Ginseng the Wonder Herb

A little early due to the long weekend.

For thousands of years the Chinese have prescribed ginseng for everything from an immune boost to erectile dysfunction.  What does it actually do. 

If you have read my blogs that mention ginseng you will know that there are a couple of different types.  The warm ginseng Panax, Korean, Red that are good for men and the cool ginseng Siberian that is good for women. Let’s break them down. 


Panax, Red, Korean Ginseng

Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb.  This means it is excellent for stress related issues.  It improves energy, is anti-inflammatory and is useful in cases of erectile dysfunction.  Some current studies are being done on the effectiveness of ginseng for:

  • Fatigue from cancer
  • Immune system improvement
  • Lowering blood sugar levels
  • Insomnia
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Cognitive function
  • Hair growth

 Perhaps the most well known benefit of ginseng is for sexual dysfunction in men.  A Korean study showed that 60% of men who took ginseng noticed an improvement in their symptoms.  They also noticed an improvement in the quality of sex.  Ginseng is thought to work in similar ways to Viagra.  It increases the bodies nitric oxide levels which is what ED drugs also do.  

PANAX Ginseng interracts with

  • Insulin
  • Alchohol
  • Caffeine
  • Medications broken down by the liver
  • Furosemide

The list is quite extensive so for more information please check out WebMD here.

canstockphoto8467658siberian ginseng

Siberian Ginseng 

Siberian ginseng is not actually ginseng but Eleutherococcus senticosus.  It is most beneficial for women. Some of its actions are

  • Immune boost
  • Stress reliever
  • Immune system boost
  • Anxiety reliever
  • Fatigue reducer

 As an adaptogenic herb siberian ginseng assists the body in preventing stress related illness such as indigestion, heartburn and tension headache.  It is being used by athletes to improve their physical performance and reduce stress. 

Siberian ginseng is thought to improve sexual performance, sexual desire and fertility.  It is mildly estrogenic so can be useful for menopausal women. 

Siberian Ginseng interacts with the following:

• Warfarin

• Chemotherapy

• Flu vaccine

• Digoxin

• Ticlopidine

For a full list please see WebMD here.

Anti Aging

Another traditional use of ginseng in all forms is anti aging.  The improvement of cognitive function and physical performance are contributing factors to this action but ginseng has other actions that are also important.  It has been shown to reduce hair loss, improve the immune system, improves blood flow. oxygenates the skin and has antioxidant properties. 

Both ginseng and “pseudo” ginseng are good for most people.  People taking blood thinners, pregnant and lactating women should avoid taking ginseng or Siberian ginseng. 

On a personal note I have used ginseng and Siberian ginseng off and on and I have found that for me, it is excellent for improving my energy levels.