Panax Ginseng

Last Updated: November 15 2022

Panax ginseng is commonly referred to as “true Ginseng”. It appears to be effective for mood, immunity, and cognition, but is subpar for erectile function, testosterone, and exercise performance.

Panax Ginseng is most often used for

What is Panax ginseng?

Panax ginseng is a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine for a wide variety of preventative purposes. It belongs to the ginseng family of plants and is the most commonly used species of the Panax genus for medicinal purposes.[86] It is typically used for its effects on mood, cognition, and immunity.

What are Panax ginseng’s main benefits?

Some studies have found that Panax ginseng has a dose-dependent calming effect on mood,[87] but other studies utilizing the same dose as the previous study did not note significant improvements in mood.[88] A different study conducted over a period of 8 weeks found that supplementation with Panax ginseng resulted in significant improvement in mental health at the 4-week mark.[89] It could be possible that Panax ginseng’s effects on mood are short-lived, and that acute use does improve mood.

Panax ginseng may potentially improve overall cognition. This claim is based on the results of a few studies that evaluated various measures of cognition, but this effect is still unproven.[90] Studies evaluating the effects of ginseng on reaction time and accuracy noted some improvement, but further studies are required to confirm these effects.[87][91][92]

Ginseng seems to amplify the effects of a vaccine response in cows when administered at the same time.[93] Other animal studies suggest it works synergistically with aluminum hydroxide to further enhance the efficacy of vaccines.[94][95] Ginseng extract appears to reduce the occurrence of the flu in humans when taken alongside flu vaccination. One study noted that ginseng significantly brought down the rate of flu occurrence.[96]

What are Panax ginseng’s main drawbacks?

Panax ginseng supplementation is considered generally safe. A systematic review assessing the safety of ginseng use in humans described low incidence of harm. Side effects, if any, were related to gastrointestinal upset and included diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and cramps.[97]

How does Panax Ginseng work?

Panax ginseng contains ginsenosides, the main active component of ginseng that gives the plant its pharmacological benefit.[98] Panax ginseng also has other active ingredients, including ginsenosides, polysaccharides, peptides, phytosterols, polyacetylenes, polyacetylenic alcohols, and fatty acids that assist in producing its pharmacological effects.[98]

What else is Panax Ginseng known as?
Note that Panax Ginseng is also known as:
  • True Ginseng
  • Ginseng
  • Panax
  • Mountain Ginseng
  • Wild Ginseng
Panax Ginseng should not be confused with:
  • Siberian Ginseng
  • American Ginseng
  • Chinese Ginseng
  • Pseudoginseng
  • Desert Ginseng
  • Black Ginseng
  • Cistanche spp
Dosage information

Panax Ginseng tends to be taken in doses of 200 to 400mg daily for general 'preventative' medicine, although some studies on the inclusion of Panax Ginseng in a multivitamin suggest doses as low as 40mg might be bioactive. The 400mg dose appears to confer most cognitive benefit.

These doses refer to standard 'Ginseng Extract' which is around 2-3% total Ginsenosides, and is a once daily dosage.

Trials using Korean Red Ginseng extract for erectile health and libido enhancement tend to use 3g of total KRG extract daily, in three doses of 1000mg.

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