If you’re looking for a natural way to support your health, the benefits of Panax Ginseng make it a good place to start because the benefits are so broad and serve to support health on so many levels.
As a certified herbalist and product formulator for LifeBuild Health Formulas, Panax Ginseng is right up there as one my favorite herbs. And while Panax Ginseng has been around for thousands of years, more recently it has been extensively researched validating its traditional uses.
There have been well over 150 studies done on Panax Ginseng that highlight its medicinal properties and benefits.
This ancient herb is also known as Korean Ginseng, Asian Ginseng and Red Panax Ginseng, not to be confused with American Ginseng which is similar, but has different properties.
The name ‘panax’ actually means ‘panacea,’ or heal-all. And while it might not heal everything(!), the name itself definitely references its importance in the herbal library to fortify overall health. Panax Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal remedies in the world for a reason.
Panax Ginseng has been used medicinally in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) extensively for around 3000 years and we see records dating back 5000 years ago. In fact, recent archeological research shows that the medicinal use of Panax Ginseng dates as far back as 60,000 years ago. Now there’s a track record.
Thousands of years ago, when the health promoting value of Panax Ginseng was first beginning to be understood and appreciated it was strictly reserved for royalty, with the best Ginseng even more expensive than gold. And while the best rare and old wild Panax Ginseng root is still very expensive, most of what is found today is cultivated and much less expensive, and is of very good quality.
The most popular reason people take Panax Ginseng is to
boost energy and to enhance performance. It is not a stimulant like caffeine, yet
promotes alertness both physically and mentally without the adrenal impact of
coffee over-consumption, energy drinks or drugs such as amphetamines (1)(2)
The German Commission E, the highly regarded science-based therapeutic
herbal reference guide approved Ginseng as a tonic to
invigorate and fortify, to treat fatigue, debility or declining
sexual capacity. Ginseng was also approved to enhance concentration
and for use during convalescence. And these uses were reaffirmed by the World Health Organization in 1999. (11)
So if you’re looking to enhance performance and combat fatigue, the choice is easy. But the benefits of Panax Ginseng don’t stop with mental and physical performance.
Panax Ginseng is also used to improve recovery time, and is used as an anti-inflammatory. (3)(5)
It's also used to help treat and prevent cardiovascular disease(4) while another benefit of Panax Ginseng is its ability to improve systemic insulin resistance.(6)
Panax Ginseng is also an effective alternative for erectile dysfunction(7), works to lower blood pressure(4) and enhances liver function. (9)
All of the above benefits are why Panax Ginseng is an important ingredient in our InvigorerPlus Energy and Anti-Aging Formula.
As one of my favorite individual herbs, Panax Ginseng also belongs to one of my favorite classification of herbs called adaptogens. They are a select and short list of herbs that promote health in many different ways. They get the name ‘adaptogen’ because they are known for their ability to help adapt to stress as well as to increase the body’s resistance to said stress.
Stress of all kinds is a factor in nearly all degenerative and chronic conditions. So being able to naturally support the body in some way becomes very important.
Over the last 20+ years I’ve used many of the
adaptogens in my product formulations. Each adaptogen has unique qualities and
each is an excellent health builder in its own way. All herbs have several different
side benefits apart from their main benefits, and adaptogens
are no exception. For more on adaptogens go here
An important feature of adaptogens is their double-direction activity, meaning they can either enhance or inhibit a function depending on the individual. We don't know exactly how this works, but scientific research confirms it exists.(10)
For example, if you’re immune system is a bit sluggish,
Panax Ginseng can boost it. On the flip side, if it’s overactive, it works to
help bring it back into balance. This immunomodulation quality is one of the
primary benefits of Panax Ginseng. (8)
With health in general, a primary goal
is always balance. The Yin and Yang principle, similar to homeostasis. Panax Ginseng shines in this
aspect of being able to help move the body in the direction of balance and to regulate
and strengthen body functions, to build health.
Panax Ginseng is a superstar among stars. While you can find Panax Ginseng on its own, it is very often combined with other herbs and adaptogens for optimal benefit.
Boosting energy through energy drinks
activates fight or
flight which is the emergency energy system evolution designed for us
and is intended to be used when your survival is on the line.
It tells the body to produce the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline
and norepinephrine which in turn, increases energy.
So far, so good. Totally okay in an emergency. You fight or run or take action in some way. When the threat has passed the body returns to normal. But, repeated or long term activation comes at a cost that includes a compromised immune system as well as digestion, increased blood pressure and actually accelerates aging.
It’s a very poor way to get consistent and high quality energy because of the hormonal disruption and can put your health at risk over time.
It’s the exact opposite of Panax Ginseng which actually works to reduce the activation of stress hormones while still giving you an energy boost amongst its many other benefits. Panax Ginseng supports and builds health. It doesn’t break it down.
We use Panax Ginseng as an important ingredient in our InvigorerPlus Energy and Anti-Aging Formula for all the benefits it offers. The InvigorerPlus features 20 ingredients to boost energy, endurance, focus, recovery and to support optimal health. Find out more here.
1. Antifatigue effects of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23613825/
2. “Ginseng has an adaptogenic effect that produces a nonspecific increase in defenses against exogenous stress factors and noxious chemicals; it promotes overall improvement in physical and mental performance" (Wagner, 1994; Phillipson, 1984)
3. Effects of Panax ginseng supplementation on muscle damage and inflammation after uphill treadmill running in humans https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21598413/
4. “Ginsenosides exhibit a broad spectrum of pharmacological activities relevant to the prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular diseases, which include the inhibition of mitochondrial ROS production, stimulation of NO production, improvement in blood circulation, enhancement of vasomotor tone, and improvement of blood lipid profiles”
5. “Administration of P. ginseng led to significant decreases in the levels of serum ROS[reactive oxygen species] and MDA [malondialdehyde] . Notably, the total glutathione content and GSH-Rd activity considerably improved…” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21699953/
6. Effects of Korean red ginseng supplementation on muscle glucose uptake in high-fat fed rats https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24359773/
7. A Double-Blind Crossover Study Evaluating the Efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng in Patients With Erectile Dysfunction: A Preliminary Report.
8. Biological Activities of Ginseng and Its Application to Human Health. Section 8.3 [Immunomodulatory Function of Ginseng] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92776/
9. Effectiveness and Safety of Panax ginseng Extract on Hepatic Dysfunction: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial “After 12 weeks of treatment, the ALT levels [a significant marker of liver dysfunction] were significantly reduced in the GS-KG9[Ginseng extract] group compared to the placebo group” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32724321/
10. “The pharmacological actions of individual ginsenosides may work in opposition… These opposing actions may contribute to the "adaptogenic" description of ginseng” http://cms.herbalgram.org/expandedE/Ginsengroot.html?ts=1607623881&signature=3c539057a8dc45fd2ff314c47a3c12b9
11. Ginseng in Traditional Herbal Prescriptions. Ginseng as a tonic to invigorate and fortify. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659587/