Ginseng and Testosterone

Ginseng and Testosterone

Ginseng is a broad topic but I’m going to start with the one everyone is most interested in.  After all, this site is about increasing testosterone so…

Does Ginseng Increase Testosterone?

Why yes!  Yes it does! Possibly…

Ginseng is one of the more popular herbs in Western culture and the size of the market has actually resulted in sufficient incentive to study it.  Every study I found conclusively indicates that Panax Ginseng improves libido and erection strength.  The question on testosterone is a mixed bag.  Some studies show significant increases, others show none.  Let’s talk about a few of them:

a. Ginseng and Testosterone in Rats

No herbal entry on Testosteroned would be complete without a study conducted on rats, so here is one. In this study, rats were split into a control group, and an experimental group that had a significant amount of ginseng added to their diet.  The rats given panax ginseng experienced a significant increase in testosterone.  There was one side-benefit that in my opinion outweighs the testosterone increase: rats eating ginseng consumed a more food but gained no additional weight.

b. Ginseng and Testosterone in Men
Ginseng can help boost your ratatouille testosterone.

Ginseng can help boost your ratatouille testosterone.

I found this interesting study that showed a significant increase in testostosterone, Luteinizing Hormone, DHT, and other androgens due to panax ginseng supplementation.  The participants in this study were basically impotent either without cause or due to testicular damage.  There were also 20 healthy, potent participants used as a control group.  Those given ginseng experienced the hormonal benefits but their semen analyses improved as well: the swimmers swam faster, and there were more of them competing.

c. Panax Ginseng and Erections in humans

Panax Ginseng can help you with your erections and sex drive.  In this study, 45 patients were given 900 mg of ginseng 3 times daily.  Based on self-evaluation and on information obtained by penile scanners (aptly named RigiScan), the patients’ were able to get and maintain hard-ons.  My congratulations.

The Asian Journal of Andrology conducted a similar experiment and arrived at the same conclusions.  Unfortunately, they noted in their studies that the increase in testosterone levels was not statistically significant.

These findings were also confirmed in rats but it seems that rats get it on no matter what you give them.  I don’t consider this a significant development.

So there it is.  I have given you the skinny on the positive effects panax ginseng has on libido, testosterone, and erectile strength.  For more fascinating but less pertinent ginseng info, keep reading.

What is Ginseng?

Ginseng belongs to the Panax genus of the family Araliaceae, a perennial plant that grows mostly in northern China, Korea, and eastern Siberia, generally in colder climates.  It has a fleshy root with ginsenosides as the active compounds. This fleshy root is shaped like a human being inspiring a great deal of legends, folklore, and superstitions. It is widely known for its efficacy in combating stress and fatigue, maximizing stamina and building strength. Many men with erectile dysfunction issues use it for treatment and attest to its efficacy.

Ginseng has been known as the most universal of all Oriental herbs for thousands of years. It is taken orally as an adaptogen, aphrodisiac, or for treatment of type II diabetes and as a nourishing stimulant but in traditional Chinese medicine it has been used mostly for general preventive purposes.

It is important to note that there are many species of ginseng and not all have the same health benefits. It is not to be confused with Siberian Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng, American Ginseng or Pseudoginseng. Only Panax Ginseng, also known as True Ginseng, Mountain Ginseng or Wild Ginseng, has been proven to have beneficial effects. Ginseng has a synergistic effect with herbs like Hoelen, Polygala, and Acorus gramineus or the Kai Xin San (KXS) ingredients for improved absorption and circulation levels but not with aspirin which acts as its blocker.

Now that we know what ginseng is, let’s look at its associated, non-sexual or testosterone benefits.

Health Benefits of Panax Ginseng

  1. Physical and Mental Health Stimulant. Ginseng is believed to be a good tonic that helps build stamina and boost energy levels. Taken as a supplement, it helps athletes use oxygen more effectively while facilitating metabolic equilibrium. Additionally, ginseng has been proven to increase athletes’ physical endurance which explains why it has become an athletic favorite. Panax Ginseng lowers their recovery time and reduces their stress levels. Another known benefit is that it helps improve concentration and thinking ability with its stimulant effect on brain cells.

  1. Promotes Weight Loss. Some varieties of ginseng have components that help in treating obesity and diabetes. This was found in a recent study whose results were published in the Phytotheraphy Research Journal in December 2008. A constituent of red ginseng was confirmed to inhibit cells from fully absorbing fat and storing it in the body. Panax Ginseng acts as a thermogenic, that is, it increases bodily heat thus increasing metabolism and the conversion of fat into muscle. Ginseng reduces the amount of carbohydrates that convert to fat.  This is the same effect as discussed with the rats that could eat more without gaining weight.

  2. Prevents Hair Loss. Ginseng fights stress.  Stress causes hair loss. There is reason to believe that ginseng can prevent hair loss. Kind of a mixed bag here because there are reports of headaches, nausea and breast pain by those who took ginseng specifically for hair loss. In appropriate amounts, it is usually safe except for pregnant women. In Osaka, Japan, there was a study that suggested that the Ginsenoside Ro carbohydrate was shown to help fight androgenetic alopecia, aka balding, in men. After hearing this, I have already ordered my ginseng off Amazon.

  1. Skin Cell Regeneration. Drinking Ginseng tea is good for hydrating and refining the skin. Panax Ginseng promotes the regeneration of skin cells by improving oxygenation. It also boosts the circulation and detoxification of the blood which are very important to skin health. As it frees the skin from toxins, it seems to improve complexion.  Maybe you should feed your teenager some.

  1. Tumor Growth Inhibitor. This has got to be the coolest ginseng benefit.  Some studies indicate that ginseng can inhibit tumor growth. Researchers have also found that American Ginseng possesses powerful anti-cancer properties. A few examples of published scientific evidence indicate that ginseng or its constituents may actually prevent cancer. In a series of experiments, when American ginseng was added to breast cancer medical chemotherapy, the Ginseng did not interfere with cancer drugs.

There is insufficient evidence that ginseng can be a treatment for cancer although 98% of studies, specifically on Asian Ginseng, indicate that it is likely to prevent cancer or help treat it while about 2% show that it is likely to cause or trigger cancer.

Relief of Cancer-Related Fatigue. A new study on previous works at the Mayo Clinic showed that ¼ of cancer patients who took 1,000 mg or 2,000 of panax ginseng tablets claimed they felt much better compared with 10% taking placebo pills.

Ginseng Side Effects

While ginseng is also believed to help patients with Type 2 diabetes and those with blood pressure fluctuations, using it as a supplement requires consultation with a physician first. The U.S.  Food and Drug Administration has not given its approval on the use of this herb as medication and warns people of possible side effects which some users have reported to have experienced.

  1. Nervousness and Agitation. You may feel agitated or edgy when you take ginseng because of its stimulant properties. You may also feel nervous without provocation. It takes a few days to become used to ginseng before these effects disappear.

  1. Gastric Disturbances. Some people have experienced feeling nauseous to the point of vomiting while others suffered from diarrhea. I’ve never had any issues.

  1. Insomnia.  The stimulating properties of ginseng may have an effect on your central nervous system. You may have difficulty in going to sleep. Taking other beverages with caffeine may further intensify this effect and lead to insomnia.

  1. Arrhythmia. Ginseng may over-stimulate your central nervous. This can cause cardiovascular problems like arrhythmia, irregular heartbeat, or tachycardia, increased heartbeat. This change in your normal heart rate is a serious problem as it puts more strain on your heart muscle which can produce a heart attack.

And the verdict on Panax Ginseng is….

In conclusion, the evidence of the effectiveness of ginseng as medical treatment for ailments are more suggestive than conclusive.  It generally seems like a solid herb to take as a preventative prophylactic than as a cure for an acute ailment. The real precautions are where contraindications against doctor- prescribed drugs may be present. You don’t know how ginseng is going to interfere with whatever you’re taking, so don’t take a God damn thing without seeing your doctor.  Understood?

As an aside, the majority of research on Ginseng is done in countries where it is grown: Korea, Japan, China, and Russia which means the reports are also written in those languages.  Now, I could hypothetically read the Russian ones but I read so slowly in Russian that if it came down to it, I’d rather just take a different herb and call it a day. Cheers, get some ginseng.

ADD Version

  • Panax Ginseng MIGHT boost testosterone.  Most studies seem to indicate that it does.
  • It will give you hard-ons and increase libido
  • It might help fight cancer
  • Everything else is not that important or interesting

 

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