Asian root extract
The root of the ginseng plant has been used in China, Japan, and Korea for many centuries in the therapy of psychiatric and neurological disorders, and for enhancing vitality. There are several varieties of ginseng sold over the counter: Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus Chinensis) are the most common. Technically Siberian ginseng does not belong in the same genus as Asian or American ginseng and does not contain the same ingredients. As a rule, Asian ginseng is more stimulating and raises body temperature while American ginseng is less heating and stimulating. Siberian ginseng is neutral. Hundreds of ginseng products ginseng extract formulas are available over the counter with different dosages and combinations.
Constituents of Ginseng extract
The roots contain several saponins named ginsenosides that are believed to contribute to the adaptogenic properties. They are used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve stamina and combat fatigue and stress. Saponins are interesting natural compounds found in many plants, herbs, roots, and beans. Saponins have potential in the prevention and treatment of diseases of the heart and circulatory system (Purmova 1995). For instance, they inhibit the formation of lipid peroxides (fat oxidation) in cardiac muscle or in the liver, they influence the function of enzymes contained in them, they decrease blood coagulation, cholesterol, and sugar levels in blood, and they stimulate the immune system. Some saponins may even have anti-tumor properties (Wakabayashi 1998). For more ginseng extract information.
Panax Ginseng extract, 400 mg
Suggested Use: One ginseng capsule in the morning a few times a week or as recommended by your health care professional.
Buy Ginseng extract
What Ginseng does
The biochemical mechanisms of ginseng remain unclear, although there is extensive literature that deals with its effects on the brain (memory, learning, and behavior), neuroendocrine function, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, immune function, and the cardiovascular system. Reports are often contradictory, perhaps because the ginsenoside content of ginseng root or root extracts can differ, depending on the species, method of extraction, subsequent treatment, or even the season of collection. Ginseng does have the potential to help with blood sugar levels. Click Panax ginseng for more information.
Ginseng Extract Laboratory and Human Studies
Lets examine some of the studies done with ginseng.
Ginseng extract and Cognitive functioning
Various tests of mental performance were carried out in a group of sixteen healthy male volunteers given a standardized preparation of Asian ginseng (100 mg twice a day for twelve weeks of a product called G 115). A similar group was given identical placebo capsules under double-blind conditions. A favorable effect of ginseng was observed in attention, mental arithmetic, logical deduction, and auditory reaction time. Researchers at the Cognitive Drug Research Ltd., Beech Hill, Reading, in the United Kingdom evaluated the effects of a Ginkgo biloba / ginseng combination on cognitive function. The study lasted ninety days and was performed in a double blind, placebo-controlled manner with sixty-four healthy volunteers (aged 40 to 65 years) who had mild fatigue and low mood. The treatment was well tolerated by all volunteers. There were improvements noted in memory and overall cognitive functioning. Ginseng root saponin at a dose of 50 mg three times a day was given for two months to 358 middle and old age individuals. The results showed that the herb improved memory and immunity.
Impotence and erectile dysfunction
It has the potential to be useful in combination with shwagandha, Catuaba, Cnidium herb, Muira Puama herb, Tribulus herb, Tongkat ali, and Yohimbe herb. Tribulus terrestris extract is a potent aphrodisiac and it would be best not to use it the same day as herbs that have adaptogen type properties.
Ginseng, Antioxidants, and Lipids
The administration of several grams of ginseng daily increases the ability of the body to maintain its antioxidant status. Furthermore, lipid levels such as LDL cholesterol are lowered (Kim, 2003).
Countless varieties and dosages of ginseng and ginseng extract are available, including panax ginseng, red korean ginseng, American ginseng, etc. One option is to buy a ginseng product that has a standardized extract of 3 to 7 percent ginsenosides. Use 100 mg of this extract in the morning a few times a week. You may require 500 to 2,000 mg of he dried ginseng root to feel the effects. Its best to cycle the use of ginseng. For instance, you can take ginseng for two weeks and then take off a few weeks or take it every other day.
Ginseng side effects
Insomnia is a common side effect from ginseng overuse, particularly Asian ginseng especially when its combined in high doses with other herbs or nutrients that cause alertness. Althea, a 38 year-old owner of a garden shop in Maui, says, "I took ginseng that was recommended by a Chinese physician for fatigue. I took the ginseng for two weeks. I felt really better emotionally, mellow, and with increased energy. Then I started to have increased sleep problems and insomnia. I went three days being so mentally and physically overstimulated that I hardly got any sleep. I imagine this is what being on "speed" must feel like. I stopped taking the ginseng and within two days I slowly returned to my normal state."
This story confirms our recommendations that dosages of nutrients and herbs have to be constantly evaluated since they can build up in the system.
Mechanisms of Action of Ginseng
The roots of Chinese and American ginseng contain several saponins named ginsenosides that are believed to contribute to their properties. Saponins are interesting natural compounds found in many plants, herbs, roots, and beans. They are used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve stamina and combat fatigue and stress. Saponins have potential in the prevention and treatment of diseases of the heart and circulatory system. For instance, they inhibit the formation of lipid peroxides (fat oxidation) in cardiac muscle and in the liver. Saponins also influence the function of enzymes; decrease blood coagulation, cholesterol, and sugar levels in the blood; and stimulate the immune system. Some saponins may even have anti-tumor properties. Recent studies in laboratory animals have shown that both the Asian and American forms of ginseng enhance libido and copulatory performance. These effects of ginseng may not be due to changes in hormone secretion, but to the direct effects of ginseng, or its ginsenoside components, on the central nervous system and gonadal tissues. There is good evidence that ginsenosides can facilitate penile erection by directly inducing the vasodilatation and relaxation of penile corpus cavernosa. Moreover, the effects of ginseng on the corpus cavernosa appear to be mediated by the release of nitric oxide from endothelial cells and from nerves that surround the vessels. Treatment with American ginseng also affects the central nervous system and has been shown to significantly alter the activity of hypothalamic catecholamines, such as dopamine and norephinephrine, involved in the facilitation of copulatory behavior and hormone secretion. According to recent findings,
that ginseng treatment decreases prolactin secretion,
which also suggests a direct effect of ginseng at the level of the pituitary
gland. High levels of prolactin inhibit libido. Studies sometimes have provided
contradictory results, perhaps because the ginsenoside content of ginseng root
or root extracts can differ depending on the species, method of extraction,
subsequent treatment, or even the season of collection.
Many people who take ginseng or ginseng extract find this herb to be a good overall energizer and cognitive enhancer. Due to the tremendous variety of ginseng products sold, it is difficult to give definite dosage recommendations. You could certainly try a few ginseng products to see which one(s) give you a positive effect. In practical and simple terms, Asian ginseng raises body temperature and is more stimulating while American ginseng is more calming. The effects of Siberian ginseng fall somewhere between these two.
Q. Can Asian ginseng be taken the same day as royal jelly. Does it increase blood pressure?
A. Ginseng is stimulating in nature, so is royal jelly, therefore less of a dose is needed if both are taken together. There is a possibility that high ginseng dosages could cause high blood pressure.
Q. I am on an anticoagulant warfarin and want to take
ginseng. Is ginseng okay to take with an anticoagulant?
A. Doctors place patients on an anticoagulant usually for serious conditions, and most people who are on anticoagulants have atrial fibrillation or potential cardiac problem. Hence, it may not be a good idea to take a stimulating herb such as ginseng with an anticoagulant.
Q. Is ginseng liquid better than ginseng powder in a
capsule? I find ginseng in capsule difficult to swallow since I have trouble
with pill swallowing.
A. We don't see a major difference in clinical effects between liquid ginseng and ginseng in capsule form. However, liquid ginseng may be appropriate to those who have trouble swallowing pills.
Q. I am currently taking an herbal menopause formula
containing Panax ginseng, green tea, black cohosh, valerian, theanine, the only
product that has ever given me miniscule relief. I would like to consider adding
Diet Rx. Could any interactions result?
A. It is difficult to predict interactions since one person may feel fine combining products while another may not. A good way to find out is to take each separately for a few days and when combining use half the normal dosage of each at first. These are general guidelines that you can discuss with your health care provider.
Q. I currently take ginseng for anxiety or to help
with stress. Would it be advisable to stop taking the ginseng while starting
inositol? What are your feelings on taking both inositol and phosphidylcholine?
A. Each person may react differently to supplements and the different dosages that are used. The best way to find out is to try and learn how each one makes you feel, and if combining use low dosage at first to avoid potential interactions or side effects.
The root of the ginseng plant has been used in China, Japan, and Korea for many centuries in psychiatric and neurological conditions, and for enhancing vitality. There are several varieties of ginseng sold over the counter: Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus Chinensis) are the most common. Technically Siberian ginseng does not belong in the same genus as Asian or American ginseng and does not contain the same type of substances called ginsenosides.
Difference between types
As a rule, Asian ginseng is more stimulating and raises body temperature while American ginseng is less heating and stimulating. Hundreds of ginseng root products are available over the counter with different dosages and combinations. The effect you notice from one ginseng product may be slightly or moderately different than another ginseng product depending on the quality of the herb, the dosages, the extract potency and other factors. Ginseng is also often added to certain energy drinks. A wide variety of ginseng teas are sold in health food stores.
Ginseng has been found to be helpful in enhancing energy and for sexual vitality. Ginseng roots are ingested orally in Asia as adaptogens, aphrodisiacs, and stimulants. An adaptogen is an herb that supposedly improves wellbeing and can help a person's resistance to stress. Korean ginseng has been shown in studies to have sexual enhancing properties. There are many herbs besides ginseng that are effective for sexual enhancement. These include tongkat ali, tribulus terrestris, horny goat weed, maca, catuaba, and mucuna pruriens. Ginseng may also help with blood sugar control although more research is needed to confirm this benefit.
High dosages of ginseng can cause overstimulation, restlessness, rapid heart beat, anxiety, headache, and insomnia. Just with any medication or supplement, the right dosage can be quite helpful while an excessive amount can lead to unpleasant adverse effects. Discuss with your doctor before using a ginseng product if you have a heart condition, are taking blood pressure pills, hormone medications, anti-depressants, or have a serious health condition.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) issued in August 2009 its nondetriment finding for American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) for the 2009 and 2010 harvest seasons. American ginseng is included on CITES1 Appendix II, which lists species “that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction [but] that may become so unless trade … is subject to strict regulation.” In producing this report, FWS complied with its responsibility under CITES, and the finding concludes that export of wild American ginseng from 19 specified range states is not detrimental to the survival of the species, so long as harvested plants are at least five years old. This conclusion thus continues the agency’s current policy of allowing export of roots collected from such plants and from the specified states. The finding also identifies a number of future actions and recommendations “to improve the conservation and management of ginseng.” Many of the identified issues are in relation to working with various State agencies to develop consistent harvest regulations, so that requirements for harvest season, fruit ripeness, seed planting, and other factors will be standardized throughout the species’ range. The finding notes that it will be updated prior to the 2010 harvest season, and any such update should be assumed to include information on any progress made in regard to FWS’ recommendations. The FWS finding includes data that was presented at an FWS meeting in February by AHPA President Michael McGuffin on the long-established harvester practice of planting ginseng seed even as plants are collected. McGuffin estimated that between six and 17 million ginseng seeds are planted annually in woodland settings. He compared that estimate to the average of 16 to 19 million wild ginseng plants harvested each year, while observing the need to account for the rate of germination of planted seeds. Expressing some discomfort with this practice, the finding states that FWS will “discuss with the States, USDA Forest Service, and industry the use of non-local and commercially grown seeds for replanting of ginseng in the wild.”