Panax Ginseng: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosages, and Interactions

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Panax ginseng is one of several types of ginseng that are commonly used in herbal medicine. According to traditional Chinese medicine , each type of ginseng has unique healing properties. For example, some types of Panax ginseng have "warming" properties that are believed to improve blood circulation.

The active compounds in Panax ginseng are believed to be steroid-like compounds called ginsenosides.

What is ginseng?

Ginseng is a root that is commonly used as a herbal medicine supplement. It is believed to increase energy, strengthen the immune system, and help control certain health conditions.

What is Panax ginseng used for?

Since ancient times, Panax ginseng has been used to increase energy and stamina, as well as to strengthen the immune system. Today, although the research on Panax ginseng is quite limited, there is some evidence that the herb may provide specific health benefits. These are some of the main findings of the study:

Diabetes

Panax ginseng can help treat diabetes. For example, in a review of studies published in PLoS One in 2014, scientists analyzed 16 previously published randomized controlled trials examining the effects of ginseng on blood glucose in people with and without diabetes. Most of the trials lasted less than 12 weeks. and included people with relatively good glycemic control.

The authors concluded that while ginseng significantly improves fasting blood glucose levels in diabetics and non-diabetics, more research is needed.

Cognition

According to a 2015 study on the health benefits of ginseng, Panax ginseng was shown to improve cognitive function, primarily short-term memory .

Additionally, a 2018 study found that taking ginseng supplements for five years or more has beneficial effects on cognitive performance in older adults .

The cognitive enhancement and other health benefits of ginseng are believed to be related to its antioxidant properties.

erectile dysfunction

Based on a detailed review of data from six randomized trials conducted over 15 years, Panax ginseng may be an effective and safe treatment for erectile dysfunction. A 2011 review of alternative medications for sexual function came to a similar conclusion and found that Panax ginseng is an effective and safe treatment for erectile dysfunction. unique food supplement to improve erectile function without safety concerns .

Unlike prescription erectile dysfunction medications (which are usually taken when needed), ginseng appears to be beneficial for erectile dysfunction only when taken consistently.

Other conditions

Although it is sometimes referred to as a panacea, Panax ginseng may not work for certain conditions. For example, studies have shown that Panax ginseng is ineffective in relieving hot flashes and improving athletic performance .

Additionally, the National Institutes of Health state that while many studies have been conducted on the beneficial effects of ginseng, there is not enough conclusive research to treat a number of conditions (including depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, common cold, etc.). .). flu, bronchitis , fever, digestive problems, fibromyalgia and anemia ) .

Possible side effects.

Ginseng is widely used and is even found in beverages, which may lead you to believe that it is completely safe. But like any herbal supplement or medicine, it can have unwanted effects. Some of the more common side effects include headaches, digestive problems, and insomnia .

Panax ginseng can affect blood pressure, so if you have high blood pressure (hypertension), you may want to stop using ginseng (unless under the supervision of a doctor) .

Children, pregnant or lactating women should avoid using Panax ginseng .

Panax ginseng can lower blood glucose levels and can interact with diabetes medications, so if you have diabetes and plan to use it, be sure to speak with your doctor .

Interaction with medications and supplements.

Panax ginseng can increase the effects of blood thinners (blood thinners and antiplatelet agents such as warfarin, clopidogrel, ticlopidine, heparin, and aspirin), which can increase the risk of side effects such as bleeding .

Certain herbal supplements are known to cause bleeding and therefore may increase the risk of bleeding when combined with ginseng .

Panax ginseng can interfere with the metabolism of monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors such as phenelzine sulfate, tranylcypromine sulfate, and isocabaxazide. It is also believed to affect the levels of neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry messages from nerve cells to other cells) and may interact with antipsychotic medications such as chlorpromazine .

Panax ginseng has been found to affect the metabolism of drugs processed by the CYP3A4 enzyme. Ask your doctor to check if you are taking this type of medicine.

Get Drug Information / Anastasia Tretyak

Dosage and duration

There is no single recommended dose for Panax ginseng. In the course of studies, various doses have been studied.

For example, a 2018 study evaluating 91 clinical trials regarding the effects of Penax ginseng in a variety of health conditions reported that appropriate dosages and recommendations were difficult to infer due to the variety of trials. For these clinical trials, the doses ranged from 0.2 g to 9 g of Panax ginseng daily for four to 24 weeks.

While Panax ginseng can boost your energy and help treat certain medical conditions, if you plan to take it, it's important to check with your doctor first.

What to look for

In traditional Chinese medicine, the way ginseng is prepared is believed to affect how it works. Red ginseng, for example, is unrefined ginseng (Panax ginseng CA Meyer) that is steamed before drying. On the other hand, white ginseng is unrefined Panax ginseng that is dried and refined (but not steamed). A newer variety, black ginseng, is produced by repeated steaming / drying.

Red ginseng is believed to be more conducive to the development of "yang" energy (which stimulates and warms) than white ginseng. As a result, red ginseng can overstimulate people who tend to feel feverish or those who have conditions such as tumors, kidney stones, gallstones, inflammatory conditions, or certain psychological conditions.

White and red ginseng is available in tinctures, liquid extracts, powders, and capsules.

Panax Ginseng versus other types

In traditional Chinese medicine, American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is considered to have "cooling" properties. This type of ginseng is often touted as a natural remedy for diabetes. American ginseng also boosts the immune system and improves strength, endurance, and general well-being .

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is also used to increase strength, endurance, and immunity to decrease the side effects of chemotherapy. Additionally, Siberian ginseng is believed to act as an adaptogen and protect against atherosclerosis , Alzheimer's disease , rheumatoid arthritis , and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .

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