Korean, or red panax ginseng, is nearly identical botanically to American white ginseng or panax quinquefolius. Chemical differences give these two similar plants different medicinal properties. Herbal tonics either brewed from the roots or produced as alcohol tinctures offer simple ways to enjoy the benefits of red panax ginseng. Strong scientific evidence supports the use of red panax ginseng extract for certain conditions, according to MedlinePlus. Traditional medicine prescribes the plant for many other conditions, as well. Always talk to a doctor before taking red panax ginseng for any condition.
Red panax ginseng’s antioxidant properties benefit patients with heart disorders by decreasing the oxidation of LDL chloresterol. This type of ginseng exhibits a similar protective effect on brain tissue. According to MedlinePlus, studies did not show that ginseng prevents these problems.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, ginseng’s positive effects on mental function could include better cognition and memory, improved speed of recall, and improved accuracy during tasks requiring mental attention. Some participants in studies showed improved reaction times and better abstract thinking.
Athletes commonly use red panax ginseng to enhance physical strength and endurance. Scientific studies show no direct correlation of ginseng consumption to increased athletic ability, but other factors may contribute. Ginseng’s stimulant quality enhances the effect of caffeine. Other positive effects of regular ginseng consumption could benefit athletic performance indirectly.
Chinese herbal medicines frequently include red panax ginseng in treatments for sexual disorders such as erectile dysfunction. Some scientific studies uphold these traditional treatments, showing positive effects on erections, desire and overall sexual satisfaction. In a study using laboratory animals at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in 2002, researchers noted improvements in libido and performance. Chinese medicine considers red panax ginseng to be more yang, or male, in effect than American white ginseng–a yin tonic.
Immune System Enhancement
Red panax ginseng’s tonic effects include the strengthening of the immune system, according to MedlinePlus. Studies showed that in patients suffering from chronic bronchitis, antibiotics were more effective when patients also took ginseng. Ginseng also enhanced the effect of flu vaccines.