Panax ginseng is derived from the roots of the plant. It is not the same as American or Siberian ginseng. Panax Ginseng has medicinal uses that mankind has known about for more than 2,000 years.
Nowadays, it is estimated that more than six million Americans alone use it on a regular basis. Panax ginseng is known to affect many different systems in the human body.
Users of Panax ginseng should be cautious as to where they buy it, as it is not always pure and may not even have any in it at all, so only buy from a notable source.
What is the dosage?
The recommended daily dosage Panax ginseng is 200 to 600 mg capsules or 500 to 3,000 mg of the fresh root.
What is it used for?
Panax ginseng benefits show that it is a very versatile product. They include improved thinking, better concentration, more efficient memory, more physical energy and additional athletic endurance. It has also been used to help lessen stress, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, cystic fibrosis and as a general tonic for well being.
Some people believe that it can be used effectively to help treat various cancers such as breast, liver, lung, skin and ovarian. Plus, it has been used to treat diabetes, anemia, gastritis, hangovers, asthma and fever, as well as vomiting, nerve pain, headache, appetite loss, fibromyalgia, insomnia, joint problems, convulsions, hot flashed in menopause, and pregnancy disorders.
There are men who have used Panax ginseng to treat erectile dysfunction (at a dosage of 900 mg three times daily) and premature ejaculation. Plus, it has been used to make soap, beauty products and as a flavoring.
Some people consider the age of the ginseng roots important. In 1976, a 400-year-old root of Manchurian ginseng from the mountains of China reportedly sold for $10,000 per ounce.
In Western medicine, Panax ginseng is used as a stimulant to make people more active. But, in contrast, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Panax ginseng is used to make people feel calmer. It is also widely used in China for the heart and blood vessels. Higher doses are generally used in TCM than in Western medicine.
Be aware that Panax ginseng products are not always what they claim. The contents of products labeled as containing Panax ginseng can vary greatly. Many contain little or no Panax ginseng.
Possible side effects
Panax ginseng is known to cause interactions with quite a few prescription drugs, so if you plan to use it and are under a doctor’s care, you should speak with yoru doctor first. Panax ginseng is considered safe if used for 90 days or less, but may be unsafe if taken for a long time.
Some of the common side effects are insomnia, menstrual problems, and pain in the breast, faster heart rate, and either high or low blood pressure, headaches, appetite loss, as well as diarrhea, itchiness, rash, getting dizzy, mood changes, bleeding in the vagina, etc. Rare side effects include a severe rash known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, damage to the liver and severe allergic reactions.
Panax ginseng should not be taken if a woman is pregnant, as studies have shown it caused damage to animal fetuses. It is also highly suggested that breastfeeding women should also not use Panax ginseng. Likewise, it should not be given to infants and children as it has been linked to poisoning and death. Anyone with an autoimmune disease should also stay away from this medication, as well as anyone being treated for a bleeding disorder, who has had an organ transplant (interferes with the anit rejection drugs), or schizophrenia.
Research on Panax Ginseng
Studies have been done on Panax Ginseng by the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database to determine how much evidence exists to show its scientific effectiveness in treating certain conditions. These are the results:
Panax Ginseng was found worthwhile and efficient for these conditions:
Memory and concentration: Studies have shown that if people between the ages of 38 and 66 consume Panax ginseng by mouth it may help with reaction times, mental math skills, and abstract thinking processes. It works better for memory if mixed with ginko leaf extract.
Diabetes: Evidence shows that Panax Ginseng lowers blood sugar in patients with Type 2 diabetes. They were given 200 mg of panax ginseng daily and it lowered the blood sugar levels.
Erectile Dysfunction: Evidence shows that men who took Panax Ginseng had improved results in treating ED. It was also effective for premature ejaculation when mixed with a cream and put onto the penis.
Bronchial infections: When mixed with antibiotics, panax ginseng was effective in treating infections. It is also possible it has some effectiveness in preventing colds and the flu.
Conditions found to be effective:
– Athletic performance.
– Mood improvements and well being.
– Menopausal hot flashes
– Studies in China show that it may not work as thought for treating breast cancer, but the evidence was not sufficient to make a complete answer as the patients were also getting other medications.
What substances does Panax Ginseng interfere with?
This is known to cause issues when taken with certain products. These include:
Alcohol: Panax Ginseng increases how quickly alcohol is broken down in the body.
Caffeine: Both caffeine and panax ginseng when taken together can both speed up the heart and so they should not be consumed at the same time.
Insulin: Diabetics should be aware that Panax Ginseng can lower the level of sugar in the blood and so if you take it with insulin, which does the same thing; your blood level could get too low.
Others medications affected by Panax Ginseng
There are other drugs that can be affected by taking them with panax ginseng because it slows down the liver’s processing of them. These include drugs such as Elavil, Clozaril, Prozac, codeine, Aricept, Norpramin, Duragesic, Tambocor, Demerol, Dolophine, Lopressor, Toprol XL, Zyprexa, Zofran, Ultram, Desyre and possibly others, so speak with your doctor if you have concerns.
Panax ginseng is known to stimulate the human body, so it may also interfere with depression medications such as Nardil, Parnate or similar drugs. It is also known to interfere with blood thinning medications, immune system medications, stimulant medications, and nutritional supplements like bitter orange, country mallow, ephedra, bitter melon, goat’s rue, ginger, fenugreek, willow bark, kudzu, etc.