dysfunction. For
acupuncture and
maca the evidence was insufficient for erectile dysfunction and SD respectively. [D1]
Further,there's a positive trend towards recommending ginseng as an effective aphrodisiac for the
enhancement of sexual desire and/or performance. [D2]

Korean red ginseng was given to 60 patients suffered from mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. The patients
received either dosage of 1 g (three times daily) of Korean red ginseng or a placebo. The five-item version of
the International Index of Erectile Function score after the treatment was significantly higher in the KRG group
compared with that before the treatment. However, the levels of serum testosterone, prolactine and cholesterol
after the treatment were not statistically significant different between the KRG and the placebo group. [D5]

Ginseng has also been combined wtih Tongkat Ali, Horny goat weed, Gotu kola and flower pollen extracts to
treat erectile function in male rats. The penile erection index was significantly higher than each single
component.[D4]

Ginsenoside Rg1 of ginseng benefits copulatory behavior of male mice
Ginsenoside Rg1 is the purified ingredient from ginseng. Male mice were treated with Rg1 intraperitoneally.
Rg1 (10 mg/kg) significantly increased mounting and pelvic thrusting frequency and numbers of intromission of
male mice from d16 to d20. Rg1 also increased serum testosterone concentration, enhanced NO release. [D3]

Ginseng benefits on mental and physical performance?
Acute supplementation of 200 mg of Panax ginseng does not improve athletes' physical performance in
running. [D8] Acute ingestion of Thai ginseng (Kaempferia parviflora) also failed to improve exercise
performance during repeated sprint exercise or submaximal exercise to exhaustion. [D9] But, the effect of long
term supplementation or high doses is unclear. [High doses may lead to unwanted
side effects]

A study of 30 volunteers shows that Panax ginseng (G115; dosage of 200 mg; 400 mg; placebo for 8 days)
improved working memory performance and subjective ratings of calmness. [D10]

Ginseng benefits - symptoms related to menopause?
Kelley KW and Carroll DG at Auburn University published a review article that the currently available literature
is conflicting in regard to efficacy and does not support the use of alternative OTC therapies for hot flash
management associated with menopause. [D6] But, there is a report that women receiving a herbal formula
containing SupHerb, Netanya, extracts of black cohosh, dong quai, milk thistle, red clover, American ginseng,
chaste-tree berry reported a significantly superior mean reduction in menopausal symptoms than the placebo
group. [D7]

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Ginseng side effects and warning
When used appropriately, ginseng appears to be safe. NCCAM suggests that its use be limited to 3 months
because of concerns about the development of ginseng side effects. Ginseng potentially interacts with many
drugs.The common
ginseng side effects are mental status changes [nervousness, restlessness, excited
feeling, trouble sleeping, gastrointestinal problems etc.]. Other
ginseng side effects include vaginal bleeding,
mastalgia diarrhea, high blood pressures.  However, some reported ginseng has hypotensive effects and cause
allergic reactions. [2, 6-8] People with mental illness, preparing for surgery, abnormal blood pressure and
people who drink coffee and smoke excessively should avoid ginseng. For details, please, click:
Ginseng side
effects.

Good Health
David, September 10, 2011

Relevant Articles: Ginseng side effects,  Ginseng Gingko Biloba Benefits, Siberian Ginseng  
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REFERENCES
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the Mysterious Efficacy of Ginseng.., J Pharmacol Sci. 2004 Jun;95(2):158-62.] [13] Nishijo et. al, Proof of the meysterious efficacy
of ginseng..., J. Pharmacol Sci.2004 Jun;95(2):145-52.] [14] Effect of ginsenosides Rg3 and Rh2 on the proliferation of prostate
cancer cells. Kim et al., Pusan National University, Korea. Arch Pharm Res. 2004 Apr; 27(4):429-35.] [15] Inteaperitoneal injection
of ginseng extract enhances both immunoglobulin and cytokine production in mice, Liou et al, Kang-Ning Junior College of
Medical Care and Management, Taiwan, China. Am J Chin Med. 2004;32(1):75-88] [16] Immunomodulating activities of
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Chen J, Zhang J. Ginsenoside Rg1 improves male copulatory behavior via nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate
pathway. J Sex Med. 2010 Feb;7(2 Pt 1):743-50. [D4] Qinna N, et al, A new herbal combination, Etana, for enhancing erectile
function: an efficacy and safety study in animals. Int J Impot Res. 2009 Sep-Oct;21(5):315-20. [D5] de Andrade E, et al, Study of
the efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Asian J Androl. 2007 Mar;9(2):241-4. [D6] Kelley KW,
Carroll DG. Evaluating the evidence for over-the-counter alternatives for relief of hot flashes in menopausal women. J Am Pharm
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Ping FW, et al, Effects of acute supplementation of Panax ginseng on endurance running in a hot & humid environment. Indian J
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on sprint and endurance exercise performance in humans. J Sports Sci. 2010 Sep;28(11):1243-50. [D10] Reay JL et al, Panax
ginseng (G115) improves aspects of working memory performance and subjective ratings of calmness in healthy young adults.
Hum Psychopharmacol. 2010 Aug;25(6):462-71. [D12] Heo JH etl al, An open-label trial of Korean red ginseng as an adjuvant
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Panax ginseng enhances cognitive performance in Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2008 Jul-Sep;22(3):222-6.
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