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    Korean Ginseng: Its Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

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    Ginseng has long been considered an adaptogenic herb, which means they work to stabilize the effect of physiological stress in the body and produce a stimulant-like effect. There are 11 different varieties of Ginseng, but the Panax Ginseng variety is favoured by athletes over other variants, due to its steroid-like benefits and performance enhancing effects. German Pharma have released yet another potent research backed supplement that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals. This new addition to the world-renowned German Pharma range is Korean Ginseng, also known as Panax Ginseng.

    In addition to these assets, there is evidence demonstrating Korean Ginseng to strengthen the immune system, enhance cognitive function and be used to treat erectile dysfunction. German Pharma Korean Ginseng is advised for any active individual who wants to improve their overall well-being, naturally enhance athletic performance and achieve noticeable results in a shorter time frame.

    This ultimate guide will explain what Korean Ginseng is, its uses, benefits, and frequently asked questions about using this herb.

    What is Korean Ginseng?

    Korean Ginseng is a species of plant found natively in East Asia that has been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries to promote clear thinking and treat ED (1). Various other benefits have emerged in recent clinical research, including improving physical activity performance (2).

    There are multiple variants of this long-living slow-growing plant species, and the fleshy roots are the source of the ginseng extract that is used in products. Panax Ginseng is native to Korea, China and Russia, whereas Panax quinquefolius grows in North America. There is also Siberian Ginseng. These types of ginseng are not to be confused, as their genetic makeup differs and their concentrations of active compounds vary.

    What is Korean Ginseng also known as?

    Korean Ginseng is the common name for Panax Ginseng, which is the plant's Latin name. Other common names for the herb include: Red Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng, and Asian Ginseng.

    What variety of Ginseng is best and why?

    With different types of ginseng from different climates and regions, you may be wondering what type of ginseng is best? Korean Ginseng is considered to be the best variety due to the fact that it contains higher doses of a steroid-like compound called Ginsenosides, which works synergistically with another active ingredient called Gintonin, providing multiple health benefits (3). 

    American ginseng or Panax quinquefolius is understood to be more of a relaxant, whereas the Korean Panax ginseng is accredited for its energy boosting effects (4). It is also believed that Siberian Ginseng is a milder form of Korean Panax Ginseng.

    The Benefits of Korean Ginseng

    Increased Energy

    Ginseng can improve your workouts by augmenting muscle energy production on a cellular level. A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (the gold standard of scientific research) suggests that Ginseng supplements help combat fatigue and improve athletic performance (5). Additionally, a 4-week study found that those supplementing 1 or 2 grams of Korean Ginseng per day experienced significantly less physical fatigue compared to a placebo group (6).

    Korean Ginseng is able to offer these benefits due to containing saponins, Ginsenosides, Polysaccharides and Oligopeptides, which are known to reduce oxidative stress and elevate energy production (7). Therefore, by utilising Korean Ginseng you can expect to increase productivity in your workouts and be able to shift fat and increase muscle mass in a short time frame. Furthermore, Korean Ginseng can be seen as a non-jittery alternative to caffeinated pre-workouts. 

    Korean Panax Ginseng for Erectile Dysfunction

    Korean Ginseng was traditionally used to treat ED before clinical research supported the idea. A systematic review of randomised controlled trials tested this hypothesis and was able to demonstrate that Ginseng has beneficial effects in relation to treating ED. However, there wasn’t enough data to draw definite conclusions (8). Although, one of these studies found that men treated with Korean Ginseng experienced a 60% improvement in ED symptoms, in comparison to a 30% improvement in those using standard ED medication (9).

    Another study found similar results after taking 1,000 mg of Ginseng extract for 8 weeks (10). Ginseng is able to have this effect due to protecting against oxidative stress in the penis and therefore restoring regular function (11), as well as increasing blood circulation (12). Therefore, ginseng can be seen as a great natural remedy for erectile dysfunction. 

    Strengthening immune system

    Every healthy, active person has fallen behind in their training due to a cold or virus. It can be frustrating, especially when good progress has recently been attained or with a specific event or date to reach your desired goal. For this reason, having a strong immune system is essential for anyone who takes their training and exercise seriously.

    Most research assessing Ginseng on immunity have been performed on cancer patients, and these studies consistently show improvements in immune system function and markers (13, 14). Furthermore, it appears that Ginseng extract can enhance the effectiveness of influenza vaccinations, demonstrating its ability to boost immune health (15).

    More studies are required on healthy subjects, but the results seem promising given that it has been shown to support immune system health in those suffering from chronic illness. 

    Korean Ginseng can improve mental performance

    In addition to its physiological benefits, Korean Ginseng has also been shown to enhance mental performance. Not only can this improve your quality of life, but also can help you stay focused during stressful situations, such as examinations or whilst working out. A review conducted in 2010 included five randomised controlled trials assessing the effects of Ginseng on brain function, and it concluded that Ginseng does improve multiple aspects of cognitive function and behaviour, without any adverse effects (16).

    There was another study which showed that 4 weeks of 200mg of Panax Ginseng supplementation improves mental health and mood, although these benefits appeared to reduce after 8 weeks (17). Interestingly, a study found a single dose of 200mg of Panax Ginseng to improve mental performance and reduce mental fatigue (18). Supplementing 400mg of Panax Ginseng for 8 days has also been shown to improve calmness and math skills (19).

    Overall, the academic literature suggests the Korean Ginseng supplementation can have acute immediate mental performance benefits, as well as long-term effects up to 8 weeks, even at doses as low as 200 mg. 

    Ginseng is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

    What separates Korean Ginseng from many other supplements is its high concentration of Ginsenoside. This compound is proposed to be the reason for many of Ginseng's benefits, specifically in relation to reducing inflammation and enhancing antioxidant capacity (20).

    Ginsenoside's benefits are so potent that it has been shown to effectively treat the symptoms of eczema (21), and the compound is believed to reduce inflammation by targeting relevant pathways in the immune system (22). Other studies have shown Ginseng to reduce inflammatory markers post-exercise and reduce oxidative stress (23, 24).

    Summary of benefits

    • Increased energy levels
    • Improved muscular endurance
    • Enhanced mental performance
    • Reduced stress
    • Treats erectile dysfunction
    • Potent antioxidant & anti-inflammatory
    • Strengthened immune system

    The side effects of Korean Ginseng

    There is evidence to suggest that Ginseng can affect sleep quality, therefore it is advised to not take Korean Ginseng near bedtime. It also may interact with some medications, including blood thinners and aspirin, so please consult with your GP before supplementing.

    Is Korean Ginseng Safe?

    Using Panax Ginseng in clinical studies has shown that it is safe to take the herb, and does not cause any toxic side effects in males or females (25).

    FAQs

    Is Panax Ginseng a stimulant?

    Due to its stimulant-like effects on physical functions, Panax Ginseng can be considered stimulant. 

    Does Panax Ginseng Increase Estrogen?

    The effects of ginseng and estrogen are well-studied, and results have shown that taking Korean Red Ginseng can be beneficial for modulating estrogen hormones due to aging (26).

    Does Panax Ginseng Increase Testosterone?

    One study has shown that Korean Red Ginseng upregulates androgen receptors and promoted testosterone (27). Although the androgenic effects of ginseng are not thoroughly studied, the results show that Panax Ginseng has a beneficial role in maintaining the androgen receptors (28).

    Is Panax Ginseng a blood thinner?

    A study has shown that the active components in Korean Ginseng have blood-thinning properties, so could be used to create an anticoagulant. Seek medical advice before using Ginseng alongside blood thinners.

    Can you take Korean Ginseng with Ashwagandha?

    Ginseng and Ashwagandha are commonly used together to improve vitality.  One study to assess the safety of taking both herbs has shown that no toxic effects were observed after 90 days of taking both supplements (29).

    How to take Korean Ginseng

    Recommended dosage of Panax Ginseng

    There is no exact recommended dosage of Panax Ginseng due to the variety of trials aiming to study different aspects of the herb. Clinical studies have researched people taking between 0.2 g to 9 g on ginseng daily. 

    Due to the invigorating effects of this supplement, we recommended taking Korean Ginseng in the morning time. Two capsules of the German Pharma Korean Ginseng will provide you with 500 mg of original Korean Ginseng, and 400mg of the active compound Ginsenosides. It is advised to take this daily for 8-12 weeks.

    Where to buy Korean Ginseng

    At Prohormones UK we have a Korean Ginseng supplement available to buy online. Panax Ginseng is the most potent form of Ginseng available to buy, due to higher concentrations of Ginsenosides. Additionally, Korean Ginseng is favoured by athletes due to its almost stimulatory benefits, alongside its anti-inflammatory and brain boosting properties. Korean Ginseng has also been shown to help with ED and strengthen the immune system.

    German Pharma has formulated one of the most pure Korean Ginseng supplements on the market in order to help improve your quality of life and enhance your athletic performance. German Pharma Korean Ginseng is standardised at 80% Ginsenosides, making it one of the best Korean Panax Ginseng supplements on the market, with most other Ginseng supplements only containing 2% Ginsenosides.

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