Korean Red Ginseng Testosterone

by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert

Ben Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert Sports and Exercise Nutrition Level 2 Strength and Conditioning CoachWritten by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.

Ginseng has become a popular remedy in western countries. Before the recent popularity of natural medicine, ginseng had been widely known as an energy booster, libido booster, and cognitive improver.

Since many hundreds of years, the medicine has played a role in traditional Chinese treatment. There are many different types of ginseng, all with similar health benefits. This article will discuss Korean red ginseng - a lesser known but powerful form of ginseng. 

  • Understanding Testosterone 
  • What is Korean Red Ginseng?
  • What was its use in traditional medicine?
  • Korean Red Ginseng Benefits for Health?
  • Is red ginseng extract harmful?
  • Red ginseng works to boost testosterone levels and treat erectile problems
  • Use Korean red ginseng in combination with other ingredients to get even more benefits

Understanding Testosterone and Its Importance

What comes to mind when you hear the word testosterone? Macho men, road rage and violence?

Although testosterone may play a part in these behaviors, its main roles within your body go well beyond sexual desire and bone and muscle growth.

As one of your body's hormones (chemical messengers that send messages throughout), testosterone also serves an important role.

Your gonads (sex organs) produce most of your testosterone through Leydig cells in either your testes (if assigned male at birth) or ovaries ( if assigned female), with small amounts also produced by your adrenal glands.

Testosterone is an androgen hormone, meaning it promotes secondary male characteristics like body hair growth while simultaneously being essential in producing sperm in men and eggs in women.

Your liver and intestines both produce some testosterone, with more being converted to dihydrotestosterone by your body, which may cause side effects.

Beyond sexual desire, testosterone serves a number of important purposes within your brain and body - keeping bones strong while providing energy.

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    What is Korean Red Ginseng?

    Korean Red Ginseng (Panax ginseng Meyer) is an herbal remedy renowned for its aphrodisiac effects, such as increasing sperm production and sexual functions.

    Additionally, Panax ginseng Meyer is reported to increase endurance, reduce fatigue, promote memory enhancement and prevent postmenopausal disorder.

    Panax Ginseng Meyer stands out among various types of ginseng as an adaptogen; that means it is believed to normalize body functions while strengthening systems that may have been compromised due to stress.

    Furthermore, it contains numerous chemical compounds known as ginsenosides believed to provide antidepressant effects as well as immunity-boosting benefits.

    Recent research indicates that ginseng improves brain function and cognitive performance among humans.

    A recent study, conducted on 15 healthy, young male volunteers without any known psychiatric or cognitive issues was designed to test this claim.

    Subjects were randomly assigned either 4500 mg of red ginseng per day over two weeks or placebo; those taking the red ginseng showed reduced latency of ERP waves in their central region when compared to those given placebo.

    They also experienced decreased Vienna test scores as well as quicker reactions time when responding to an ambiguous picture than those taking placebo.

    Research at the Korea Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences was recently conducted and published in PLOS ONE journal.

    Researchers believe their results suggest Panax ginseng could enhance cognitive performance in humans; however, more human subjects and larger sample sizes need to be tested before any definitive conclusions can be drawn from the data.

    Harvest and preparation

    Korean red ginseng is produced by steaming and drying fresh ginseng root.

    This process alters its nutrients such as ginsenosides and other bioactive elements to make them more bioavailable for human use, potentially decreasing illness risk while strengthening immunity. 

    Korean red ginseng, one of many ginseng varieties is a traditional Asian remedy that has a variety of benefits. The ginseng plant grows slowly and is harvested in different stages. 

    Red ginseng, on the other hand, is usually harvested after six years. It is because they contain different compounds that give them slightly different properties. 

    It is due to their growth conditions. The nutritional value of the plants will also vary depending on how they are processed, where the soil is grown, and what the weather conditions were. 

    Asian ginsengs, like Korean red ginsengs, are generally thought to be more stimulant-like than American ginseng. 

    The two main active ingredients in ginseng are ginsenosides, and gintonin. Together they produce the health benefits for which ginseng has become famous. 

    Korean red ginseng extracts and its ginsenosides are considered the strongest form of ginseng.  

    The herb was used in many different ways, including:

    Chewed

    Many ancient medical systems believe that the best way to benefit from medicine is by chewing the medicinal herbs - usually the leaves or roots. 

    Sublingual absorption has been deemed by modern medicine to be one of the best ways to consume medication. 

    Westerners believe that this medicine is more potent because it is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the veins beneath the tongue. 

    Traditional medicine holds that chewing on the roots brings one closer to the spirit of the plants and helps build a stronger healing relationship.

    Korean Red Ginseng Extract

    When chewing fresh Korean ginseng root wasn't an option, some practitioners made various extracts. The liquid extracts they made included tinctures and poultices. 

    Powder

    Some practitioners dry and crush Korean red-ginseng roots. It could be kept for a long time, and practitioners without access to fresh roots were happy with this method. 

    Traditionally, traditional practitioners prescribed the same medicine that we use today, including as a boost to energy, to sexual performance and function, memory enhancement, and immunity. This section contains more information. 

    Effects of Korean Red Ginseng

    It's impossible to cover all the benefits of korean ginseng in one article. Here are the powerful effects that korean ginseng has been studied for. 

    Fighting inflammation

    Panax Ginseng suppresses the expression of NFkB (an important marker of inflammation) effectively in various Pathophysiologies.

    Panax Ginseng, and its Gingenosides are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. 

    Cognitive ability is improved

    Korean red ginseng is used in nootropics, which are supplements designed to boost mental performance and improve cognitive abilities. 

    A 2019 study saw that the oral administration of Ginseng for six months improves cognitive function, especially visual memory. However, the dose in this study was 3g per day.

    Can ginseng fight erectile dysfunction?

    According to a majority of low-quality evidence, ginseng might only have a trivial effect on erectile functions or intersexual satisfaction when compared with placebo using validated tools. 

    Ginseng could improve men's ability to self-report sexual desire, and it doesn't appear to have any problematic side effects. 

    No trial data were found comparing ginseng with other drugs that are more well-established in the treatment of erectile disorders, like phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. 

    Is it an immune booster?

    Ginseng has been used to boost the immune system for centuries. The immune system acts as our primary defence mechanism.

    By strengthening it, we can be better prepared to fight off diseases and viruses. 

    However, ginseng is not immunogenic by itself. Their combination with adjuvants and antigens may enhance the immune response to immunized antigens.

    Ginseng and cancer

    This 2016 meta-analysis found that consumption of ginseng is significantly associated with reduced cancer risk and the effects are not specific to organs.

    Does ginseng increase energy?

    Only a few randomised control trials (RCTs) have been conducted with small samples.

    It is concluded that the clinical evidence supporting ginseng supplementation in reducing fatigue or improving physical performance is not sufficient. 

    To confirm the effectiveness of ginseng on fatigue reduction, more RCTs with larger sample sizes are needed. 

    Blood sugar regulation 

    According to this 2014 study, patients with impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) may benefit from ginseng (5g/day), compared to placebo, in controlling their serum and total blood sugar levels. 

    Male fertility

    Ginseng, also known as the King of herbs, is a promising agent for improving general well-being. 

    Ginseng is also reputed to be an aphrodisiac and is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat sexual dysfunction, as well as enhance sexual behavior. 

    In animal studies, there was a positive correlation between ginseng and libido and copulatory performance.

    These effects were confirmed in human case-control studies. In addition, ginseng has been found to improve sperm count and quality in healthy individuals as well as patients with treatment-related fertility issues. 

    These actions can be attributed primarily to ginsenosides - the main pharmacologically active components of ginseng.

    Testosterone

    The use of Asian ginseng has shown significant increases in plasma levels of total and free testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone and LH in a study involving 66 subjects.

    The oral administration of American Ginseng (10-100mg/kg) to rats for 28 days did not appear to affect testosterone or LH levels. This suggests that the type of ginseng used and the duration of treatment could have an impact on libido-enhancing abilities.

    Researchers assert that their research indicates ginseng could help those suffering from erectile problems; however, more extensive studies need to be completed with larger groups and longer follow-up periods before any treatment recommendations can be issued.

    It appears that intake of ginseng significantly increases salivary levels of testosterone in younger women, while only slightly increasing them in older women. DHEA was significantly higher in older women. 

    This suggests that ginseng may play a role in modulating the salivary levels of androgen. It is also possible that this effect would be stronger in older women, where levels of DHEA (androgens) are starting to decrease. 

    It is important to note that these results are only preliminary, and more controlled studies are warranted.

    These experts point out that certain manufacturers use nontraditional methods to extract ginseng, and these processes often alter its pharmacological properties, necessitating stringent quality control procedures to guarantee its effectiveness. 

    Potential side effects

    It's vital to know about any possible side effects and interactions, even with healthy, reliable herbs such as Korean red ginseng. 

    Korean red ginseng is not commonly associated with side effects, and they are usually not serious. If you use ginseng long-term or in high doses, highly sensitive individuals may suffer from the following: 

    • Menstruation patterns can change.
    • Heart rate elevated and blood pressure higher
    • Headaches
    • Diarrhea or digestion issues
    • Lightheadedness or dizziness

    You should also avoid mixing your ginseng extract with any substances that may negatively interact with it. 

    Some commonly prescribed medications can interfere with or worsen the effects of Korean Red Ginseng Extract. Ask your doctor about the safety of using Korean red ginseng if you are taking one or more of these medications: 

    • Blood thinners, medications that lower or raise blood pressure
    • The MAOIs are monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
    • Other stimulant drugs like dextroamphetamine
    • Immune system drugs
    • Diabetes medications
    • Avoid mixing caffeine and ginseng together as the combined effects are quite potent.

    Use Korean red ginseng in combination with other ingredients to get even more benefits

    Korean red ginseng is a powerful supplement on its own. However, it becomes even more potent when combined with other ingredients. 

    Magnesium

    Magnesium regulates blood pressure, relaxes muscles and is ideal to help people with erectile problems.

    Fenugreek

    Fenugreek, a herb commonly used to make curries and other dishes for men, has been proven to improve their libido. The libido-boosting benefits of Korean ginseng are equally impressive. They work well together. 

    Zinc

    Zinc, a mineral that is essential for male and female fertility and sexual health, will enhance the effects of Korean Red Ginseng if you consume a sufficient amount. 

    The ingredients in Military Muscle include vitamin B6, boron and nettle extract. These can all work together to enhance the benefits of Korean red ginseng. 

    Conclusion

    Korean red ginseng has been used by many cultures for hundreds of years to boost cognitive function, energy and libido. 

    However, for many claims regarding ginseng, the evidence is thin on the ground. There are only two human studies regarding its impact on testosterone levels, albeit positive, but many of the benefits are the result of high daily doses.

    Therefore, if you are solely looking to stimulate more testosterone secretion, there are more beneficial alternatives out there.

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