Ginseng is an anti-inflammatory herb that helps lower oxidative stress. It also helps to improve muscle performance and increase energy levels.
Studies suggest that ginseng may help improve cognition and memory. It can also reduce anxiety and treat insomnia. It can also boost sexual arousal.
Ginseng can interact with some medications, including MAOIs (phenelzine, tranylcypromine), blood thinners, and diabetes medications. It may also make these medications less effective.
Strengthens the Immune System
Ginseng’s antioxidant properties help fight chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Ginseng capsules can enhance the effectiveness of vaccinations against viruses, too.
The ginsenosides and total polysaccharides of the roots have been shown to act as adjuvants for stimulating immune responses against antigens. Ginseng extract has also been shown to suppress robust acute inflammation and protect hosts from bacterial sepsis responses by suppressing proinflammatory cytokine secretion.
However, one study found that taking a supplement of American ginseng did not increase performance or improve recovery after exercise in 12 active males compared to a placebo. The researchers suggest that the pill form of ginseng may not have the same adaptogenic effects as native roots. For best results, look for a supplement that contains whole root powder.
Ginseng is believed to help reduce chronic inflammation in the body, which contributes to heart disease. Studies have found that regular ginseng use may lower inflammation levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
In addition to fighting chronic fatigue, ginseng has been shown to reduce stress hormones in the blood, helping people relax and sleep better. In one study, researchers discovered that ginseng can help lower cortisol levels, a hormone that increases in response to stress and can negatively affect energy levels.
While ginseng supplements are generally safe, it’s essential to know that this herb can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and drugs that treat HIV, diabetes, and infections, as well as monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as Nardil (phenelzine) and Zelapar (selegiline) and QT interval prolongers such as Pacquin XVIII. This can increase the risk of side effects such as jitteriness, heart palpitations, and insomnia.
Increases Energy Levels
American and Asian ginseng (Panax Ginseng) are known for their energy-boosting properties. The key is the plant’s “adaptogen” properties, which help the body deal with stress and improve the immune system.
Studies have shown that ginseng can help increase energy levels, particularly for people with cancer-related fatigue and depressive disorders. In fact, one study found that taking 2 g of ginseng per day for 8 weeks significantly improved fatigue in people with cancer.
However, if you’re taking certain medications or are in a delicate situation like pregnancy, you may want to consult your doctor before adding ginseng to your routine. Ginseng can interact with some medicines, including ACE inhibitors, blood thinners, alcohol, stimulants, and antidepressants. It may also cause side effects like jitters, headaches, tummy troubles, and changes in blood pressure.
Helps to Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Men who have erectile dysfunction can benefit from taking ginseng. One study found that ginseng berry extract improved sexual function in men with mild-to-moderate erectile problems. However, more extensive studies are needed to determine if the same effect would be seen in men with more severe ED.
Other herbal remedies and dietary supplements may also help treat ED, including maca, which has been shown to increase sexual desire and performance. One study compared the effects of maca and ginseng on sexual function and found that both herbs increased erectile blood flow and improved sperm motility.
Other benefits of ginseng include improving memory and balancing hormone levels. It can also help reduce fatigue and boost energy levels. These effects are likely due to the herb’s ability to promote nitric oxide production, which relaxes penile blood vessels and improves erections.
Helps to Prevent Cancer
One of ginseng’s most exciting health benefits is its ability to prevent cancer. In a study of 905 pairs of people, researchers found that using Korean red ginseng reduced cancer risk by half.
Ginseng can improve the performance of cells that play a role in immunity. This includes natural killer cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. It also produces polyacetylene compounds that defend against viruses and bacteria.
While ginseng has many health benefits, it is crucial to exercise caution if you take medications for high blood pressure or diabetes. The herb’s stimulant effects can interact with drugs that decrease appetite, cause jitteriness, or increase the heart rate. It may also interfere with the effectiveness of medication to prevent blood clotting.