For hundreds of years now men have tried to boost their testosterone levels using all kinds of things, herbal and otherwise. To date, the one that has stood the test of time is Ginseng. It has been touted as one of the most useful herbs in existence and has been used for a variety of things for millenniums. But what is it and how does it work? What are the Ginseng benefits and side effects?
Ginseng is a herbal root that is native to some parts of Asia, mainly China and South Korea. Over the centuries it found its way to North America and it now grows naturally in some regions.
Ginseng has long been used by the Chinese for energy, enhancing libido and as a remedy for countless ailments. One the Chinas earliest and most powerful dynasties, the Liang Dynasty, considered Ginseng to be a cure for all kinds of illnesses. Emperors took it regularly believing that it could give them not just a satisfying sex life but also overall healthy and long lives.
There is strong evidence to support Ginseng as a natural testosterone booster. It also has been linked to increasing nitric oxide production. Studies have shown that nitric oxide supports blood vessel dilation which allows blood to flow freely around the body. Having healthy blood flow is beneficial in so many ways and enhances muscle development as well as enhanced erections. Reports have shown that men who regularly consume Ginseng supplements are able to sustain erections even in later years when getting and sustaining an erection is difficult for most men.
Apart from Ginseng supporting testosterone there are other benefits of Ginseng. As with many other herbal supplements, Ginseng is viewed with some doubt from the scientific community. To quell those doubts this article will quote some of the studies that support the power of Ginseng.
Increases Energy Levels
One of the most common benefits of Ginseng is increased energy levels. People who take it say that even after strenuous physical activity they feel fresh after taking the supplement. The Mayo Clinic conducted a study on more than 300 cancer patients, some of whom had breast cancer.
All of them took 2000 milligrams of Ginseng every day. Most of them showed no improvement in the first few weeks of the study but at the eighth week all of them reported (and exhibited) more energy. This happen even for the patients who were undergoing chemotherapy.
Improves Cognitive Ability
Ginseng is also known to improve cognitive ability as shown by the study conducted by the Medical School of Nantong University in China. It showed that those who took a recommended dosage of Ginseng every month improved their learning capacity and enhanced their memory. They also remained alert even after long periods of cognitive activity.
According to the Journal of Translational Medicine, Ginseng has been proved to have anti-inflammatory effects. This may be attributed to the fact that it contains ginsenocides which help the body fight inflammation and also help the way that Ginseng interacts with the body.
Improves Quality of Life
Although not supported by any conclusive research, there has been evidence to show that some Asian communities that take Ginseng on a regular basis seem to have very low incidences of certain diseases. Some researchers at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center say that some severely ill patients tend to have a better quality of life if they regularly take Ginseng after they are diagnosed and also during treatment.
Ginseng side effects
As with all herbal supplements, it is very important that anyone who is considering taking Ginseng be aware of the possible side effects. It is very important to mention here that many of the Ginseng side effects that are reported are linked to the level of purity of the Ginseng that is consumed. When in pure form (or pure to a high degree) there are usually no side effects reported.
Some people have reported the following side effects:
- Headaches – This may be attributed to the enlargement of vessels. Some people report that over time the headaches cease. This could be because the body gets used to the dilation of blood vessels.
- Elevated Heart Rate is another side effect that has been reported which, again, may be linked to the dilation of blood vessels.
- Difficulty Sleeping and restlessness can also occur. This is most likely because of the extra energy Ginseng provides. It is not a stimulant such as caffeine but some people may have to get used to it.
- Nausea, though rare, has been reported.
There are some people for whom this supplement is not recommended: pregnant and lactating mothers, anyone with a blood disorder, toddlers, children and teenagers and anyone who has a chronic illness that is on continuous treatment.
Ginseng Benefits – Summary
Ginseng, from the research that has been conducted, has proven to be a powerful testosterone booster but also has the ability to leave you with more energy, a clearer mind and it also can reduce the risk of illness by enhancing the immune system. Remember, the purer the Ginseng supplement the better.
I’m not just a supplement analyst. I’m an extremely qualified one! I am a Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC) and actually received my certification directly from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I am also a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, certified by the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA).