Korean Red Panax Ginseng: What Is It and Who Might Need It?
Posted on April 6th, 2021
Korean red ginseng is a medicinal plant that grows in Asia. It is also called Asian ginseng, Korean red Panax ginseng, and Chinese ginseng. The root of the plant has been around for thousands of years in traditional herbal medicine. Korean red ginseng is in the plant family of Araliaceae. It has natural chemical compounds called ginsenosides (ginseng saponins) that supposedly give the root its potential medicinal properties including vasodilation, anti-inflammation, antioxidant, and anti-cancer. This article provides information on the many uses and potential benefits of Korean red Panax ginseng.
What Is Korean Red Panax Ginseng?
Korean red ginseng is a perennial plant that grows in the mountains of Eastern Asia. It needs a shaded and moist place to grow such as the mountainsides of Korea and China. The plant usually grows up to two feet with dark green leaves and red berry clusters. The outer appearance of the root is creased and wrinkled with a slightly sweet and bitter taste. The root should grow at least 4-5 years before it can be used in supplement form. When the root is dried and not processed further, it’s known as white ginseng.
White ginseng is processed with heat and dried further to make red ginseng. The color of the root changes during the heating process. Korean red ginseng contains unique bioactive properties which makes it more effective than regular white ginseng. For example, red ginseng has heightened anti-inflammatory properties and is treated in a fermentation process to further enhance these properties.
Traditional Uses of Ginseng
The root of the ginseng plant has been part of Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat a wide range of ailments and promote overall health and well-being. The root traditionally treated fatigue and weakness and even sexual dysfunctions in men. In fact, the English translation for ginseng is “man root.” Panax comes from a Greek word that translates as “all-healing.” Hence, the literal translation for Korean Panax ginseng is “all-healing man root.” Ginseng was very rare in the past and many considered it to have mysterious powers.
Ginseng has been part of traditional Asian medical practices for more than 2,000 years. The Shennong Bencao Jing is one of the very first books about herbal medicines. It emerged in the 1st century AD. The book recognized ginseng as a medicinal herb. In the “Shang-Han Lun” or “Treatise on Diseases Caused by Cold Factors,” Zhong Jing Zhang describes using ginseng in herbal prescriptions. Modern standard ginseng extract (G115) was first prepared by Lugano-Bioggio – Pharmaton Ltd. in Switzerland. The German Commission E has approved ginseng as a tonic for fortification to treat fatigue and declining sexual capacity in men. The root may also enhance concentration and for use during convalescence. The World Health Organization reaffirmed these uses in 1999.
Studies on Korean Red Panax Ginseng
The main active compounds in Korean red ginseng are ginsenosides. These molecules have a wide range of beneficial effects on the health and well-being of an individual including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and vasodilation. Recent studies show that Panax ginseng improves psychological functions, immune functions, and reduces conditions associated with diabetes.
A study involved 112 healthy volunteers older than 40 years of age. They took 400mg/day of standard ginseng for 8 weeks. The groups showed faster simple reactions and abstract thinking. Another study involved two small groups with 30 young, healthy volunteers in each group. They received 200mg of G115 daily for eight weeks. The results were quite impressive with the participants showing improvements in certain psychomotor functions such as better processing, attention, and auditory reaction times. They also showed better social functioning and mental health conditions after the test.
In a double-blind study involving 384 post-menopausal women, Panax ginseng was found to reduce symptoms of depression and increase the overall well-being of women during menopause.
In a 2011 study involving patients who have suffered heart attacks (acute myocardial infarction), each patient was given 3g of Korean red ginseng a day during an eight-month follow-up. The subjects had a remarkable improvement in coronary flow reserve or an increase in blood flow in the coronary arteries. Additionally, the patients had a higher number of immune cells after the treatment.
A team of researchers studied the effects of Korean red ginseng on the quality of life of their participants. The random subjects were part of a double-blind test and took 200mg of Panax ginseng and a placebo every day for 8 weeks. After 4 weeks of therapy, the group that received Panax ginseng showed a remarkable improvement in social functioning, mental health, mood, and cognitive functioning compared to the group that received the placebo.
Even though the FDA does not approve of Korean red Panax ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction in men, many use it to treat this condition. In fact, red ginseng is thought to improve erectile dysfunction in men while increasing mental alertness in the process.
Korean Red Panax Ginseng Benefits?
Ginsenosides or the chemical compounds found in Korean ginseng are responsible for the observed clinical effects of the herb. The latest research shows that there are numerous potential medical benefits of Korean ginseng. Here are some of the potential and numerous health benefits of Korean red ginseng.
Ginseng helps increase the energy levels in people who are weak and tired. A study revealed the effects of ginseng in improving the energy levels of cancer patients with fatigue. Researchers observed the energy-boosting effects in patients who were currently undergoing cancer treatment.
Evidence shows that taking Korean ginseng daily for at least 12 weeks can improve the cognitive performance of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, taking ginseng by mouth helps improve abstract thinking and reaction times, and mental arithmetic skills in healthy middle-aged people. But it didn’t have a big effect on young adults. There is evidence that a combination of Panax ginseng and ginkgo leaf extract can help improve the memory of healthy people between the ages of 38 and 66.
Improve Symptoms of COPD
Reports suggest that taking the herb by mouth may help improve lung functions and the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Cold & Flu
Taking Panax ginseng by mouth may help reduce the risk of common cold or flu. But the herb didn’t help reduce flu symptoms or the length of the illness.
Panax ginseng may help improve the sexual functions of men with erectile dysfunction. It helps improve blood flow to the sexual organs and may improve their function in the process.
Applying a cream that contains Panax ginseng may help reduce the occurrences of premature ejaculation over time.
Multiple Sclerosis Fatigue
Panax ginseng may help reduce the feeling of tiredness and improve the quality of life in females suffering from MS.
Lowering Blood Sugar Levels – Several studies show that Panax ginseng helps lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Ginsenosides affect insulin production in the pancreas to improve insulin resistance in such patients.
Preparation And Dosage
Korean ginseng is available in a powder form that you take by mouth as a dietary supplement. There are also ginseng capsules available on the market today. You should store the product at room temperature and keep it dry and away from heat. The average dose of Korean Panax ginseng is around 200 to 400 mg per day as a herbal supplement. Most researchers have used a standardized dose of 200 mg Panax ginseng per day in their studies involving human subjects.
The best thing is to consult your healthcare provider before taking the supplement since he or she is the best person to recommend the right dosage of the product depending on your health condition and medical history. Most medical experts suggest taking a two-week break from taking the supplement after taking it for 2-3 weeks. It is important to avoid the possibility of getting a toxic reaction from ginseng buildup in the body. Avoid taking the supplement at bedtime since some people report that this can cause insomnia. Discuss the safety precautions of taking Korean ginseng with your healthcare provider before deciding to take the supplement.
Korean red panax ginseng is a perennial plant native to the Eastern part of Asia. It has been a medicinal herb in Chinese medicine for centuries. Korean ginseng is in the plant family of Araliaceae and has natural chemical compounds called ginsenosides that supposedly give the herb its medicinal properties. Korean ginseng has many potential health benefits including vasodilation, anti-inflammation, antioxidant, and anti-fatigue.
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