Ginseng, in general, has been around for decades (if not centuries) to help men achieve their many endeavours especially when it involves energy and stress. However, Panax (or Korean, Asian, Red, “True”, or whatever you want to call it) Ginseng is particular known as the best ginseng for male health.
That being said, is it actually that good? Does it boost testosterone, too? Together, through this Panax Ginseng research review article, we’ll answer those questions and perhaps even more. Before anything else though, take a look at some of the premier testosterone supplements who use Panax Ginseng.
WHY DO TEST BOOSTER SUPPLEMENTS USE Panax Ginseng?
Like I said, Ginsengs have been around for centuries and as a family, their roots have been used as traditional and alternative herbal medicine for a variety of medical conditions. What’s interesting to me though is that despite this herb’s rich history, a lot of its reported benefits still aren’t heavily studied. Thus, a lot of these aren’t backed by solid scientific evidence.
In particular, the herb’s effect on the immune system is one of its most popularly known benefits. To be fair, there have been plenty of studies that show Ginseng’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. However, as stated in a review, these studies are “limited to assess the phenotypic changes at the cellular level, and only a few studies have looked at the alterations by ginseng at the molecular level”.
So, even in one of its most royally treated benefits (boosting immunity), researchers admit that they still need to take a closer look at this herb. Nonetheless, Ginseng is still widely used today and in particular, its Panax subtype is dubbed as supposedly being the best “true” ginseng for male health.
Wait, so there’s a true and fake ginseng?
Well, “true” ginsengs have ginsenoside – a steroid saponin and THE most active component of the ginseng family. Consequently, this compound is also largely responsible for the therapeutic effects of ginseng. For example, Panax (Asian) and American ginseng have ginsenoside and are therefore “true” ginseng.
In contrast, Siberian ginseng doesn’t have ginsenosides but instead have eleutherosides. Although both compounds have comparable benefits, one is simply not the other and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticocus) isn’t considered a “true” ginseng.
Circling back to the topic of Panax Ginseng being the best for male health, what exactly does it do? What are its benefits? Let’s see what the studies have to say.
STUDIES ON Panax Ginseng SUGGEST:
Psychologically, physically, and hormonally adapt to stress and fatigue
Let’s start with animal studies or more specifically, rats. One such study was conducted to evaluate what kind of fatigue Panax (red) ginseng can alleviate. Here, they administered several doses of Panax Ginseng prior to physically (swimming, rotarod, and wire test) and psychologically (restraint stress and electric field test) stressing their rat subjects. Fast forward to after the experimentation (7 days), here are their results:
- significantly increased crossing frequency over electric field
- with stress, Panax Ginseng significantly increased locomotor activity
- without stress, Panax Ginseng had no significant effect
- significantly increased endurance time and decreased falling frequency on the rotating rod and balance wire
- pretreatment with Panax Ginseng significantly suppressed corticosterone production
According to the research, Red Ginseng is better at alleviating psychological rather than physical fatigue. However, based on these results, the herb’s physical and hormonal benefits also look pretty good.
You see, Panax Ginseng significantly increased the locomotor activity of stressed rats but did not have any significant benefits on the rats who were basically just chilling. Why is that? Well, my theory is that Panax Ginseng can help the body adapt to incoming stress or fatigue. Without some sort of stress, however, there’s simply no reason to take it (apart from its other benefits, of course).
What about the hormonal benefits? What does Panax Ginseng have to do with stress and hormones?
In animals such as the rats used in this study, corticosterone is the primary stress hormone. Basically, it becomes elevated when animals get stressed. As seen in the results, Panax Ginseng significantly inhibited corticosterone production. This tells me that the herb can help regulate stress on the hormonal level as well.
In humans, however, our counterpart for corticosterone is cortisol. If the herb does indeed work for us humans, I think Panax Ginseng should be able to manage cortisol, too.
Optimize the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis
I’ll be showing you multiple studies here so pay attention.
First up is a 1996 research on the effects of Panax Ginseng on male fertility. Here, they used 2 experimental groups consisting of patients with sperm issues and a 3rd group acting as control. According to the results of the study, Panax Ginseng was able to:
- increase number of sperm
- improve sperm motility
- increase total and free testosterone, DHT, FSH and LH levels (*take note of these hormones)
- decrease prolactin (**take note of this one, too)
All of these results are linked to the function of the HPG axis. In men, the HPG axis is basically a system of endocrine glands that manage the production of testosterone and sperm. In particular, *LH and FSH travel the blood stream and respectively trigger testosterone synthesis and sperm production once they reach the testes. On the other hand, **prolactin is what inhibits the release of LH and FSH which, in effect, disrupts the flow of the entire HPG axis.
That being said, it can be concluded that maybe Panax Ginseng has its hands all over the HPG axis. I’m saying maybe because, frankly, the research is old and outdated and I just want newer evidence.
What about DHT?
You didn’t think I’d forget about this, did you? Well, I didn’t but I purposely saved it for last because this one’s complicated. From the above results, you see Panax Ginseng increasing the levels of DHT. For young and developing men, this might be a good thing since DHT is actually a more potent androgen than testosterone. For older men, however, DHT plays a major factor in the development of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and balding.
This is where the tricky part comes in. According to another study, Panax Ginseng inhibits 5-alpha-reductase – the enzyme responsible for converting T to DHT. Theoretically, what this study suggests is that the herb lowers DHT instead of increasing it. Clearly, the results of both studies are contrasting. So, which one is it? To be honest, I don’t know and, personally, I think these are tell-tale signs that Red Ginseng does indeed need more scientific exploration.
How Do I Take Panax Ginseng?
Like the research behind Panax Ginseng, figuring this one out is also perplexing. However, when it comes to form, I suggest you look for extracts that are standardized for ginsenosides. After all, this saponin is what gives this Asian ginseng a good bulk of its benefits. Personally, I’d go for Panax Ginseng extract standardized for 10% ginsenoside but other standards and concentrations are good, too.
When it comes to dosage, it’s hard for me to quantify how much you should be taking mainly because the science on this is lacking. If I really had to recommend a dose though, I’d say a range of at least 200-400 mg should be fine.
Recap: Best Testosterone Supplements with Panax Ginseng
|T-Booster Supplement||My Review||Website|
|#1 – Prime Male||My Review||www.primemale.com|
|#2 – TestoFuel||My Review||www.testofuel.com|
|#3 – Steel Hard||My Review||www.steelfitusa.com|
|#4 – Nugenix Maxx||My Review||www.gnc.com|
|#5 – Diesel Max||My Review||www.sanonutrition.net|
It’s hard to deny the potential that Panax Ginseng holds as a men’s health supplement. As an adaptogen, it can help manage psychological and physical stress. Moreover, its anti-stress properties could reach as far as your hormones, too!
Speaking of hormones, Panax Ginseng might also have a positive effect on the HPG axis. Specifically, it can modulate the release of LH and FSH as well as inhibit prolactin to ultimately trigger a robust increase in testosterone and sperm production.
Along with its other benefits on the immune system, libido, and several others, I believe Panax Ginseng can be one of the better (if not the best) herbal supplements for male health. Unfortunately though, its massive potential is barred by a surprising lack of scientific evidence. So, for now, I think it’s best if you stack this herb with other, more reliable testosterone boosters (e.g., DAA, Vitamin D3, Zinc, Boron) and use it to potentially increase their power.