Organic red ginseng: boost your health and energy with this ancient Korean root

Ginseng is a small herbaceous plant with white flowers and red berries. It originates from mountainous areas, from Nepal to Manchuria, and from eastern Siberia to Korea. Due to high demand, it is increasingly also being grown beyond Asia, for example in the United States.

The name ginseng refers to various species of the genus Panax, which belongs to the Araliaceae family: Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer) is considered to have medicinal properties. (1)

Why Korean red ginseng? Panax ginseng can have two colours: white or red. Both come from the same root, but the preparation method is different. Red ginseng is prepared in a special way: its roots must be grown for exactly 6 years to maximise their active ingredients.

It is these active principles that exhibit several important health benefits. The roots are dried in the traditional way, to concentrate the active ingredients without degrading them (similar to drying white ginseng in the sun). This step will give the roots their characteristic red colour. We then produce our dry extract from this raw material of organic Korean red ginseng.

Chemical composition of Panax ginseng

The main chemical components are triterpene saponins, specifically ginsenosides, of which there are several types. Those considered most important are the Rb1, Rb2, Rc, Rd, Rf, Rg1 and Rg2 ginsenosides; with Rb1, Rb2 and Rg1 being most abundant. (2).

Ginseng contains several valuable non-saponin components, including essential oils, antioxidants, polyacetylenic alcohols, peptides, amino acids, polysaccharides (panaxins) and vitamins.

Improve your immune system with red ginseng

Ginseng helps to enhance our natural defences and proper functioning of the immune system (18). Numerous experiments have confirmed that ginseng has a critical immunomodulatory effect on cellular immune responses.

Ginseng extract improves the phagocytic activity of macrophages. This is mainly due to the polysaccharides present in ginseng, which have been observed to increase secretion of IL-1β and TNF-α from peritoneal macrophages in vitro (19).

It has also been proven that ginseng stimulates the production of T cells, which are components of the immune system (20). This stimulation is caused by the ginsenosides Rc, Rd and Rg1.

Panax Ginseng, the ideal ally for boosting your physical performance

Ginseng has ergogenic properties. This means it can improve physical performance (3). Some have even observed that it is useful for facilitating recovery from bouts of exhaustive exercise. Some observed that in a group of healthy sedentary men who engaged in exhaustive exercise before and after taking an extract of Panax ginseng over 8 weeks, a decrease in Malondialdehyde (biomarker of oxidative stress and cellular damage) was produced by an increase in activity by Catalase (which protects the cells from the toxic effect of the hydrogen peroxide) and the superoxide dismutase (a powerful natural antioxidant), and that this increased their resistance in intense exercise (4).

Another study found that supplementation with Panax ginseng extract can reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammatory responses (creatinine kinase and interleukin-6), resulting in improvements in insulin sensitivity (5).

Korean Ginseng helps to maintain healthy sexual function (6)

Sexual function problems are common for women during menopause. A recent clinical trial showed that a group of women who received ginseng treatment saw significant improvements in their sexual function scores compared to the placebo group. (7).

This benefit has also been observed in men in a study of men with erectile dysfunction. Sexual function was evaluated by the International Index of Erectile Function Questionnaire, which found that the group of patients who took ginseng extract experienced a significant improvement after completing the treatment, while the placebo group did not improve. In addition, the group that took ginseng experienced overall satisfaction greater than the placebo group after treatment (8).

In addition, the ginsenosides in ginseng are believed to improve the production of nitric oxide (NO), which is linked to sexual activity (9).

Ginseng contributes to mental and cognitive health and improves memory

One of ginseng’s most popular properties is its contribution to optimal mental and cognitive activity (10) and to improving memory quality (11) (12). There are believed to be several potential mechanisms by which ginseng and ginseng interact with the nervous system:

  • Nitric oxide synthesis, which has functions in neurogenesis and neuronal signalling.
  • Regulation of antioxidant enzymes, which will protect the nerve cells from cellular damage and inflammation.
  • Neurotransmission: those involved in the neurotransmission of glutamate and acetylcholine are of key interest. Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter throughout the central nervous system, and the functioning of the ionotropic glutamate receptor is a key component of neuroplasticity and memory. Acetylcholine (cholinergic) receptors have been cited as modulators of memory and attention.
  • Ionic neural channels related to neuronal activity (13)

Ginseng for normal blood circulation

Ginseng also contributes to normal blood circulation, which is associated with mental performance (14). A meta-analysis of several clinical trials has been carried out to evaluate the efficacy of ginseng extract on improving cognitive function, behaviour, and the quality of life of healthy people. The results were favourable for its use in comparison with the placebo after 4-12 weeks, when data from these studies was analysed together (15).

Ginseng also helps to counteract fatigue (16)

Eastern medicine has known ginseng’s properties as a remedy against fatigue for centuries. Scientific analysis of these vitalising properties has been sought in recent decades. In a clinical trial carried out with patients with idiopathic chronic fatigue who took ginseng extract or a placebo over 4 weeks, some observed that patients who took ginseng improved their feelings of fatigue, particularly mental fatigue (17).

Panax ginseng by Anastore: ginseng root extract standardised to contain 15% ginsenosides.

Anastore has developed a 100% natural and organic product available in plant-based capsules, offering a genuinely healthy product. This is a highly concentrated dry extract of ginseng root (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) with a total ginsenoside content of 15% that will provide the right dose of ginsenosides for taking advantage of all the benefits offered by this ancient plant.

The product is also BPA-free; it has been manufactured with complete safety in mind.

 

Bibliography

  1. Am. Villar, MV. Naval, Mp. Gómez-Serranillos. Ginseng. Farmacia Profesional 2003 ; 17 (10) : 68-73 (Noviembre 2003).
  2. Ginseng radix. WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants, vol 1; p.168. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1999.
  3. Extracted from the European Commission compilation list, under EFSA validation (ID2808)
  4. Kim SH, Park KS, Chang MJ, Sung JH. Effects of Panax ginseng extract on exercise-induced oxidative stress. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2005 Jun;45(2):178-82.
  5. Jung HL, Kwak HE, Kim SS, Kim YC, Lee CD, Byurn HK, Kang HY. Effects of Panax ginseng supplementation on muscle damage and inflammation after uphill treadmill running in humans. Am J Chin Med. 2011;39(3):441-50.
  6. Extracted from the European Commission compilation list, under EFSA validation (ID3677)
  7. Ghorbani Z, Mirghafourvand M, Charandabi SM, Javadzadeh Y. The effect of ginseng on sexual dysfunction in menopausal women: A double-blind, randomized, controlled trial.  Complement Ther Med. 2019 Aug;45:57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.05.015. Epub 2019 May 22.
  8. Kim TH, Jeon SH, Hahn EJ, Paek KY, Park JK, Youn NY, Lee HL. Effects of tissue-cultured mountain ginseng (Panax ginseng CA Meyer) extract on male patients with erectile dysfunction. Asian J Androl. 2009 May;11(3):356-61. doi: 10.1038/aja.2008.32. Epub 2009 Feb 23.
  9. Choi YD1, Park CW, Jang J, Kim SH, Jeon HY, Kim WG, Lee SJ, Chung WS. Effects of Korean ginseng berry extract on sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction: a multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study. Int J Impot Res. 2013 Mar-Apr;25(2):45-50. doi: 10.1038/ijir.2012.45. Epub 2012 Dec 20.
  10. Extracted from the European Commission compilation list, under EFSA validation (ID3870)
  11. Extracted from the European Commission compilation list, under EFSA validation (ID3668)
  12. Kennedy DO1, Scholey AB, Wesnes KA. Dose dependent changes in cognitive performance and mood following acute administration of Ginseng to healthy young volunteers. Nutr Neurosci. 2001;4(4):295-310.
  13. Smith I, Williamson EM, Putnam S, Farrimond J, Whalley BJ. Effects and mechanisms of ginseng and ginsenosides on cognition. Nutr Rev. 2014 May;72(5):319-33. doi: 10.1111/nure.12099. Epub 2014 Mar 25.
  14. Extracted from the European Commission compilation list, under EFSA validation (ID3670)
  15. Geng J, Dong J, Ni H, Lee MS, Wu T, Jiang K, Wang G, Zhou AL, Malouf R. Ginseng for cognition. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Dec 8;(12):CD007769. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007769.pub2.
  16. Extracted from the European Commission compilation list, under EFSA validation (ID3675)
  17. Kim HG1, Cho JH, Yoo SR, Lee JS, Han JM, Lee NH, Ahn YC, Son CG. Antifatigue effects of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. PLoS One. 2013 Apr 17;8(4):e61271. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061271. Print 2013.
  18. Extracted from the European Commission compilation list, under EFSA validation (ID2316)
  19. Kang S1, Min H. Ginseng, the 'Immunity Boost': The Effects of Panax ginseng on Immune System. J Ginseng Res. 2012 Oct;36(4):354-68. doi: 10.5142/jgr.2012.36.4.354.
  20. Extracted from the European Commission compilation list, under EFSA validation (ID2670)